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Long time lurker on several boards, infrequent poster, have you as a Favorite Fool.

Enjoy your writing and attitude.

Plus, you employed my brother (TMF Wizard) which indirectly introduced me to the stock market. So I figure the least I can do is offer a couple of ideas in response to your courageous call for help. :-)

More than anything, I think the solution to the problem comes down to "consciousness." From your posts I know you're interested in meditation. One of the benefits I've found with meditation (and yoga) is a calming and slowing of the usually frenzied modern day mind. This allows for greater consciousness or being "in the moment." As others have noted, nail biting is likely an unconscious act for you at this point.

What if you tried linking some of the techniques from meditation (e.g. focusing on your breath) for very short periods during the day as a way to increase "consciousness"? Like the smoker who starts counting minutes, then quarter hours, then hours, then days, the cumulative effects of little bouts of consciousness can be powerful.

I used this technique with yoga. I could never seem to make time for 45 minutes of stretching and breathing. So I started with literally 2-3 minutes. I did the Salute to the Sun routine in the morning. After a week, it was making such a difference in the way I felt in the first hours of the day that I added the same routine before I went to bed at night.

Each morning and evening I found I could stretch a bit farther and the effects of the stretching would last a bit longer. It became a positive feedback loop. Eventually, I'd sneak one in by closing my door during my lunch hour or during a trip to the bathroom!

My other suggestion is to carry a small set of nail clippers in your pocket. You'll feel the weight when you walk around, you'll likely feel it against your leg when you sit down, and you'll feel it against your hand when you've got your hand in your pocket. All consciousness-increasers!

If you notice a nail that you want to trim/bite, or catch yourself biting a nail, you can take out the clipper and make a "conscious" decision about whether you really want to trim the nail then and there or not.

I've gone on longer than I expected, but I hope there's something here you can try.

You've made the first step, the mental decision to stop. Now, it's mind over matter.

Good luck!

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