If you're naturally clumsy, you may end up looking like your life makes you stage your own episode of The 3 Stooges. Whether you're tripping over your own foot or knocking over objects (and people!), there are steps you can take to solve the problem.
Method 1 of 4: Learning More About Clumsiness
Step 1. Understand how body coordination works
The human body is a complex system, and the operations that control motor coordination can fail. There are 4 parts of the body responsible for it, and a malfunction in any one of these areas (or several of them) can cause clumsiness.
- The eyes. They interpret information about the position the body occupies in space.
- The brain and nervous system. The brain and nervous system read the messages and define how the body responds to stimuli from the physical environment.
- The cerebellum. The cerebellum is a place in the brain that deals with balance and coordination.
- Muscles and bones. Muscles and bones respond to commands from the brain and move the body.
Step 2. Understand what can cause clumsiness
There are several factors that can make you clumsy, and they can be chronic or temporary. Some of these factors can be serious problems, while others can be treated at home. Some common causes for clumsiness include:
- head injuries
- Joint hypermobility
- Vision problems
- Some types of medicine
- Drug use or alcohol consumption
- stress and fatigue
- muscle weakness or disuse
Step 3. Measure your accident propensity
There aren't many studies that try to explain why some people are more likely to have accidents, but some research suggests that those who are may suffer from lapses in attention or “cognitive failures”. The cognitive failure questionnaire developed by experimental psychologist Donald Broadbent can help quantify your clumsiness. Find below some questions that are part of the questionnaire: the more times you answer “Yes”, the more likely you are to suffer from such “cognitive failures”.
- "Do you have trouble noticing road signs?"
- "Do you get left and right mixed up when you're showing someone the way?"
- "Do you bump into people often?"
- "Do you forget which way to turn when you're on a street you know but don't frequent?"
- "Do you forget where you put a book or newspaper?"
- "Can't you find what you want to buy at the supermarket (even though it's there)?"
- "Do you drop objects often?"
- "Do you often throw away objects you wanted to keep and accidentally keep those you wanted to throw away (like throwing away the matchbox and putting used toothpicks in your pocket)?"
Method 2 of 4: Training Your Body to Stop Being Clumsy
Step 1. Increase your torso strength
Trunk muscles, such as the abdomen, back, and pelvis, help the body maintain stability and coordination. Strengthening the muscles in the region will give you better control over your body's movements, which will help reduce your awkwardness.
- Abdominal exercises, such as the conventional variant, the bicycle abdominal, the “Superman” and the various types of “planks”, strengthen the torso and can be done at home or at the gym.
- Devices such as a stability ball or balance board can help you strengthen your torso and gain balance at the same time.
Step 2. Develop your flexibility and agility
In addition to strengthening your torso, you should also improve your flexibility to reduce clumsiness. Studies show that athletes who focus only on strength training and do not work to improve agility and flexibility have 70% more chance of suffering again from some type of injury, while recurrence is only 8% among those who they do.
- In addition to obvious exercises like yoga and Pilates, activities like martial arts and dancing can also help improve flexibility.
- Daily stretching also helps improve flexibility. It increases blood flow to muscles and allows joints to move more freely.
Step 3. Work to improve balance
Strengthening the torso and increasing flexibility are important components of training to avoid accidents, and the same goes for balance. There are several simple exercises that can be done daily to improve it.
Shifting your body weight from side to side, standing on one leg, and the “Bakasana” position can help improve balance
Step 4. Perform vestibulo-ocular exercises
Vestibulo-ocular exercise is a far-fetched nomenclature for activities that improve eye-hand coordination. This type of exercise makes your brain, labyrinth and vestibular system (partially responsible for balance), your eyes and body work in sync.
- Try starting with this simple exercise: while sitting, tilt your head down until you see the floor, then do the same towards the ceiling. Gradually move your head to follow the direction of your eyes. Repeat the process 10 times.
- You can also try this vision stabilization exercise: while sitting, focus your gaze on a fixed point that is between 1 and 10 meters away from you. Move your head from side to side while maintaining focus on the object. Repeat the process 3 times, and do the exercise 3 times a day.
- The above exercises can cause dizziness, so take it easy. If you feel dizzy, take a break to rest.
Method 3 of 4: Decreasing the probability of having an accident
Step 1. Pay attention to what you are doing
Clumsy people tend not to pay much attention to their surroundings. As you get up and start walking, look around and see if there are any objects you might step on, bump or bump into.
Step 2. Remove objects from the floor
It's easy to trip over things when the floor is full of objects. Cleaning the floor of your home or office will help reduce the likelihood of having an accident.
- If your home doesn't have clean, unobstructed hallways, you may want to change the way your furniture is positioned. This can help prevent you from tripping or bumping into objects.
- Putting double-sided adhesive tape on the ends or putting on non-slip mats are actions that can prevent accidents.
Step 3. Change your shoe type
If you have balance problems, wearing shoes with high heels or flat soles can disrupt your center of gravity and make you more likely to have an accident. Look for shoes with firm, loose soles that make you stick better to the ground. If you are forced to wear high heels, look for ones that are thicker and provide more stability.
Step 4. Reduce anxiety
You are more distracted when you are stressed or anxious, and this can cause you to have accidents and appear more awkward. Take whatever steps you can to lessen stress in your everyday life and you will become less clumsy.
- Training your mind, an activity that helps you focus your attention on your actions, not only reduces stress, it also helps reduce the “cognitive flaws” that cause an individual to be clumsy.
- Try to get plenty of sleep. Research shows that sleep deprivation can cause physical symptoms, including an increased likelihood of accidents and heightened clumsiness.
Step 5. Avoid judging yourself
Being clumsy can cause a spiral of shame and self-judgment, which can in turn increase anxiety and cause even more clumsiness. Understand that everyone makes a mistake at some point, and that even chronic clumsiness doesn't mean there's something wrong with you.
If you feel embarrassed after slipping or bumping somewhere, take a few deep breaths. Deep, controlled breathing can increase your calm and make you collect yourself, as well as interrupting the cycle of self-punishment
Method 4 of 4: Know When Professional Help Is Needed
Step 1. Learn to interpret some signals
While some people are naturally clumsy, and we all have our times of stumbling, illnesses such as diabetes, strokes, Parkinson's, and dyspraxia (a disease that mostly affects children) can also cause coordination problems and lead to lack of ability. way.
- If you experience frequent nausea and dizziness, this could be a sign of abnormal blood sugar levels (diabetes). If such symptoms cause a frequent problem, see a doctor.
- Sudden numbness or weakness, difficulty seeing, and loss of balance or coordination can all be signs of a stroke. Call 911 immediately if you have any of these symptoms.
- If you have frequent muscle or joint problems, such as joint pain or dislocation, you may have a problem called joint hypermobility. Although this illness does not lead to death, talk to your doctor if you experience these symptoms frequently.
Step 2. Understand the side effects of the medications you take
Many of them, including psychiatric, migraine, and even anti-allergic, can cause dizziness, loss of balance, and lack of coordination as side effects. These symptoms can be amplified if alcohol is consumed. If you take any medication that causes these side effects, pay extra attention to your surroundings to reduce the chances of an accident.
If medication side effects become impossible to control, talk to a doctor. He will change the medicine
Step 3. Go to the doctor
If after training you still have coordination problems, perhaps your clumsiness is a symptom of a more serious illness. Go to the doctor and explain the symptoms to find out if there is any treatment available.
- When getting up to walk, take a quick look around the room to be aware of any objects in your path.
- If you are aware that you have coordination problems, don't make any sudden movements or you could have accidents.
- Remember: practice makes perfect. You won't stop being clumsy overnight, but with proper training and extra attention, you can improve.