If you have been following me for very long, you know that I am frequently talking about anxiety and how it can impact not only your mental health but also your physical health. In this blog, I wanted to break down what high functioning anxiety is, what it looks like, and how you can take steps towards healing it.
High Functioning Anxiety Defined
High functioning anxiety is not recognized by the DSM-5 as a disorder so there is not a lot of research on it, but it is something that people in society heavily identify with. High functioning anxiety is when someone experiences anxiety and all of its symptoms but still functions well in society and manages daily life well.
Someone with high functioning anxiety can appear to have it all together, be well accomplished, not struggle in their daily life tasks, yet their body and mind is singing a different tune on the inside. Someone with high functioning anxiety is typically successful and well accomplished to society’s standards but overtime they might suffer from physical illness or mental distress.
Anxious feelings and thoughts as well as fear of failure and burnout take up the mental capacity of someone with high functioning anxiety. This could leave someone feeling sensitive, stressed, overwhelmed, and persistently anxious.
Some symptoms include
- Excessive worry and anxiety
- Sleep problems
- Persistent stress
- Trouble relaxing
- Feelings of being tired and drained over long periods of time
Do any of these resonate with you? If it does, know that you are not alone and it takes some individuals a long time to figure out that high functioning anxiety is a piece to the puzzle in order to get to the root of their struggles and find healing.
Causes of High Functioning Anxiety might include
- Family history of anxiety
- Trauma that was never healed and still lives in the body
- Stressful life events
- Adverse Childhood experiences that were never addressed
- Lack of proper self care, nutrition, and sleep
- Shyness or persistent nervousness
- Work or family life dynamics that are stressful and demanding
Now that you know some potential causes and symptoms of high functioning anxiety you might be asking yourself, what now? I wanted to give you a few takeaways so you can start to address your anxiety and next steps if you are ready to show up for yourself and take things a step further.
Self care to reduce anxiety
- A supportive night time routine that calms your nervous system. This can include a shower or bath, journaling or reading before bed, no blue light, deep breathing before falling asleep.
- Start to fuel your body with healthy food and nutrients. Meal planning, taking supplements, drinking water, and getting outside every day reduces your overall anxiety level.
- Find a community and practitioner that can support you through your healing process. Having people outside of work and home life that can support you in your goals can be really supportive along your process.
If you are ready to take things a step further and say yes to yourself, sign up for a CLARITY CALL with me to find out how I can support you further in your journey. High functioning anxiety is often the tip of the iceberg and I can help you put all of the pieces together in order to find real healing. If you have tried everything but still do not have the results you want, I have the tools that can help you. I am looking forward to connecting with you further.