For many years, I've had a behaviour of rocking in my chair when I'm anxious. I can first remember this in my teen years. By rocking in my chair, I don't mean what the cool kids do by leaning back and hoping the chair doesn't tip over and send you to the floor. This is an upper body rock, forward and back. I've recently learned this type of behaviour is called Stimming.
Stimming or self-stimulating behaviour includes arm or hand-flapping, finger-flicking, rocking, jumping, spinning or twirling, head-banging and complex body movements. (Source: National Autistic Society)
Whilst the rocking was at its worst when I was young, I've noticed that it's come back with remote working. I don't do it when people can witness it as I find it embarrassing. Working alone in a room has enabled this behaviour to return.
The rocking transformed to leg "bouncing" when others were present, like in an office setting. However, I've been able to control that for many years now.
I can clearly associate this behaviour with anxiety. As I get older, I suspect more and more that I may be on the autism spectrum, based on the stimming and the irrational reactions I've have to adverse events in my life, regardless of the severity. If I had a diagnosis, what would that mean? Would my life change in any way? I'm not sure. Given my difficulties with handling stress, it may be time to explore my options.
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