Farewell Fidget — Breaking the Fidgeting Habit
Have you ever found yourself making unconscious movements with your body especially when you’re restless, in discomfort or not paying attention? This, ladies and gentlemen, is called fidgeting. Fidgeting can include shaking your legs or tapping your pencil incessantly. While some researchers state that the “mental break” fidgeting provides is actually a means for our body to stay focused on the task at hand, others with opposing views from a study from a trusted source suggest that a fidgeting body simply reflects a wandering mind. Fidgeting could also be caused by stress and in some cases, fidgeting can relieve stress.
At times, fidgeting occurs unconsciously, but it’s important to pay attention to your body and its movements of the head, limbs, and body. Common types of fidgeting include:
- Tapping your foot, your fingernails, or a pencil
- Blinking your eyes
- Shifting your weight
- Folding and unfolding your arms
- Crossing and uncrossing your legs
Fidgeting is usually mild and doesn’t disrupt your daily activities, but should it change, consult a doctor.
Methods to Stop Fidgeting
Here are five simple tips to keep yourself from fidgeting:
1. Fold Your Hands
If you’re one who fidgets with your hands, a handy tip is to fold your hands. This is especially great to stop fidgeting in a professional environment such as a meeting or job interview, showcasing that you’re still professional without being overly formal.
2. Avoid Sugar and Caffeine
Sugar rush is prevalent not only in children, but adults too. When anxiousness and nervousness meet hyperactivity, the result is fidgeting. While most of us depend on coffee to kickstart the day, it doesn’t necessarily help those who are curbing the act of fidgeting. Granted, quitting coffee entirely isn’t an easy feat, but you can minimise your consumption, to a general consensus of 400mg of caffeine (about four cups a day) — enough for the average person.
3. The Rubber Band Technique
One of the oldest tricks in the book to break stubborn habits like smoking, nail biting or fidgeting is the rubber band method and following is how it works:
- Place a rubber band loosely around your wrist. It shouldn’t be tight.
- When you feel yourself fidget, snap the rubber band against your wrist.
- Over time, your mind will start associating the pain with fidgeting and correct that behaviour.
It takes an average of 18-30 days to develop or break a habit so don’t expect change to happen overnight. Consistency here is key. You need to be consistent, and over time you'll train your brand to stop fidgeting. For a contemporary twist to the rubber band technique. It shares similarity in the concept, with the exception of wearing a band resembling a FitBit on your wrist. It comes with an app, so you can use that to send small zaps to the wristband whenever you get the urge to fidget.
4. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness — the practice of being in the moment and aware of your senses is another way to beat fidgeting. Fidgeting often happens because our minds then to wander and are unable to focus. Often times, people fidget because they're unable to focus or their minds wander around. Research has shown that mindfulness can be exactly what you need.
Yoga and meditation are among a few ways to practice mindfulness, including a new trend called forest bathing. Alternatively, click on this link for a guide to mindfulness based stress reduction. If mindfulness is something foreign and new to you, check out this book from biochemist Mark Williams, and psychologist Danny Penman who breaks down mindfulness for you and walks you through how to put it into practice for just a few minutes a day. It’s practical and to the point.
5. Try Fidget Toys
Different remedies and methods work differently for people, so some of you might find fidget toys great. Remember the trend of fidget spinners and cubes? It might have been merely jumping on a bandwagon for many, but for others, it has tremendously helped in coping with their fidgeting habits. These tools have made fidgeting widely acceptable, evident in offices and schools today. All you need to know about the top fidget toys for adults can be found within this link.
Othere methods include :
6. Taking a warm shower or bath before bedtime.
7. Practise a mindful activity before bed, like reading a book or doing a crossword puzzle.
8. Take a quick walk before bed.
9. Massage your legs lightly before sleeping.