Mind Body Green
Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a compulsive nail-biter. In fact, I’m nipping at my cuticles as I write this.
People always ask me: “What are you so nervous about?” But I know it’s not just about nerves; I bite my nails even when I’m lounging on the beach.
Well, apparently, I do it because I’m a perfectionist.
Scientists at the University of Montreal
published a study
For the study, researchers worked with 48 participants, half of whom regularly engaged in these types of behaviors. The other participants, who didn’t have these habits, acted as a control group. The participants were asked questions about the extent to which they experienced emotions like boredom, anger, guilt, irritability and anxiety. Then, each participant was exposed to situations designed to provoke particular feelings, like relaxation, stress, frustration, and boredom.
Those with the compulsive habits said they had a stronger urge to chew their nails, for example, when they were prohibited from completing work in a timely manner and when they felt bored after being left in a room alone for six minutes.
“We believe that individuals with these repetitive behaviors may be perfectionistic, meaning that they are unable to relax and to perform task at a ‘normal’ pace,” said lead author Dr. Kieron O’Connor, in a
So we set new goals for ourselves, like making sure all of our nails are exactly the same length, or eliminating any jagged cuticles.
But when the habits start to interfere with daily life, they can become habit disorders — for which, fortunately, there are treatments.
According to O’Connor
Maybe with all this information in mind, all of us pickers, twisters, and biters can remind ourselves that we don’t need to mangle our new ‘dos or manicures just because we crave a task to complete.
(h/t The Huffington Post )
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Mind Body Green
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