When stress starts to take over your life, it can cause habits you don’t even realize. They may alleviate discomfort, but if they’re ongoing, they can disrupt your life.
Stress can cause many issues besides obvious symptoms like a racing heart or excessive sweating. Here are six unusual habits caused by chronic tension.
1. Playing With Your Hair
Playing with your hair on occasion is not a problem. When it becomes an excessive habit such as twisting, pulling or stretching, it may signify that stress is affecting your life. Many people use this as a self-soothing habit.
Playing with your hair may seem like a harmless habit, but it is a way your body is signaling there is a stress overload. It can worsen to the point of pulling out hair, creating other issues to worry about. It may be time to get help if you notice you do this.
2. Biting Your Nails
Nail biting is one of the most common habits when it comes to stress. Overthinking or taking on too many tasks can cause nail-biting, which shows how your body is dealing with its stressful environment.
Biting your nails is also a health hazard due to germs. Long nails can harbor more bacteria, which could contribute to the spread of infection.
3. Fidgeting Often
Fidgeting is a clear sign of stress, whether you constantly shake your leg or need to stand up every five minutes. It’s a sign of an overstimulated brain.
Having millions of thoughts running through your head can cause you to feel restless, leading to fidgeting.
4. Trouble Sleeping
Sleep is one of the most critical aspects of your health. Your body depends on rest to recover and prepare for the day ahead. You may have trouble sleeping or can’t sleep through the night if you suffer from constant stress.
Sleep issues can bring other complications, such as sleepwalking, talking or having weird dreams. These can all be a sign of severe stress. Dreams are said to help us process information still running through our minds. Even if they do not make sense, your brain is trying to bring attention to a topic.
Talking and walking in your sleep are not entirely understood but are common in people with stressors or mental health issues. Sleep talking is usually harmless but can be linked to worse conditions such as night terrors or post-traumatic stress disorder.
5. Picking Your Skin
Picking your skin can look different for everyone but is equally damaging. Many people pick at the skin around their fingernails, which can result in an open wound. This is far from a healthy coping mechanism since you are essentially harming yourself.
Another form of skin picking is excessively popping pimples. Everyone has the urge to pop now and then, but when done in excess, it could signify stress is taking over. Many people will start picking at areas of their face that do not show signs of a blemish, leaving the skin more irritated and possibly creating another pimple.
6. Double Checking Your Tasks
Being cautious about your daily tasks or little things, like checking to see if you unplugged your hair straightener multiple times before work, may seem harmless. When you start to feel out of control, you may go to great lengths to regain it, like being very structured or obsessive about how your day goes.
It can turn into a problem if it becomes extreme. If you can’t sleep at night without checking your schedule or triple-checking anything in your daily routine, it may be worth looking into treatment.
Overcome The Unusual Habits Of Stress
You can’t completely avoid stress, but if you are experiencing one or more of these unusual habits, it may be time to get help. Recognizing if you engage in these practices excessively is the first step to overcoming the stress in your life.