- Be aware of the habit — Since finger pickers often go into a trance when they start picking, they’re actually unaware what they’re doing. Becoming aware of finger and skin picking whenever it starts is a first step toward stopping the behavior.
- Be Relaxed — This involves both self-monitoring skills — being able visualize and watch the habit “from outside” — as well as perform regular relaxation exercises.
- Breathe peacefully — Breathing in a controlled, regular manner is extremely important. Many people with OCD-like disorders have erratic breathing patterns that are actually smoothed when they perform the habit. Getting to this breathing “stasis” when one is not picking one’s fingers or skin will reduce the inner need to pick.
- Develop a more socially acceptable “habit” — This is used to help ween off the sufferer off of the current, socially unacceptable habit.
Habit Reversal Training has been most frequently used to treat nervousness disorders such as tics and Tourette Syndrome, though it is just as viable as a treatment path for compulsive picking habits. In a sense these are all nervous habits.
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