I struggle. I squirm. I am basically one who can’t stop fidgeting. I remember fidgeting in church from an early age. Not just because I was ignoring the pastor (my dad), but just being fidgety.
It’s not so much physical expressions. Not so much about using little devices like spinners. It’s not even jerking my head every time I see squirrels. It’s a combination of all of these, and more.
I can’t stop looking at my phone for notifications, but it used to be my pocket watch, or whatever was in my hand/pocket – over and over. I play with my keys. Take glasses on and off. Feel the stubble on my chin. Crack my knuckles. In high school, I had a date and spent time playing with my zippo lighter (I was such an idiot.)
One article on the BestLifeOnline.com gave ten reasons one fidgets: ADHD, restless leg syndrome, autism, menopause, PTSD, unable to express emotions, self-conscious (especially socially), trying to solve a complex problem, caffeine overdose and boredom. I could claim a majority of these (would Mano-pause substitute? Is it even real?). Regardless, I could check these a lot.
Another article, from an Oxford scholar, said fidgeting may actually be healthy for your body. They give three key ways fidgeting may be ways your body is adjusting to help you.
- Regulating Attention … it may be a cognitive self-regulation mechanism to raise or lower our attention level. As one’s mind wanders, as attention is being dragged away from our task, we might fidget. Now this could be bad (takes away from the task) or good … And I choose good. It helps us have mindless stimulation that we might perform but still allowing us to really focus on the main task.
- Weight Management … even slight caloric intake over what we exert will cause gradual weight gain. Your body may be subconsciously fighting that by small amounts of fidgeting to burn calories. I like this, but apparently, I am not fidgeting enough.
- Stress Relief … fidgeting is a natural effect to stress. It might be nail biting, hair pulling, etc. Stress could be negatively induced like being placed in uncomfortable situations or even neutral (outright boredom).
Now, before you tell others to back off and just let you fidget away … you need to realize fidgeting is a strong body language often misunderstood. Fidgeting can also be a distraction to others, thus causing social uncomfortableness.
Whether you fight with fidgeting, have given in to fidgeting, or now embrace fidgeting for you feel it is your body’s way of helping, I can only say this – you are not alone. Not only do you need to realize millions deal and struggle with fidgeting (so cut them some slack people) … but you are never alone for God is with you. He is the comforter, He brings a peace, and He says to cast your fears and worries on Him.
So fidget away … but keep your eyes on Him. He cares for you.