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Are you someone who is able to get through your days organized and successful but inside you think you would fall apart if you’re not organized? Do you have a strong work ethic but inside you fear getting fired or disappointing your boss if you make a mistake? If you can relate to this, you could be struggling with anxiety. That is what we are talking about today. Recognizing the signs of, taking steps to change the stress of being high functioning with anxiety.

Outside vs Inside of High Functioning Anxiety.

It may be hard to recognize this type of anxiety within you if you had an upbringing that expected close to perfection with little grace. And while living with such internal turmoil is hard on us, there is hope for change. So, hang in there and see if any of the below resonates with you. We also offer steps for change. Below are a few more examples of how someone with high functioning anxiety appears on the outside vs. what it feels like on the inside.

How You Appear on the Outside What It Feels Like on the Inside
Calm, stoic and holding things together Pep talks of “I can do this” after breakdowns
Always helping others If I don’t help them, they may be upset
A planner who is prepared Fears the outcome and has prepared for plans a, b, & c
Always punctual Stomach issues if you are even a minute late
Confident with self-assurance Self talk of you’ve got this, don’t mess up, you can do this
Organized I have to be organized so I don’t mess things up
In Control Something will go wrong if I don’t do it myself
Constantly Busy Feelings that rest is laziness
Work hard to please people Sacrificing your own needs

Are you recognizing yourself in these examples? Have you been successful at things you try and had others make these complements of you? Do you feel differently about yourself or have a high fear of failure? See if the below suggestions are something you could take a step toward.

Affects of Living with Anxiety?

Just because you are successful and able to accomplish the things you set your mind to, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek change. Carrying the stress and anxiety on the inside that comes with high functioning anxiety can affect more than is visible on the outside. If you have lived with anxiety, please consider the affects below and take steps toward help.

  • Racing heartrate
  • Excessive sweating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Stomach discomfort or issues
  • Muscle pain or tension
  • Feeling off-balance
  • Strained relationships from unbalanced priorities and focus
  • Frequent headaches

These are only a few examples of how anxiety can affect our physical body. Anxiety can break down our internal systems over time creating a potential for major health risks. Below are a few steps you can try to reduce anxiety in your life.

How Can I Help Anxiety?

Living with anxiety your whole life cannot be changed overnight. However, with persistence and consistency, you can make a difference in your life. Remember, becoming a high functioning anxious person didn’t happen overnight and you will not be able to manage it immediately. If you have tried taking steps for yourself and need further help, Upstate Restorative Counseling offers counseling for anxiety. You are not alone. Below are steps you can try to decrease the amount of anxiety within you.

  • Accept yourself as human, who will make mistakes
  • Be yourself, without comparing to others
  • Talk to someone you trust about the pressure you feel inside
  • Make time in your day to relax and just breathe
  • Do something fun and enjoyable
  • Follow your value system, not everyone else’s
  • Criticism happens, learn to hear it without defending
  • Learn to say no

Dropping the high standards we keep for ourselves can be hard. There are many life circumstances that create the belief within us that we can be perfect without failing, but those are false beliefs. Each one of us will make mistakes. We all have gifts and talents that are not the same. No one else is just like you and you are not like anyone else. Life has to be balanced to be healthy. If you struggle to know where a healthy balance is, we are here to help. Reach out today.