I’ve been thinking about fidgeting lately. Not that I’m going to adopt it — too late, been doing it all my life. I’ve been thinking about the role it plays in an ADDer’s life.
Fidgeting seems it can either diffuse boredom, dissipate excess energy, or focus you on the event at hand. I’ve seen it show up as that “sewing machine leg”, doodling, playing with split ends, clicking pens, malas and worry stones, or even picking at fingernail cuticles.
Then came Fidget Toys: Fidget Spinners, Fidget Cubes, Putty (like Thinking or Silly), and Fidgetland Fidgeters (my choice)., to name a few.
It seems to me fidgeting is all about texture and motion to deal with your energy and thoughts.
When fidgeting is to create focus that seems productive to me. Exercise before the focus-demanding event can help, but fidgeting during the event can help too. The idea would be to not distract others or yourself with the fidgeting activity.
On the other hand, when fidgeting is to burn excess energy it seems counterproductive, like burning off natural gas at an oil well. That energy could be used for other things than “waste”. The natural gas at an oil well could be collected and shipped off for its own refining and then used to generate heat. Nervous energy can be burned in other ways like to create a calm mind or a focused mind. You could exercise more creating both a healthier body and mind – that’s cogeneration at its best for ADDers.
Then there’s the fidgeting that is purely to alleviate boredom. Sometimes you can’t help but be in the situation you’re in that’s so boring. Fidgeting can be a good escape. It can also be a source of creativity to be used elsewhere. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could avoid boring situations? Well, let me know if you figure out a way to do that because I’d love to know that secret.
I’ve heard some probably ADDers from history have said that they were never bored because they would slip off into their imagination when boredom presented itself. Daydreaming, fidgeting — it all comes down to the same thing, in some ways.
The bottom line for me is to be aware of your behaviors and choose them rather than let them just happen. That’s the way of high performance and ADD harnessing — be mindful of your actions and choose to do what you do.
How do you fidget? Why do you fidget? This ADDer is curious….. 🙂