People form all sorts of strange nervous habits to cope with stress. The over compensating habits do not start overnight. Usually the coping habit starts very slowly. Soon the coping mechanisms become a habit. Some of the habits might appear a bit strange, weird, or unusual to others, but they might also cause harm to the body.
A friend is very proud of her long gorgeous nails. She once shared that she suffered for many years with a terrible nail chewing habit. Then she decided enough already. So, she started chewing gum every time the urge to chew her nails struck and it worked. Recently, I did a bit of research and discovered that nail chewing is the leading cause of short broken nails. Nail chewing and biting also causes bleeding and severe damage to the nail beds.
This is also a reaction to stress that might turn into a bad habit. Excessive lip chewing causes chapped lips that might lead to infection. One idea used by some is to substitute a lip balm to coat the lips instead of chewing them in stressful situations.
We've all seen individuals who sort of poke and pick at the skin on their forearms and hands when stressed out. Wouldn't you know that this is another weird habit that is very addictive. In addition, skin picking could cause sores, infections, and permanent scars. Conquer this habit by keeping nails cut and trimmed or wear long sleeved clothing.
When some people get stressed they turn to food for comfort. The food is a sedative that calms their jangled nerves. Over eating certainly leads to obesity and other health concerns. One suggestion is to substitute something a bit more positive. For example, listening to soothing music, exercising, playing stress relieving games.
There are people who pull at their hair, twist hair, or pluck at an eyebrow when they are stressed. This stress relieving habit could lead to permanent hair loss or a bunch of very bad hair days. One suggestion is to divert attention away from hair pulling by substituting something else like tapping a pen or pencil against a desk, rolling loose marbles in the hands. These are thought to be great stress relievers.