Do You Fidget Too Much? 5 Ways to Make Yourself Stop

We all have bad habits we’d like to break, but some are more stubborn than others, and fidgeting is a big problem for a lot of people. If you fidget too much, here are 5 tips to help you stop.

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In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get accustomed to a constant state of motion. We’re always doing something, often multi-tasking, and rarely do we get to just sit still. Which is exactly why when we’re not occupied with some physical task, we fidget. We do it when we’re in a meeting, on a phone call, or even waiting at a traffic light.

Turns out that if you never train your body to be still, it’s pretty damn challenging to do. But more than that, many experts argue that fidgeting has an underlying biological explanation regarding your cognitive functioning. As Huff Post reports, Karen Pine, a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, suggests that “the same brain areas are involved in both movement and speech,” which explains why “we move the hands more when we are trying to find a word during a tip-of-the-tongue moment.”

The reasons for anxiety

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As to who is more likely to fidget, it might be partially a learned behavior from a lifetime of always moving, and partially innate. And according to the NY Times, experts suggest that “the difference in activity levels may be biological and inborn…the result of genetically determined levels of brain chemicals that govern a person’s tendency to move around.”

And while fidgeting can sometimes be an annoying habit to break, you should know that there are some benefits; after all, you’re burning extra calories (about 350 as reported in the NY Times) because you are constantly in motion. That said, fidgeting can also make you look bored, distracted, immature, unfocused and out of control. While we’re always up for a chance to burn some calories, it’s not really worth making a bad impression. So if you are a chronic fidgeter, here are 5 ways you can get your fidgeting under control, starting right now.

1. Remove Tempting Items

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When in doubt, remove all temptation. If you’re a sucker for clickable pens, get rid of them, if you love squeezing a stress ball, don’t keep one in your grasp. Cross your arms and keep them there unless you are grabbing a pen to write, so that you prevent yourself from fidgeting when opportunity strikes.

2. Exercise

The more energy you burn off throughout your day, the less energy you’ll have built up inside to make you feel antsy. Unused energy is usually released through involuntary, or even unnoticed actions like fidgeting. So make sure you work out regularly and use exercise as a healthy way to efficiently move your body. Think of how you feel after a great workout—you’re exhausted and all you want to do is sit still. Which is exactly that feeling you want to have when you’re worried a fidgeting attack is about to hit.

3. Relax Your Mind and Body

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For some people there is a connection between their brain’s activity and the amount of movement with their body. When you are thinking and your brain is functioning on overdrive your body and limbs start to move quickly as well. That’s why you sometimes see people doodling, tapping their fingers, clicking their pen etc. when they are brainstorming or in a meeting.

So if you want to calm your body you need to find a way to calm your mind. Meditation works for some people, you can read a good book, take a bath, take a walk…whatever helps ease your mind and keep you relaxed and focused mentally will also help minimize your fidgeting. One trick is to allow yourself 20 seconds of quick movements and intense fidgeting, and then slowly relax your muscles one body part at a time.

4. Reduce Caffeine and Sugar Intake

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Foods that give you excess energy and adrenaline may help improve your focus and performance, but they can also make you feel like you need to move at all times. We all know the feeling when you’ve had a little too much coffee or sugar—your hands are shaky, you feel like you want to jump around or tap your foot or move anywhere and everywhere, just to blow off some energy. If you catch yourself fidgeting a lot, try to limit your caffeine and sugar intake and instead opt for calming options like herbal tea.

5. Engage More in the Moment

Sometimes fidgeting is an indication that you are bored; perhaps you’re in a meeting and you’re not interested in what is being discussed, so your mind starts to wander and you start fidgeting without even realizing it. In order to prevent yourself from fidgeting, you have to stay engaged in the conversation and interact with the company around you. Take notes, really listen to what others are say, sharing your opinion and take the opportunity to learn something instead of allowing your mind to wander (and your limbs to fidget).

The post Are you very anxious? 5 ways to quit appeared first on Hispanic World.

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