Bad habits are often caused by two things: stress and boredom. When we’re stressed out our subconscious can take over, making us search for a release from whatever is bothering us. On the other hand, boredom has us seeking out distractions to keep us entertained. This is where nail biting, picking at your cuticles, or clenching your jaw comes in. The way we handle these states differs from person to person. Many of us though pick up a habit when we’re stressed or bored. Bad or good they are pretty hard to break.

It’s definitely easier said than done to break a negative habit by simply replacing it with a positive one. However, this is solid advice and if followed correctly, you’ll be free of that niggly habit in no time. Think of it this way: all bad habits are in your life because in some way or another they benefit you. The year is almost over, but there’s still time to knock those bad habits! We’ve researched ways to help you break a bad habit step by step, and compiled some good hand/nail habits that you can use to replace the bad ones with.   

Get a bad habit partner

For some of us, tackling that hurdle alone can be tricky. Having a partner who you can regularly update on your journey to more positive practices. You don’t need to be working towards the same goal. One of you may be quitting cigarettes and the other cutting back on ice cream. You can support one another along the way and even set celebratory activities for reaching a certain time target. Say goodbye to the typical excuses you let yourself get away with. A partner can be the best motivator.

Have a positive circle

Surround yourself with people who express behaviour you’re striving towards. If you’re trying to cut out drinking, for example, it might not be wise to head to the pub with your friends every evening. Or if you’re having a tough time and feel stressed, getting involved in circles that don’t encourage or increase the risk of you backsliding is not a good choice. If you’re bored, try to get into a new hobby or activity that will keep you fulfilled and mixing in forward-looking circles. This doesn’t mean leave your old friends in the dust, but just be open to making new ones.

Be prepared to fail

Don’t necessarily expect it, but prepare yourself for that outcome just in case. This way if you are prepared for failure, you won’t be so hard on yourself if it does happen. And you can come up with a plan to help you get back on track ahead of time so you aren’t so flustered when the time comes. For a list of ways to help you get back on track, you can visit jamesclear.com!

Choose a good habit

Here’s the hard part, deciding on a good habit that can replace your bad ones. For some bad habits, there might be an obvious answer to what good habit you can use to replace it. Like smoking cigarettes, for example, lots of people replace that by chewing gum. For others though, it will be much more difficult. There are plenty of good habits out there to choose from, but to find one that gives you the same benefit as your bad habits did is the difficult part. Think of what you want to achieve from them and then you can decide on what will be best. Here are a few good habits we think are important when it comes to hands and nails.

Moisturize your hands

Moisturising your hands should already be part of your routine, but if it isn’t it’s a good way to stop you from picking at your cuticles. By moisturising your hands, it will help to prevent your cuticles from becoming dry and hard. In turn, this will prevent you from picking at them and pulling them off because there won’t be anything for you to pick at. Not to mention that your hands will be incredibly soft afterward!

manicures

Get regular manicures

Getting regular manicures can help you to stop biting your nails. If your nails look pretty and polished, you are less likely to bite them because you won’t want to mess them up. It can also help to strengthen your nails to make sure they don’t break off. There are many benefits that come with getting a regular manicure. One of them being that your nails will always look their best, and your cuticles will get taken care of. It’s like knocking two bad habits in one go!

Stretch your fingers and hands

Cracking your knuckles can become a problem long term. If you crack them too often it could be possible that you develop arthritis later in life. So, to replace your knuckle cracking, try just stretching your hands out instead. You can research a bunch of different types of hand stretches and find the ones that you enjoy the best. This will help to keep your hands busy instead of cracking your knuckles, and it will prevent future problems.

We all have bad habits that we wish we didn’t, but what matters is if you’re being proactive about it or not. For more tips and tricks on how to break bad habits, visit our website for our blog to keep updated!