You may be doing it as you read this wondering why do I pull my beard?
To be honest it is something I have found myself doing from time to time. It occurs when I am stressed or anxious about something.
Are you anxious? Is something bothering you? Maybe you feel like you just can’t get ahead and are always chasing your tail.
I can confidently say that you pull your beard when something is on your mind. I’m talking from experience.
What Makes Me Want To Pull My Beard?
The official term for hair pulling is trichotillomania. It is an anxiety disorder which affects many people who pull at their beard, hair, eyebrows etc.
Similar to nail biting and picking at skin, it is compulsive.
It ranges from mild and manageable to severe compulsions which can lead to bald patches.
Pulling your hair can be embarrassing so it is often done in private. Unfortunately it can lead to a dark spiral. When bald patches appear it knocks your confidence which makes you want to avoid public places.
The exact cause of trichotillomania is unknown but it seems to be common in high stress or traumatic situations.
Why Do I Pull My Beard?
For me personally, I don’t do it as often as I did. I think when I lost my mum in 2014 that triggered it for me. That was an unexpected traumatic event which would possibly set it off.
Throughout my time building Braw Beard, I have instilled many daily habits that keep my productivity and mindset at a high level. This definitely helps my stress management.
However, I’m human like you, I get anxious every now and then and find myself playing with a strand of beard hair.
I’m aware enough now to recognise the situation and stop. After all, I need my beard for this job!
What are the remedies?
Like many mental health issues, it takes a deep deep understanding of the individual to get to the root of the problem (no pun intended, but it did make you smile eh).
But I’ll share what works for me in the hope that it works for you.
When I am aware of pulling tension on my beard, I stop. Recognising the behaviour is the first step. Although you may feel a little relief once the hair is out, you’ll feel the regret not long afterwards.
Then I contemplate how I am feeling, am I stressed? What caused that behaviour?
Have I deviated from my daily habits and let my discipline slip? If yes, I get straight back to work.
My daily habits are simple things like writing a list of everything that needs done that day. You’ll be surprised how satisfying it is to tick something off your list.
Am I putting something off because I don’t feel like doing it? Then I kick myself up the hoop and get it done. Once it’s done, it’s off the list and it’s not stressing you anymore.
Ticking small things off a list is accumulating small wins. These small wins lead to winning the day. Do that daily, you win the week. Do that weekly… you get the idea.
Keep a positive mindset.
If you follow the Braw Beard social media channels and this blog section of the website, you’ll see me post more about mindset stuff recently. As Braw Beard reaches 10 years old, I want to start to share more and help others.
Trust me, I have been through major highs and major lows on this journey so far. Most of them are found in the booklet that goes out with every order.
You need to keep a positive mindset. This will alleviate stress and anxiety which will reduce the urge to pull your beard.
Write a list, tick off tasks. Drink water. Exercise. Read. Dance, play, sing, whatever makes you happy!
No-one will change your mindset for you, that’s on you.