Now, in the new manuscripts I’m writing (several short stories), I am very aware of when I use nodded, smiled, and gasped. If I am too intend to getting what’s in my mind into a document, I highlight the instances and make a note to replace them with something else that shows what the character is thinking or feeling.
That is a great idea, Jeanne.
Highlighting is one of my favorite tools. I just blogged at Fiction University about all the ways I use it. http://blog.janicehardy.com/2021/01/how-highlighter-tool-can-help-you-write.html