I have a whole list of overly-used words. Nodded. Smiled. Gasped. Raised her (or his) eyebrow. In one of my novels, I used “nodded” 133 times. I pared it down to 20 times.
“As” was the very first thing I notice I used a lot. She did this as that was happening. She smiled as he was talking. She fell asleep as the wind rustled the curtains. And on and on and on.
In the current story I’m writing I know I’ve used “nodded” too often and that when I edit, I’m going to have to find other ways to convey what needs to be conveyed.