What is “high-functioning anxiety”?
High-functioning anxiety is a mental or affective state wherein a person feels anxious. This is mostly happening among perfectionists and high achievers. They try to remain in control of their circumstances. But when achievement, perfectionism, and busyness are beyond control, nervousness will set in. As a result, they may engage in appropriate behaviors such as nail biting and foot tapping.
People who experience “high-functioning anxiety” want to stay focus, and neutralize the symptom. They want to look alright. But for some reason, they can’t. Their negative thoughts become worries that make them even more anxious.
Hidden anxiety symptoms affect in some areas of basic functioning such as responding to text messages. Laughing is still doable but hides uneasiness.
However, high-functioning anxiety does not impair a person’s daily functioning all the time. In fact, it helps us to go ahead. It serves as fuel to achieve more, to have more, and improve.
High-functioning anxiety makes you feel like you’re incapable. You feel like you’re not doing your best. Always anxious about the “what if”. You may also believe in the illusion that no one loves you.
Signs and Symptoms of High-Functioning Anxiety
People with anxiety disorder think about the world in a very different way. They have excessive worry and anxiety. They always feel like something bad will happen even without apparent reason. Such thinking pattern never stops. As a result, they are in a constant race against those negative thoughts and fears. The longer it runs, the worse it may become for anxious people.
People with high-functioning anxiety struggle to control their feelings. They tend to engage in several activities hoping to ease their internal state. They act as normal as possible in any social situation. But there’s a day to day battle inside them.
Treating High-Functioning Anxiety
Hidden anxiety symptoms can be treated in many ways. This includes cognitive behavioral therapy, developing effective coping strategies, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and of course medication.
The growing body of research findings found that meditation and mindfulness are effective in calming human emotional states. In fact, ancient people had already practiced these techniques. Above all, these treatments are free.
However, meditation and mindfulness require a long-term practice. The nature of human mind makes it hard to be mindful of one’s current mental state. Because human thought is constantly moving, changing, and exploring. But practice can solve this challenge.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.