Do you have a habit of shaking your legs (without you knowing)? Or do you notice others shaking their legs when they are sitting in the exam hall, reading a book or even when they are having their meals?
For some people, shaking their legs has become a habit for them, to the point that they feel uncomfortable if they are told to stay still. For others, they may not even know that they are shaking their legs until they are told.
Now, before moving on to the solution, let’s look at this weird habit.
Why you shouldn’t shake your legs
In some Asian families, parents tell their children not to shake their legs as this means shaking their luck away.
Of course, this is just a superstition. But other than superstition, there is one very obvious reason why you shouldn’t shake your legs: because it might annoy other people around you.
You might think, what’s the big deal with shaking legs? It does not affect anyone else. In fact, it does. Some people shake their legs so much that they cause vibration to the whole table.
And of course, not to mention a sign of disrespect: imagine you’re sitting down, making a presentation to hundreds of CEOs…and your leg is constantly shaking (without you being aware of). You’re not just going to lose the deal, but your reputation as well.
Worst of all? You didn’t know know why.
The Possible Causes of Leg-Shaking
So why so people shake their legs? Many do it due to immense concentration. It is the same as pacing around the room and biting fingernails.
Studies have shown that the areas that control cognitive and motor functions overlap with each other in the brain, which suggests that it might become easier for people to concentrate when they are doing something physical. It can also be a sign of relieving stress and anxiety,
Shaking of legs can also be due to restlessness. People with hyperactivity finds it difficult to stay still completely so the shaking of their legs is a way for them to relieve that boredom or restlessness.
In the past, there’s no “fidget spinner” so you couldn’t use it to shake off your restlessness. But hey, you’ll be shocked to know that the solution isn’t about using fidget spinner. Read on.
The ‘Restless Legs Syndrome’ condition
There is a condition called the “Restless Legs Syndrome”, which is a disorder of the part of the nervous system that causes an urge to move the legs.
People with this syndrome will have an uncomfortable sensation in their legs or even other parts of their bodies, giving them an urge to move their legs to relieve the sensation. The sensations are usually worse at rest, especially when lying or sitting.
If this syndrome is mild, one can simply distract himself by engaging in other activities such as yoga, stretchings and hot baths. If the syndrome is serious, one needs to consult a doctor.
Now, if it’s just a habit, what should you do?
The simplest but most effective way to stop leg-shaking
To shake your way out of this habit, the simplest yet most effective way is to distract yourself or be more conscious of your movements to stop this habit.
Sounds unhelpful? But really, it works.
Find an item that you carry around, and designate it as the “shake-leg cue”. For example, your can designate your watch as a cue. The moment you see down, you’ll the watch, and the watch would remind you that you’re shaking your legs.
As time goes by, you’ll often find yourself consciously breaking your bad habit, and eventually, develop a whole new habit: no shaking of legs.
Like what many have said, sometimes, the simplest solution is the best solution.
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