Type 4: The Fidgeter
The Fidgeter needs to do some form of exercise to find even marginal stress relief. “Physically passive relaxation techniques, such as creative visualization and meditation, often don’t work,” says Dr. Jason Kornrich, PhD, a psychologist at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, New York.
You Know You’re One If . . . You’ve got energy to burn. The very thought of sitting still through a manicure drives you batty.
You feel destressed after exercise—even though during your workout, your mind wanders...to the memo you didn’t write, what to buy your mother-in-law for her birthday, whether the cat is due for shots.
You’re a master at multitasking—you put on your makeup while getting breakfast for your toddler while talking on your cell phone and sipping your coffee.
Stress Rx: Fidgeters need to engage body and mind for a deep sense of mental and physical relaxation. Your best bet: a walking meditation, where you concentrate on feeling your feet touch the ground with each step and silently repeat a soothing phrase such as “easy does it.” This exercise, says Seskevich says, helps you “focus your mind in the present moment.” Otherwise, you’re apt to walk and worry and deprive yourself of that much-needed mental break.
Exercise in general is also beneficial—but it’s important to choose an activity that demands your undivided attention. Sign up for a team sport or a dance classes with elaborate drills. Terrain-challenging mountain biking also works well.
For stressful moments when exercise is definitely not an option, “try progressive muscle relaxation,” suggests Dr. John Harvey, PhD, author of Total Relaxation. To do this, simply tighten or contract the muscles in one area of your body and hold for five or more seconds. Then release the muscles and move on to the next area.