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Disease prevention and treatment

Why Do We Chew Pen Lids and Pencils? How Can We Stop This Habit

Have you ever found yourself chewing the lid of your pen or your pencil? Have you ever assisted someone with your pen and they returned it with the lid partially or completely chewed? Most of us have done this at some point of our lives, especially when faced with anxiety. Some people may go as far as chewing half of the plastic outer case of the pen. For most people this habit of chewing pen caps and pencils is a normal act just like biting finger nails, whereas others may consider it as an abnormal behavior. This habit can be addictive and difficult to control or stop because it begins without realizing. It may be triggered by feeling nervous, stress or as a result of boredom. Chewing pen caps and pencils seems fun when doing it but it has several consequences like: turning your teeth brown, damage the facial and jaw muscles, mouth cuts which can risk infection transmission especially when someone else has chewed the lid. Plastics can hold virus for several days or weeks.

According to doctor Ishak Maoudj this habit can be a result of the subconscious part of the mind which desires short-term pleasure and hinders you from accessing the conscious part of the mind which deals with your long-term goals. Dr Ishak suggests that:

1. Identify what exactly you hate from this activity of chewing pens.

2. Examine the results that you experienced from this act e.g the pleasure that your brain experiences which encourages the repetition of this habit.

3. Identify the main factor that leads to and encourages the continuity of this behavior, this is because the brain dislikes pain and tends to prefer pleasure.

4. Plan on how to manipulate the components by replacing the pen, pencil chewing habit with a healthy behavior.

Dr Ishak suggests other methods which would make the above plan more effective. Among them are :

- Accountability partner

- Accountability journal

- Rewire your brain to control temptations

-Use Hawthorne effect. This deals with how people modify their behavior as a result of being observed.

Content created and supplied by: NeliusJeremy (via Opera News )


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