Anxiety is something that comes in many different forms, and one of the most common forms is social anxiety. If you are someone without anxiety, some of the things those with it do might come off as odd.

Below I am going to go over some of the nervous habits that those who are facing anxiety deal with on a day-to-day basis. While you might not realize how odd these things are other people do. Nervous habits are not always as outlandish as people tend to assume sometimes they can be quite simple. Even merely cracking your knuckles could be considered as a nervous habit.

23 ‘Nervous Habits’ That Go Hand In Hand with Anxiety:

1. Being too eager to talk about any and everything.

Sometimes when we are nervous we are more than willing to spurt out things that we should keep to ourselves. We cannot help it, they just come out whether we actually want them to or not. A lot of us actually struggle with ending conversations as well.

2. Biting the inside of your cheeks.

Sometimes people with anxiety bite the inside of their cheeks. This is because it gives them something to do without being super noticeable. It’s almost like running your tongue over your teeth, you do it without thought.

3. Refusing to make eye contact.

People with anxiety sometimes struggle to make eye contact with others. Making eye contact can for some prove to be quite intimidating. Making eye contact in some cases can even cause them to lose their nerve and be unable to continue depending on the situation. That being said, more mild cases are not going to be as intense. Most of the time a person will just break eye contact a bit more frequently than others.

4. Checking the time.

Sometimes, people who are nervous tend to check their watches or phones for the time a lot. This is because they feel like a lot of time is passing even when it isn’t. Just a minute feels like an hour to them.

5. Tapping your feet.

People with anxiety sometimes tap their feet when nervous. It is a sign of stress and can mean someone is quite irritated. When I am getting worked up I sometimes tap my foot.

6. Yawning even when you’re not tired.

Sometimes people yawn even when they are not tired. This is because of the increase in their heart rate when nervous. While they are not necessarily ready for bed their body is responding to the changes occurring within.

7. Twirling your hair.

You see this one most often in those who are young. Anxious people tend to twirl their hair in their fingers or simply run their fingers through their hair. This is what we consider to be self-soothing behavior.

8. Immersing Yourself In Your Phone.

When the situation before a person is too stressful or they don’t know how to handle it they might just sit on their phone rather than face it. For instance, if you are sitting in a waiting room and don’t want to be approached by strangers you will make yourself unapproachable. In sticking your face to your phone you are doing just that.

9. Touching your face.

This is also a self-soothing behavior. When someone touches their face they might be much more nervous than you think. It is a way to ground out what is going on.

10. Talking really fast, much faster than most.

When a person talks fast they could just be trying to get everything out quickly so that they don’t have to continue on in the conversation. Being able to slow down is something these people need to work on. The more they slow down the more of a connection they will be able to form.

11. Fidgeting with your fingers.

People with anxiety tend to fidget in one way or another. A lot of them spend time touching their fingers or cracking their knuckles. This is one of the most common nervous habits and can be found in many.

12. Having very shaky legs.

People with shaky legs might be a bit more anxious than you think. They could be shaking their legs because of the way their body is reacting to the level of stress they are under. Not everyone handles stress in the same way.

13. Touching your ears.

This goes hand in hand with face touching. A lot of people tend to touch their ears or push their hair back behind their ears. You will see them do it at least five times even when nothing has changed in the current conversation.

14. Grinding your teeth.

This one is something a lot of people cannot stand but a lot of people also do. And while grinding teeth is not good for anyone to do, sometimes it happens without realizing it.  People with anxiety might do this because they are under a lot of stress. This is something you need to be aware of if you suffer from any kind of anxiety disorder.

15. Biting your nails.

Some people bite their nails when they are nervous. It is a very bad habit to have and sometimes people even bite their nails to a severe point. Many do this because the act of chewing itself relieves stress.

16. Chewing on things. (Gum, pens, pencils, etc)

As I mentioned in number 15 the act of chewing itself relieves stress. I guess you could see that it would make sense for someone who is stressed and nerved out to want to chew on things. That being said, they should try and stick to just chewing gum or things that you don’t write with.

17. Cracking your knuckles.

People crack their knuckles because it helps break the ice in some cases. Regardless though, the act in itself is quite relaxing. This makes a person even if for a moment feel a bit better.

18. Biting your lower lip.

Sometimes we bite our lips when we are nervous. This can for some result in painful sores and things of the sort. Those who do it tend to do it subconsciously and don’t even realize they are doing it.

19. Laughing at something that was not funny.

Some people with anxiety tend to laugh at the worst moments. This is because they do not know how to react otherwise. Nervous laughter is a very real thing and it really sucks.

20. Being unable to sleep through the night.

People who experience anxiety sometimes are not able to sleep through the night. They wake time and time again only to get just a few minutes or hours of sleep at a time. This is because their mind will not allow them to truly rest.

21. Making yourself feel sick by thinking too much.

This could easily be the worst nervous habit there is. Sometimes people literally think themselves into being sick. For instance, when I am nervous I get nauseous and the more I think the more nauseous I get. On occasion, I literally end up puking my brains out.

22. Overusing the word ‘like.’

When we are nervous sometimes we repeat ourselves a bit. A lot of anxious people tend to use the word ‘like’ a lot. They use it as a filler and while they know it sounds kind of weird cannot help it.

23. Not feeling good enough to approach others.

A nervous habit I am sure everyone has experienced before is not feeling good enough to even approach someone else. People with anxiety feel this on a very deep level. They obsessively think about what could go wrong and in many cases talk themselves out of approaching others at all.

If someone you know does these things, try not to judge too harshly. Chances are, they aren’t doing them because they want to, they are doing them because it helps them get through the situation at hand. Just because you are capable of getting through a conversation without touching your ear does not mean every single person in this planet can.

Image via Human Unlimited

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