• 4 Things You Should Know About What High Functioning Anxiety Is

    Anxiety is the most common mental health issue on the planet. Even so, it manifests in innumerable ways. We all know the signs typically associated with anxiety, e.g. worry, sweaty palms, shaky voice, and so on. But how many of you would add “detail-oriented” or “outgoing”? When it comes to high-functioning anxiety, this can be the norm.

    Yes, you can have an anxiety disorder but still, appear confident and organized. You tackle your to-do list with ease and people may come to you for support and reliability. This is because most people with high-functioning anxiety are truly skilled at masking their emotions.

    4 Things You Should Know About What High Functioning Anxiety Is

    1. It Usually Takes the Form of Perfectionism and People Pleasing

    Anxiety is not viewed as a positive or productive trait. Therefore, in a culture that praises high achievers, the person with high functioning anxiety strives to present a strong image to the world. This manifests in signs and symptoms like:

    • Overthinking and rumination
    • Needing reassurance from others
    • Fear of failure
    • Obsessively organized and punctual
    • Insomnia
    • Difficulty saying no
    • Going to extremes to help others
    • Racing thoughts
    • Fatigue
    • Excessive worry
    • Comparing oneself to others
    • Discomfort when expressing emotions

    2. People with High Functioning Anxiety Struggle to Remain Mindful

    The present moment is all we have. But, when high functioning anxiety is an issue, you do a lot of “time traveling.” You live in the past — dwelling on mistakes or perceived mistakes. Also, you project yourself into the future, always wondering “What if…?” Such an inability to enjoy the moment reduces your ability to relax and stay mindful. You are always “someplace else.”

    woman staring off camera smiling3. High Functioning Anxiety Can Lead to Burnout and Self-Medication

    It’s a lot of work to manage anxiety. When you’re fixated on not just managing but fully hiding anxiety, it is exhausting. You are always busy and even so, the intrusive thoughts arrive. To deal with fatigue and pressure, it’s not unusual to lean on unhealthy coping mechanisms. These may include disordered eating, substance abuse, or exercise obsession.

    4. Healthy Coping Strategies Exist for High Functioning Anxiety

    When a sense of feeling overwhelmed strikes, what you need most is balance. Here are some suggestions:

    • Identify and accept what is happening: There is no shame in having high-functioning anxiety. The sooner you accept it, the sooner you can get the help you need.
    • Practice all-around self-care: Your regimen should include regular sleep patterns, healthy eating habits, daily exercise, and the cultivation of relaxation techniques like meditation.
    • Actively seek out joy and relaxation: When creating your latest to-do list, include activities that ease stress.
    • Name your emotions: Recognize what you are feeling instead of pushing it down. You can also literally name your anxiety. Give it a name and talk back to it as a form of retaining power.
    • Lean on your support system: Allow trusted friends and family members to know what you’re going through. Ask for their help and support.

    Talk to a Therapist

    You do not have to diagnose yourself to realize you need some guidance. Especially if you don’t have a lot of people to turn to, it makes a whole lot of sense to talk with a trained professional. Anxiety is a convincing liar and can persuade you that you’re doing fine. In reality, you would benefit greatly from committing to weekly therapy sessions.

    I invite you to reach out and connect for anxiety therapy. You do not have to struggle on a daily basis and drive yourself into further pressure. Let’s set you up for a free and confidential consultation. It’s the first step on the well-trodden road to recovery.