Cracking your knuckles may be the way you relieve tension and distract yourself but it is also an annoying habit. That cracking and snapping sound irritates most people around you. It may also be the cause of knuckles that are thick and gnarled as you age. Avoid the complications by following these steps to stop cracking your knuckles.
- Distract yourself. For many people, cracking knuckles is a way to relieve tension without an outward display of anxiety or release. For others it is a habit that started out as stress relief and is now a subconscious habit. Start to get at the root cause for your knuckle popping by distracting yourself during stressful situations. When you notice the urge to crack your knuckles or find yourself doing it, change your action to tapping your fingers, swinging your feet under the desk or get up and walk around.
- Sit on your hands. If you need a sudden move to stop cracking your knuckles, then sit on your hands. Slide your hands under your body and count to ten to get yourself under control.
- Breathe deep to relax. When you notice a need for stress relief, try to get it under control before you start wringing your hands or cracking your knuckles. Take several deep breaths to relax your nerves and calm your hands.
- Keep your hands full. If you crack your knuckles when you are bored there might be an easy fix. Decide to keep your hands full by holding a bottle of water all the time or keep a pen in your hand.
- Moisturize frequently. Keep a bottle of moisturizer on your desk and on hand so you can moisturize often. Applying moisturizer will relieve tension in your knuckles as you rub it in and it will also warm your hands. The warmth will sooth any pain you may feel if the cartilage in your knuckles is sore or inflamed.
- Practice pencil tricks. Consider occupying your hands with pencil tricks. These tricks will not only distract you, they will also improve your dexterity. Start by holding the pencil between your thumb and forefinger. Then adjust your fingers to roll the pencil over your forefinger and down under your middle finger. Keep working the pencil and twirling it around between your fingers.
- Wear mittens. If you still cannot keep your hands from cracking knuckles, you might consider the last resort. Wear mittens. You might feel a little awkward sliding them on at the office or during warm months but after a few days of having your fingers inaccessible, you might find your nasty habit has been cured.
With these simple steps you can stop cracking your knuckles. Your friends and family will appreciate you giving up this exasperating habit.