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Nervous Habits



Well-known member
Jun 23, 2015
New Mexico, USA
Hi all.

I'd like to start a running thread here about nervous habits. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. Please feel free to share yours also.

For me I have general nervous habits and things specific to extreme anxiety like with my dental phobia.

My general nervous habits are: fidgeting with my hands, not being able to sit still, playing with/running my fingers through my hair, rubbing my arms/legs, talking too much, picking at my skin (scratching) and always moving my legs/feet when I'm sitting (constantly changing positions).

So, like for my dental phobia. When I'm at the dentist I always arrive early and have to use the restroom before I go back, just a habit I think. In the waiting room I can't sit still. I'll play with a stress ball in my hand. I'll attempt to read a book, but usually can't focus on it. I'll be very fidgety.

Once I get into the exam room/dental chair: I find it hard to sit in the chair, so I can rarely sit still for long. If I'm in the room alone waiting for the staff, I can't sit in the chair. I have to get up and walk around the room. I can't keep my hands still while sitting in the chair, so I have a stress ball in my right hand and a teddy bear in my left hand. I'll be constantly fussing/playing with the bear's fur. I get very quiet at the dentist's office. I only talk when I have to in response to a question. I'll rub my arms a lot. I have no idea why I do that. I pick at the skin on my hands and arms, to the point where I scratch and bleed a bit. I also have no idea why I do that. Nothing bad, just surface scratches. I cannot look the staff in the eyes while they're working on me. Laying back in the chair is especially hard for me.

So, I got us started. I have a ton of nervous habits. I may have forgotten things.

Please feel free to share what you do when you're nervous or anxious.




Well-known member
May 14, 2013
I tend to sit in the chair hugging myself when I'm talking to the dentist - it must look like I'm cold (I'm probably shaking too), as it often prompts him to turn off the air conditioning or turn the heating up. I'm not, that's just my "feeling threatened" body language.

I arrive early and always go to the loo too - that's partly an anxiety thing, but also a chance to be alone in a little room with a lock on the door for a few minutes to get my head together.

Then there's the lip wobble mentioned in another thread, but I'm not sure that's a habit as such as it's entirely involuntary. More of an anxiety/fatigue/muscle control thing.