Why do we fidget when nervous?

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Shabina Akhtar explains: All of us like to be approved and appreciated. But most often we are unsure of how others may perceive us. In the bottom of our heart, we are all afraid of rejection and it is this fear that makes us nervous. To compound the problem, the increasing nervousness makes it even more difficult to gain that approval, and this in turn intensifies the basis of our fears.

Fidgeting and nail biting are the physical manifestations of nervousness. Haven’t we all felt a sense of restlessness or an urge to just walk up and down across the floor while waiting to be interviewed ?


Nervousness has to do with anxiety. The physical symptoms of nervousness vary from person to person. Some may stammer and stutter, others may fidget while there are a few who feel an urgent need to rush to the washroom. One might also suffer from severe palpitation and profuse sweating.

The feeling of nervousness does have a biological explanation.  When one is excited (here nervous), the adrenal gland   located above the kidneys  releases a hormone called noradrenaline, which is also a neurotransmitter (helps in transmission of signals in the nervous system), says Dr J.R. Ram, consultant psychiatrist, Apollo Gleneagles, Calcutta.

Noradrenaline is a stress hormone that affects parts of the human brain where attention and responding actions are controlled. Along with epinephrine (another hormone), it affects the fight-or-flight response, activating the sympathetic nervous system to directly increase heart rate, release energy from glucose and glycogen, and increase muscle readiness.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

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