Living with high functioning anxiety

Living with high functioning anxiety

The mental health fallout of the pandemic will be seen for many years to come. The nation has undergone a huge shift in daily life, increasing mental health issues like anxiety and depression. So much so that one in six reported experiencing a common mental health problem like anxiety and depression in any given week in England. High functioning anxiety is not a recognised mental health diagnosis; rather, it is a term that refers to people living with anxiety. 

To be a high functioning person with anxiety means you have frequent intense, excessive and persistent worry about everyday situations while on the outside, you appear calm. On the surface, you appear to be successful and put together — excelling in both your work and personal life. However, the reality is that the way you feel on the inside may be very different.

The main characteristics include worrying, fear, overthinking and overanalysing, which can negatively impact a person’s life. For some, this can be debilitating, and simple tasks or events can now seem much more significant, causing stress and discomfort.

High functioning anxiety can negatively leak into your work life and personal relationships. However, it’s true to say that there are positive traits of people with high-functioning anxiety, including high-achieving, organised and driven.

So what are the methods for controlling this type of anxiety? High functioning anxiety is something that can be helped by equipping yourself with the right tools. 

Global Mental Healthtech company, Onebright explains the six ways to restore peace of mind. 

A problem shared is a problem halved.

Identify close friends or family to confide in about how anxiety is impacting your life. As someone who is high functioning, it is not always obvious, so loved ones may miss the subtle signs. Speaking openly, without fear of being judged, can help massively and will increase feelings of acceptance. You never know; your loved one could be going through the same thing! 

Recognise your symptoms 

A good way of coping with high anxiety levels is to be fully aware of the triggers and symptoms. Understanding that these actions aren’t justified is the first step to overcoming them. Feelings of anxiety and panic tend to interfere with day-to-day life, making regular activities challenging to control. It’s important to recognise the instances where anxiety levels are heightened so you can start to work through them. 

Stay active

Physical activity has an extremely positive impact on mental health. Exercise can boost happy chemicals in your body, improve sleep and fuel energy. Participate in activities you enjoy and try to do social events with your friends. This activity improves mental health by increasing self-esteem and cognitive function. A healthy lifestyle goes hand in hand with staying active, so it’s important to live by a good diet. Practices like meditation or yoga are proven remedies for those suffering from anxiety disorders as it brings a calmness and a clearer state of mind. 

Law of attraction 

‘Manifesting’ or the practice of thinking aspirational thoughts to make them real has never been more popular. Engaging with anxiety symptoms can be a tough habit to break, and the more energy you give something, the more power it has over you. Partnered with mindfulness, you can start to change the way you think and perceive these anxious thoughts, therefore, reducing their control over you.  

Baby steps 

Someone with high functioning anxiety won’t necessarily feel less anxious overnight. It takes time but with the proper guidance and perseverance, so remember to celebrate the small wins. Lay out milestones or goals for the future, no matter the size, and work towards those. Find support from friends or family who may feel the same as you, and together, you can work towards a calmer, less anxious life. 

Ask for help

High-functioning anxiety responds very well to targeted therapy and other appropriate interventions, including limited use of medications and training in holistic healing methodologies. While we continue to navigate through the pandemic, CBT therapists can provide Remote Therapy sessions in the comfort of your home via telephone or digital channels. 

Onebright’s online therapy – was designed to give clients access to flexible cognitive behavioural therapy, which is helpful for mild to moderate mental health issues like anxiety, low mood, or financial and work-related stress.

At Onebright, our goal is to encourage vulnerable people to stop dismissing signs of depression, reach out for the support they need and get back to feeling like themselves. 

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