I have been haunted by this habit for the best part of 12 years, incapable of stopping, forcing something so simple to stop into an unwarranted compulsion, something I felt I never really had any control over. As I grow older, meet more people, attend more events, I notice how much my long term inconvenience has began to affect me.
This proclivity taking a hold of me, every waking hour of every day and I am left helpless by the power of my mind forcing this upon me without realisation. I have tried so many things to try and end this obsession, this fixation, the dependence within myself to keep doing it yet none so far have been a success.
As simple as it might sound written down or read, I bite my nails. I have been biting them for years and years and years and for something so minor to do, I have become aware of the major impact this habit has on my life. The effects it has on my confidence, my self-esteem and my anxiety has meant it has become a burden. I don’t like the way my hands look, the sore, chewed skin around the edges of uneven, bitten nails so short you can hardly see them. I worry what people might think if they see them. I would do everything I could to hide my hands away from others to avoid their judgement on my poorly kept pointers. My thoughts would always turn back to whether my hands were showing or whether someone had seen them and how horrible they must think they are, how different I could be perceived because of something so small and irrelevant. I have always admired people’s nails and love having mine done at a salon, although unless I find the willpower to not bite them for a week to have them long enough to stick on, it’s a no go.
I’d given up all hope and started to accept my fate that this was one of my flaws. I’d be a thirty, forty, fifty year old woman still nibbling at her nails in plain sight, with people silently scrutinising me and I’d have to live with that.
Believe me when I say I have tried almost everything. Chilli powder, false nails, that nasty tasting stuff you dip your fingers into, getting people to slap me when I raised my hands to my mouth. It just didn’t work. Until I met Lindy. Lindy is studying Hypnotherapy at university and after a number of conversations about her course she mentioned she needed volunteers for some case studies. At first, I thought about trying to help me want to eat healthier food, the nail biting habit never even crossed my mind until a few weeks later when she was talking about all the different areas where Hypnotherapy can help. Habits. My habit! It was worth a shot right?
Now, I have an open mind and honestly, if you think Hypnotherapy is a con, this probably isn’t for you but I am always happy to explore new avenues and ways of self-development and at least if it didn’t work, I can say I tried and if it does work then even better right? I think you have to be susceptible and have a strong enough desire within you to change when signing up to Hypnotherapy otherwise you would not only be wasting your time, but also the therapist’s.
It was agreed that we would work on a 4 week schedule with 3 one hour sessions as I was away for one week during the course. The first step was a consultation where I had to fill in a Notation Form. Now, personal questions are asked and I imagine this may scare a few people off but it really will help you to be as open and honest as possible when answering them.
Hypnotherapy isn’t like what you see on stage in Benidorm where a man snaps his fingers and makes another man act like a chicken, even with the most open of minds I don’t think I could believe that. It is however, allowing you to be comfortable, relaxed and at ease whilst listening to the words of the therapist, leading you into your own deeper state of relaxation to reach your subconscious mind. You are still fully present, fully aware and can operate your body as normal, you just feel really, really serene. I felt myself almost ‘zoning out’ at a certain point within the script (which is supposed to happen) this is helping the therapist dig deep into your mind where your habits lie to try and change them, to mould your thoughts, to motivate you to change.
If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
My final session was last Friday and I have to say, it worked. It’s not that I wasn’t expecting it to but rather it worked better than I thought it would. I have personally noticed that I am no longer biting my nails. I can see visually how much longer, stronger and better looking they are and I already feel so much better in myself, my confidence is at an all time high and I have no worries about what people think of me any more. I no longer shy my hands away from the view of others because I now have nothing to hide from them. In just 4 short weeks, Lindy has been able to break the habit of half a lifetime and gave me my confidence back. I am noticeably happier because there are no anxiety issues, there are no sore spots on my fingers and my nails are an almost straight pink hue with white around the edges, an almost perfect natural French manicure and I couldn’t be happier. I cannot wait to be able to stride into my local salon, unembarrassedly place my hands upon the table and have my own nails painted professionally for the first ever time. Another thing I have taken away from this therapy is how powerful the mind really is, certainly something we take for granted every single day.
I was ashamed of my habit, ashamed of my nails, ashamed of the way it made me feel. I am NOT ashamed to admit I had therapy to help me stop this annoyance; to rid myself of this nuisance once and for all and there should be no stigma talking about having therapy to help you in your personal life. I for one know what my first port of call will be should I need help in the future.
Seriously, a million thank you’s Lindy. I don’t quite think you know how much this means to me.
*Lindy performed relaxation techniques as described within her Hypnotherapy course in exchange for being a case study for her assignment. She has not asked me to review this. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I wanted to share with you that Hypnotherapy isn’t scary nor is it something to be ashamed of. Hopefully I have shown that it is a worthwhile technique to think about in case you are suffering with anything or would like to harness one of your own personal hindrances.