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How Deena stopped a 70 year nail biting

How Deena stopped a 70 year nail biting "habit" with HabitAware"ness"

July 22, 2020

This is Deena’s Conquering with Keen story, as told to Ellen Crupi, HabitAware’s Director of Awareness.  

Early this March, HabitAware started supporting Deena in achieving her goal of kicking her 70 year old nail biting “habit.” During our free Keen set up training call, Deena said to me, “Ellen, I have tried everything and anything over the last 70 years to stop nail biting. The Keen bracelet is my last hope. And I want to get started right away.” I loved her tenacity and we got to work training her Keen bracelet for success.  

Deena's tendency was to bite her nails while watching TV, so Deena got comfy on her sofa, with the TV in front of her, and an iPad on her lap so we could video chat.  

During the training call I was able to see Deena in action and make suggestions so that Keen would work for her specific nail biting behavior. In the last five minutes of our training call, I imparted "Ellen’s Good Vibes" on how to harness the power of Keen awareness:

  1. Good Vibe 1: Every single time Keen vibrates, consider the gentle vibration a "HUG" on your wrist, reminding you that your hands are not where you want them to be and not to "stop," but to slow down & replace the behavior.
  2. Good Vibe 2: Celebrate every vibration! Every time you feel that gentle hug, give yourself a high five, as you are training your awareness muscles to recognize where your hands are - or are not!  
  3. Good Vibe 3: Keen is your "self care alarm" reminding you that you need a moment of pause to take care of you in that moment.

As we said our goodbyes, I asked Deena to keep in touch as I was eager to hear about her journey to stop nail biting. 

About a month later I received a note from Deena:

Hi Ellen, Nail biting success story - HabitAware
The terrible nail biting habit seems better...I haven’t bitten my nails since I started using Keen, but I sometimes still pick the skin around my nails..and I am still putting my hands to my mouth. I think everything I’ve done has been helpful and I’m carrying on!
Hope you’re well,


Look how gorgeous those nails are! They are the result of Deena using Keen to build awareness - for about a month. Deena recognized that 70 years of automatic behavior would take awareness, time and effort to reverse. She acknowledged her wins - noting that it was getting better, but also acknowledged that she still needed to carry on with the plan and put the effort in to stop nail biting.

I replied:  

Hi Deena!
I'm so delighted you sent me this email...   
I'm thrilled Keen is helping you build awareness of your hands! Another idea for you to help you on your journey to stop nail biting and choose healthier coping strategies instead: 
Put together a "Pause Pack."
Grab a small bag & fill it with things that will occupy your hands while you are watching TV.  Fill it with whatever brings you joy. Here are some fun ideas: hand lotion, cuticle oil/cream, nail file, marbles, and anything else that feels good to you. Have fun with it! And remember to reach for this "Pause Pack" when Keen reminds you to take that moment of pause.
Practice makes progress.  Keep up the good work! 


And good work she did!

A month later Deena wrote again:

Hi Ellen,
This is after I already cut my nails once! 

Deena learned that behavior change takes effort. She learned that hard work is rewarding and she learned that she has Keen on her side to support her. 

Most importantly, Deena learned that change is possible, at any age.

If Deena can make a change after 70 years, so can you! 

Thank you Deena for sharing your story with me and our Keen family. We're proud of your ongoing effort & hope you are too!

Get Keen

HabitAware Keen Smart Bracelet - Order Now to Stop Hair Pulling, Stop Skin Picking, Stop Nail Biting

Header Image courtesy of @DesignEcologist.

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