Are You a Hair-Twirler, Nail-Biter or Knuckle-Cracker?

Are you a toe-tapper, hair-twirler, eye-blinker, head-nodder, nail-biter, knuckle-cracker, skin-picker, lip-licker, shoulder-shrugger or a chin-stroker?

Call it a nervous habit or tic, almost everybody has at least one — whether they are aware of it or not.

Tics exist on a spectrum ranging from barely noticeable to extremely annoying to potentially injurious.

While research has focused mostly on the more severe forms associated with neurobehavioral disorders such as Tourette syndrome and autism, there’s a growing realization of the pervasiveness of so-called repetitive, nonfunctional motor behaviors and that the degree to which you engage in them is a barometer of your peace of mind.

“Our stressful society definitely brings it out more,” said Dr. Alon Mogilner, a neurosurgeon at New York University Langone Medical Center. “It’s a delicate balance within the circuitry of the brain so you are able to tamp down on things you don’t want to do.” To read more from KATE MURPHY, click here.