Posted: March 24th, 2023
Imagine sitting in a lecture room with the lecturer busy doing what he is best at and no single word of the instructor is being registered into your mind. On the other hand, listening to a friend who is more than excited to share some hot news, but you find yourself extremely mundane and not interested in what your friend has to say. According to Aune et al. (2010), if an individual is experiencing these things falls under the category of the normal human beings, chances are that they will start fidgeting.
Ever since I was a young child, I have always snapped my fingers, tapped my feet up and down on the floor, picked my hair, bit my fingers, and picked my nose among other things whenever I experience nervousness or when I am in a boring situation. Although this behavior did not bother me much when I was a child, the fact that it has not stopped to date is perturbing. Not only has fidgeting affected my academic performance, but it has greatly impacted my ability to engage and interact freely in social situations.
The Cognitive Load Theory
The theory assumes that the brain of human beings is more or less like the central processing unit of a computer (CPU). The theory indicates that similar to the manner in which the CPU functions in situations when it has been given many commands at the same time, the human brain also behaves in the same way (Plass et al., 2010). When stressed due many things that it has to register at once, the human brain develops some techniques that are aimed at helping the individual release the stress and thus maintain their focus. Fidgeting is one of these techniques.
When one is bored and in a stressful situation, the cognitive functioning of the brain hinders them to understand or carry out the things they are required to do. However, when one starts to fidget, the boredom and stress are dissipated, which is a factor that enhances attention and better learning. Although some fidgeting has been shown to be beneficial, many are times I find myself disrupted and lacking concentration, which is why I want to quit this behavior.
Earlier Interventions and Intended Goal
Studies have shown that people suffering from attention deficit hyperactive disorders have a higher possibility of fidgeting (Jimerson et al., 2016). Therefore, the first step that I took was to determine my source of fidgeting. After visiting several psychiatrists, it was ruled out that my fidgeting was due to health problems. It was associated with a restless energy that triggered the feeling of carrying out an activity. My earlier intervention practices involved relaxations and trying to calm my mind whenever I felt restless or bored. My main objective was to reach a point where fidgeting reduced drastically. However, this intervention procedure yielded little success as the levels of fidgeting have slightly dropped.
What I would do differently
In conclusion, after engaging in numerous researches aimed at developing my knowledge on how to stop the fidgeting behavior, I have learned new things that I feel would be helpful in my future interventions. They include cutting my caffeine intake as it increases the alertness of the brain and can lead to insomnia, get enough sleep, eat healthy diets, and increase my exercises and physical activity. I am looking forward to having a fidgeting free lifestyle that will not only improve my concentration and academic performances but also improve my experience in social situations.
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