Nervous Habits and Ways to Stop Them

I’m a nail biter. It’s my nervous habit. I do it in traffic when I’m riding in the car with my husband, who I do not find to be a very good driver (he can’t tell you the speed limit on his way to his office of 11 years, but he can tell you the color of everyone’s front door on the way to work). Other people shake their legs, some wiggle their feet, and others have their own nervous habits. If you have a nervous habit, it may turn into something you don’t even realize you are doing, which can be potentially dangerous to your health. Here are a few common nervous habits and ways you can make them stop.

Hair Twirling

This is a flirtatious gesture, but it can cause serious damage to your follicles. To stop, you need to focus your hands elsewhere, much like nail biting. Sit on your hands when you feel the need to twirl your hair, or pick up your coffee mug or wine glass and hold it with both hands. Some people learn to twirl their hair as children, and it sometimes derives out of shame, which means you may need cognitive behavioral therapy to put an end to the pulling.

Clenching Your Teeth

Some people clench their teeth in stressful situations (guilty) but the effects are not good. You can lead to grinding your teeth and you can cause yourself to have jaw pain and headaches. The best way to stop clenching your teeth is to take notice when you do it. Ease up on the clenching by becoming aware of it and making sure to let go. The best thing for me is knowing that I clench my teeth when I’m stressed. When I start to feel stressed, I focus on my teeth and unclench them. I then rub my temples and stretch my mouth for a few minutes to alleviate the tension. Becoming aware of my habit is making it easier for me to break it.

Nail Biting

Try wearing foul tasting polish, or putting hot sauce on your nails. It’s a nasty habit that transfers a number of germs to your mouth, which could make you very sick. Try sitting on your hands and keeping them busy to stop biting your nails.


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