Personal appearance is very important in human society, and most of us try hard to look our best. This can be difficult when you're constantly chewing on your fingertips. Nail biting also leaves our nails and cuticles looking quite shabby, which is why a lot of nail biters tend to keep their hands folded, tucked away in pockets or otherwise hidden from view.
If you have anxiety about the appearance of your nibbled nails, you may find that using positive visual imagery can be a powerful motivator. This is a strategy in which you post pictures of healthy-looking hands strategically around your environment as incentive to achieve your goal of not biting.
Visualizing success doesn't always involve photographs. You could also try to visualize yourself overcoming the urge to bite. The idea is that by conjuring up the image of success, your brain will "know" what it's like to break the habit. According to Clausen, this is a form of exposure therapy. "The idea is that you desensitize your brain to the urge to bite by creating a controlled environment, thereby boosting your ability to overcome it as it's experienced in real life," she explains.
Visualizing success with nail biting can be a powerful deterrent and go a long way toward helping you quit. It may be even more helpful to post pictures of your own hands fresh from a salon manicure. Nothing says "success" better than an image of your own dazzling digits. Never underestimate the power of good grooming, as we'll see on the next page.