9 Things You Do Unintentionally Under Stress And How To Stop Them

Written by Chaitra Krishnan, MA (Journalism & Mass Communication)  • 

Not everyone makes lemonade out of the lemons that life throws at them. And that’s okay because life is meant to be this way. As long as we are normal human beings we are bound to get stressed at some point or the other. Even if you’re someone who follows a healthy lifestyle and meditates every day, stress is going to catch you at some point. It’s something that you just have to deal with and learning how to do that is very important. If you have been feeling stressed lately, you may have developed certain habits knowingly or unknowingly. And these habits aren’t always healthy which is why it’s important to evaluate and get rid of them.

Pulling out hair strands, biting nails, and clenching teeth in sleep are some of the things that people often do when they are stressed. If you have such a habit, you may not even notice it until you keep a close watch on yourself. It might be quite normal to you, but when you’re in an important work meeting and you’re biting your nails like a six-year-old, people are bound to notice. But don’t worry because we are going to tell you what these habits are and how you can get rid of them. Read on to know more.

1. Biting Nails

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Many people bite their nails when they are under stress. This is not at all a healthy habit because enabling bits of nails to make their way to the inside of the stomach is certainly not good. Also, you don’t really care about how clean your fingers are when you bite them. To avoid the habit, get a pretty manicure done so that you wouldn’t feel like biting and ruining them. It might not work in case you’re too obsessed with the nail-biting. In such cases, keep your nails short and trimmed so that there’s nothing left to bite.

2. Excessive Yawning

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When you’re under stress, your sleep gets the brunt of it. A good night’s sleep becomes a distant dream if you can’t stop worrying about the big presentation next week or if your family is facing a financial issue. Obviously, you’ll end up yawning quite a lot because you haven’t been getting enough sleep. Try to meditate for a few minutes right before you go to bed. You may have to go to a sleep clinic in case the sleep trouble continues.

3. Frequent Urge To Pee

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According to research, there is a strong correlation between psychological stress and the urgency to pee (1). This can be very annoying because you don’t want to excuse yourself to the bathroom every time you have a one-on-one with your boss. But just because your stress is messing with your bladder control, do not abstain from drinking enough water. The only thing you can do here is to try and keep your mind calm.

4. Eating Sugary Food

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“Honey don’t be stressed, there’s nothing a tub of ice cream can’t solve!” – you may have heard someone say this at least once in your lifetime. When you feel like nothing is going good in your life, you seek the help of tasty food. While this may make you happy and relaxed for a while, you may gain weight in the long run. Try to control your cravings and opt for healthy alternatives made with artificial sweeteners.

5. Fidgeting

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Did anyone ever tell you to “stop making that noise” while you’re tapping your foot or fidgeting? This habit can make you the center of attention in a public space (not in a good way) even if you have no idea you were doing it. Try wearing a rubber band in your hand and pull it every time you find yourself fidgeting. This will remind you not to fidget “unknowingly.”

6. Obsessing Over Little Things

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When you’re stressed, you tend to obsess over little things that you may otherwise find very silly. This habit might become very annoying for the people you live with. Try to talk to someone when you’re feeling stressed and divert your mind to activities that you like (Eg: singing, dancing, cooking, gardening.etc.).

7. Cleaning And Organizing

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Too much of cleaning and organizing is also a type of obsession. It may look like a harmless and “healthy” habit but it isn’t. If distraction doesn’t work, seek professional help to get rid of this issue.

8. Grinding Your Teeth

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Stress might make you grind your teeth when you’re awake as well as asleep. This isn’t good for your oral health and the grinding noise can be annoying for the people around you. Seek the help of a dental care professional to find a solution to this problem.

9. Biting Lips

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People bite their lips when they are worried or confused. Sometimes, things go out of control to an extent that their lips start bleeding. Using minty lip balms may help you avoid this habit.

There are scientific explanations for all the habits that originate from stress. If you’re facing any of these issues, you can always seek the help of a professional in dealing with it.

Do you have any of these habits? How do you deal with it? Share your tips with us in the comments section.

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