Tips For Managing High
To reduce the internal and external stress that makes up high-functioning anxiety, you should give yourself the permission and grace to release some of your burdens. It’s OK to need help, and although you can push yourself quite far, that doesn’t mean you always have to take it to the extreme.
Here are some tips to ease your anxiety and take better care of yourself:
Introversion And Anxiety Arent The Same
But first, a disclaimer, because youre reading a website about introversion:
Not all introverts experience anxiety, and yes, extroverts and ambiverts can have it, too. Introversion and anxiety arent the same thing introversion is defined as a preference for calm, minimally stimulating environments, whereas anxiety is a general term for mental health conditions that cause excessive fear, worry, and nervousness.
Nevertheless, for many introverts, anxiety is a regular part of their lives: According to Dr. Laurie Helgoe, its statistically more common in introverts than extroverts.
If youre reading this, you may be one of those unlucky introverts like me who battles it everyday.
The Obstacles To Women Overcoming High
There are many strategies to help you overcome the obstacles caused by high-functioning anxiety, but there are some common thoughts and beliefs that may be making it difficult for you, including:
- Appearances can be deceiving. Having the outward appearance of having it all together can make it difficult to recognize and identify high-functioning anxiety.
- How you process emotions. You may tend to bottle up your emotions or sweep them under the rug. Doing this might allow you to trick yourself into thinking there isnt a problem for a while.
- Not believing your struggles are valid. The fact that your struggle with anxiety isnt obvious to others doesnt mean its not real, but you may fear others will think youre being ungrateful or making a big deal out of nothing.
- Reluctance to seek help. When youre the dependable person whom others come to for help, it can be hard to admit when you need help. You may struggle with feeling like you arent good enough if you cant power through it on your own.
If you saw yourself in any of the descriptions above, we encourage you to take steps towards addressing your anxiety.
As a high-achieving woman, youre doing great things, and you deserve to enjoy them and feel your best. We want to help you feel on the inside the way others see you on the outside.
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What It Looks Like
Someone with high functioning anxiety may be the picture of success. You might arrive to work earlier than everyone else, impeccably dressed, with your hair neatly styled. Coworkers may know you as driven in your workyouve never missed a deadline or fallen short in a given task. Not only that, youre always willing to help others when asked. Whats more, your social schedule also seems busy and full.
What others might not know, and what you would never share, is that beneath the surface of a seemingly perfect exterior, youre fighting a constant churn of anxiety. It may have been nervous energy, fear of failure, and fear of disappointing others that drove you to success. Though you desperately need a day off work to get yourself together, youre often too afraid to call in sick. Nobody would ever believe something was wrong, because you always portrayed yourself as being fine.
Do you identify with the characteristics of a person with high functioning anxiety? Lets take a specific look at what you might experience or what others might observe of you in this case.
You Frequently Cancel Plans Because You Dont Have The Energy To Put On A Show
It takes a tremendous amount of energy to maintain the excessively high standards that can come with high-functioning anxiety.
Its exhausting to be worrying all the time and to create routines to increase certainty in order to cope, Rego said. This can result in bailing on plans youve made because you feel that you dont have the bandwidth to perform for others.
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How Is Anxiety Treated
Treatment for anxiety typically consists of a combination of psychotherapy and medication. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective form of psychotherapy for generalized anxiety disorder. CBT teaches specific skills to manage your worries and help you gradually return to the activities you have avoided because of anxiety.
Accept The Overwhelming Feelings
“Rather than trying to push away anxiety, which tends to be futile and results in feeling less in control, make room for anxiety,” Deibler suggests. ” is showing up to try to bring your attention to something and is a ‘normal’ experience.” Notice what feelings come up and bring them along for the ride.
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Just Because You Cant See My Illness Doesnt Mean Its Not There
One of the things I struggle most with as a person with high-functioning anxiety is the fact that other people, including my family and friends, easily excuse the times my anxiety is giving me problems, because I dont seem to have anything wrong with me. I still have sleepless and restless nights because of overthinking. I still learn every day how a normal person is supposed to react to certain situations. Its much harder to talk about it when it doesnt visibly appear like youre suffering. Alex
I think there are misconceptions that high-functioning anxiety is a lot like mania. But for me, thats not true. Most of my anxiety is internal. I do a damn good job of keeping it hidden, because I have a family to protect. I need people to think Im dealing with it in healthy ways. And I mostly am. But theres a big difference in being manic and being anxious. Steve
I have a career I love and a great relationship. I volunteer in my community. Im out there in the world living, but with an invisible health condition. Sometimes I get really resentful and angry about how hard I have to work to manage my health. I think part of it is genetic, part of it was family of origin experiences, and part of it is my lifestyle. Dana
How High Functioning Is Determined
There is little research on the topic of high functioning anxiety, but we do know that there is an optimal level of anxiety that fuels performance .
Based on this concept, your ability to function at a higher level might be increased if you had a mild to moderate level of anxiety .
IQ may also play a role in how well people with anxiety function in work and life. A 2005 study found that financial managers with high levels of anxiety made the best money managersas long as they also had a high IQ.
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Feeling Pushed By Fear
High achievers tend to be pulled toward their goals and by a desire to achieve them. They are happy with any steps made in the right direction. Perfectionists, on the other hand, tend to be pushed toward their goals by a fear of not reaching them and see anything less than a perfectly met goal as a failure.
What Is The Treatment For High
If high-functioning anxiety is essentially anxiety that hasnt yet led to real consequences in your daily life, why not address the symptoms before they have a chance to impact your functioning? While this might include therapy and/or medication, Dr. Spitalnick notes that not everyone who identifies with high-functioning anxiety necessarily needs that type of intervention.
For some people, addressing the symptoms of anxietyespecially the worry, the rumination, and the restlessnesscan happen through mindfulness and meditation practices. Anxiety is happening in the futureits the what ifs, its the hypothetical, things that have not happened yet, Shabazz says. way in which we can combat anxiety is to bring us back to the present moment because its nearly impossible to exist in the present moment and to be in the future.
But addressing the symptoms is just one piece of the puzzle. Its also important to take a long, hard look at the environment that may be fueling and reinforcing this high-functioning anxiety. Are you in an industry where unrealistic and unsustainable workloads are the norm? Have you taken on more obligations than any one person can reasonably tackle on their own? Are you only functioning because youve been told by your community or your peers that you need to put on a brave face and not let anyone see you sweat?
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Your Mind Never Stops Even When Youre Exhausted
People with high-functioning anxiety might conceptually recognize the need for balance and rest in order to keep using their anxiety effectively, but stopping to relax or tune out isnt always easy, Clark said.
For example, evenings are usually filled with chores, or guilt about not getting chores done if theres rest. And when you do attempt rest, its usually in the form of tasks or hobbies that are less taxing.
Treatment For High Functioning Anxiety
When you come to counseling for anxiety, our clinical psychologists will do a mental health assessment to get to know you as an individual. They will try to first understand your anxiety, your mental health history and how your anxiety is impacting your life right now. They will then help you come up with an individual treatment plan.
But all of that is pretty broad, so you are still wondering exactly how we will treat your anxiety, right? Our therapists most often use mindfulness techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques in counseling sessions for anxiety. Our clinical psychologists will help you identify triggers for your anxiety, be more present in the moment , learn coping skills for when anxiety comes and help you reframe how you look at your anxiety. In therapy, you can spend time working on relaxation skills, mindfulness and meditation skills and various ways of slowing down and learning to cope with and respond to the discomfort that surfaces when slowing down. Additionally, in therapy, you can attempt to challenge and re-program the perfectionistic belief systems that drive this type of anxiety.
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You Seem Like You Have It All Together But Getting Through The Day Is Often Difficult
Understanding that a key way of managing anxiety is to take control, people with high-functioning anxiety tend to be planners and list-makers, Clark said. In staying on top of things, they can keep their anxiety in motion, which helps them live their life optimally.
But because you constantly expect yourself to go the extra mile in every area of your life, these lists and schedules can be more grueling than is reasonable, Clark added. As your anxiety builds and fatigue sets in, you might find yourself prioritizing your time in the form of avoidance or flaky behavior, which can exacerbate your anxiety even more.
You Have Aches Repetitive Habits Or Tics
According to psychotherapist Annie Wright, anxiety sometimes manifests physically in the body as muscle tension or bodily aches and pains. Similarly, you might unconsciously pick at the skin around your nails , tap your foot, scratch your scalp, or do other repetitive things that get your nervous energy out even if you appear composed in other ways.
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What Is Mold Toxicity
Mold toxicity is a collection of symptoms resulting from exposure to mycotoxins due to mold growth in indoor environments.
Airborne mold spores themselves are largely harmless, as they float around naturally both indoors and outdoors. But it’s when they find a moist, stagnant place to grow that they become a problem.
As they multiply, mold spores then produce mycotoxins, which cause an inflammatory reaction by your immune system. Mold spores commonly live under ceiling tiles, flooring, and carpet where there’s moisture and little ventilation.
Different mold species grow indoors, as well as the species commonly referred to as ‘toxic black mold’. Black mold exposure is dangerous and should be treated for removal by a professional mold remediator.
Signs And Symptoms Of High
In contrast to those with a formal, clinically diagnosed anxiety disorder, a person with high-functioning anxiety typically wont have the intense physical symptoms that can stand in the way of everyday life. While they may have physical reactions such as sweaty palms, increased heart rate, and/or butterflies in the stomach, these symptoms arent typically intense enough to affect daily activities or to be noticed by others.
Many people have compared the symptoms of high-functioning anxiety to the formal diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder . Both conditions involve a vague, ever-present feeling of anxiety, but the high-functioning version of anxiety doesnt involve the specific triggers, avoidant behaviors, or intense physical reactions that are symptoms of GAD.
People who suffer from high-functioning anxiety are able to push through their anxious feelings and fulfill obligations with their families, friends, and careers. They conquer these feelings despite often having discomfort involving interactions with people, environments, or situations that cause them stress.
There are many physical and behavioral symptoms that are a part of high-functioning anxiety. Some of these symptoms include:
The goals people with high-functioning anxiety set for themselves are often unrealistic or impossible. Failure to meet their goals can further reinforce their self-doubts and constant feelings of tension and not being good enough.
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Ways To Cope With High Functioning Anxiety
High functioning anxiety is problematic and uncomfortable, but there are ways to survive and thrive with the condition. Those with high functioning anxiety must avoid quick fixes and too-good-to-be-true schemes. Lifestyle changes can help alleviate anxiety, but only with consistency.
Here are nine coping strategies to try that can work well for those with high functioning anxiety:6