Do you have a great work ethic but still procrastinate? Do you have a fear of always making a mistake at your job or at school? Are you always afraid of letting people down? If you said yes to these, you are probably suffering from high functioning anxiety.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), around 19% of adults in the United States have an anxiety disorder. Although high functioning anxiety is not a recognized mental health diagnosis, it is a term used to identify people who live with anxiety but don’t have any difficulty with functioning in their life. People view you as, together, successful and driven, the usual Type A Personality. But many people who live with high functioning anxiety are able to hide their symptoms so this person could be your father, sister, wife or best friend.
Even though most people who live with high functioning anxiety are not at risk of hurting themselves or others, it’s still a terrible life to live where your fear dictates your thoughts, moods and actions. Here are a few tips to help you fight against high functioning anxiety.
1. Recognize that your negative thoughts are just that, thoughts. Don’t engage with those thoughts as they creep into your mind.
2. Look at your daily routine. Limit your caffeine intake, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and get a good amount of sleep.
3. Get a therapist. A therapist can teach you techniques to manage your anxiety, such as deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation.
4. Create an affirmation and say it everyday!
5. Go with your first instinct. Too many times people who suffer from high functioning anxiety overthink and end up not doing something because they have analyzed all of the negative outcomes. Don’t overthink, act.