Everyone has different ways of calming their nerves and dealing with stress, and sometimes that can include turning to a
few nervous habits, possibly without even realizing it. You might bite your nails, play with your hair, or tap your foot as a way of relieving pent up energy. But those aren't the only ways it can play out, especially if you take your zodiac sign into consideration.
"The signs have their own quirky habits, as they all are guided by and place importance upon different aspects of life,"
Molly Cardinal, a professional astrologer, tells Bustle. "The signs’ elements are an ideal starting point to understand what kind of energy they possess more than others," which helps explain why stress comes out for each sign in similar ways.
For example, "fire signs are going to resort to more drama and theatrics; air signs would rather take the feelings out of it and just
think about what’s going on," Cardinal says. "By comparison, the water signs react from an emotional standpoint, often losing track of the logic; and the earth signs would rather focus on what’s directly in front of them."
With that in mind, here are the most common ways each sign expresses their nervous energy, according to experts. Plus, ways you
redirect that nervousness, if the habit isn't working for you. 1 Aries (March 21 - April 19): Tapping Their Foot
need to move and often can't sit still, possibly tapping their foot or fiddling with things on their desk. And as a result, they start to crave a boost of adrenaline, Cardinal says.
Exercise is a great way for them to release this type of nervous energy, as it helps them get that boost, while also tiring them out. If they go for a run, play a sport, or do something exciting, they won't feel as antsy.
2 Taurus (April 20 - May 20): Shutting Down
Whenever Taurus is stressed, their knee-jerk reaction is often to shut down. They can even become stubborn, Cardinal says, and struggle to admit that flexibility could be a big help in solving whatever's going on.
And that's entirely understandable. As a sign, Taurus likes to have things
just so, and anything that takes them outside of their comfort zone can be overwhelming. That's why it can be helpful for Taurus to take good care of themselves when they're stressed by doing things that feel nice. Napping, taking a self-care day, inviting friends over for dinner — whatever will create a sense of calm and coziness can be good for them. 3 Gemini (May 21 - June 20): Pacing
When Gemini is nervous, their immediate reaction is to pace around the room, Cardinal says. This can be a way for them to clear their head and think, while also getting out some extra energy — just like Aries.
The thing is, Gemini has a tendency to not only pace, but to start multi-tasking while they pace. They might take phone calls, hold multiple conversations, or try to complete more than one task at a time, usually to the point where nothing actually gets completed, Cardinal says.
When stressed, Gemini can stand to
take a big deep breath and focus on one thing at a time. That will not only help them feel centered, but will result in actually getting things done. 4 Cancer (June 21 - July 22): Assuming The Worst
It's really easy for Cancer to assume the worst, especially when they're stressed out. "They will make up scary possibilities and possibly make themselves ill over them,"
Dr. Elisa Robyn, PhD, an astrologer and astrology transitions consultant, tells Bustle.
At first, thinking of the worst possible scenario can feel calming, but it's definitely a good idea to rein all that in, and be logical, too. Cancer gets a lot of comfort from friends and family, so these are the people they might want to reach out to when they're nervous, and ask for some support.
5 Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22): Seeking Attention
Leo's best coping strategy for stress is to get the spotlight on them, as they love to do. This is a sign that loves attention, and really enjoys being in the spotlight, Robyn says. And sometimes that can become excessive.
"Leo finds security in a adoration and respect," Robyn says. "When this is lacking they can turn into leadership-seeking missiles," which just means they can benefit from redirecting their energy away from seeking attention, and onto completing a project. This will help them feel more grounded, and get them through whatever's bringing them down.
6 Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22): Organizing
Whenever Virgo feels stressed, their immediate instinct is to start organizing. Organizing their desk, checking their calendar, writing to-do lists — anything that'll help them feel more in control.
The thing is, they often do this, Cardinal says, as a way to avoid taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture, since it's
much easier to micromanage the little things than it is to fix larger problems. But in order to really get a handle on their stress, they may want to practice doing just that. 7 Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22): Making Jokes
When Libra is nervous, they tend to gloss over their discomfort, Cardinal says, as a way of avoiding taking anything too seriously — as that can stress them out even more. They prefer to think of something much more pleasant, she says. And sometimes this includes making jokes.
Laughing off certain stressful situations can be a big help. If they can make light of a bad moment, or crack a joke as a way of feeling better, that's great. But Cardinal says it shouldn't be at the expense of eventually facing whatever's upsetting them, and being real about their emotions.
8 Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21): Pulling Away
"Scorpio feels emotions deeper than any other sign," Robyn says. And for this reason they have a tendency to pull away the moment things start to feel wrong to them. "All of this is to protect that inner self," she says. Scorpio might cancel plans, or stop texting back, all as a way of containing a situation.
While it's great that they know their limits, and know when to take care of themselves, it also never hurts to counteract this nervous habit by reaching out, instead of pulling away. Scorpio places a lot of importance on relationships, and might feel even more at ease if they
have a little support. 9 Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21): Hanging Out Alone
Another sign that has the tendency to pull away is Sagittarius, who might disappear when they get stressed in order to chill and have some personal time. "They escape in real time," Robyn says, "loving their freedom above all else."
This might look like canceling plans, going on a last-minute trip, or spending the weekend focusing on
exactly what they want to do. And as long as they don't feel too isolated, they should just do what they need to do. 10 Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19): Overworking
Capricorn deals with nervous energy by pouring themselves into whatever projects they have going on. This might mean staying late at work, or picking up extra shifts — they simply feel better when they're busy.
It can go the other way though, Robyn says, in that some Capricorns find themselves stuck at home. "They either overwork themselves or cannot get off the couch," she says. "They have a lovely sense of ambition, but need a jump start."
For Capricorn, the best way for them to deal with stressful times is by
finding a balance. They can work and get things done, while being sure to take plenty of personal time too. It's in that balance that they may feel better. 11 Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18): Overthinking
The moment Aquarius feels nervous, they start "overthinking, and then overthinking some more," Cardinal says, "turning the situation over and over until it’s lost its original meaning." They might start stressing out over other, unrelated things, or forget what even stressed them out in the first place.
While it's fine to mull over a problem, Aquarius can benefit from taking a step back, taking a deep breath, and trying to see things clearly again. They might benefit from chatting with a friend, who can keep them grounded in the present.
12 Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20): Daydreaming
Whenever Pisces feels nervous or overwhelmed, they tend to check out by daydreaming or changing the subject. "[They] would rather [...] talk about how life is simply a journey rather than looking at reality here on earth," Cardinal says. It's their way of putting things into perspective, and can provide them with a break from whatever's stressing them out — as long as they face it eventually.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with stress, whether it's through nervous habits like overthinking, pulling away, or pacing around the room. If these habits work for you, that's great. But if not, there are always other
outlets for nervousness and stress that you can try, too.
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