Individuals with high-functioning anxiety experience anxiety symptoms, but it can appear as though they do not. In fact, they often appear to be more successful and high-performing than their peers who don’t have anxiety.
The good news is that there are several options to help those with high-functioning anxiety find balance, including hypnosis.
In this article we explore what high-functioning anxiety is and what can contribute to it. We discuss the symptoms of high-functioning anxiety and how to deal with those symptoms. We also share one highly effective way to use hypnosis to address your high-functioning anxiety today. Let’s get started.
What Is High Functioning Anxiety?
In order to understand what high-functioning anxiety is, let’s first explore what anxiety is in general.
Anxiety is typically characterized by feelings of nervousness, worry, and unease. It can show up in your body in a lot of different ways, but it often manifests as a sense of impending doom or fear, trembling, a pounding heart, insomnia, hyperventilation, avoidance of triggering situations, restlessness, and more. It affects your sense of well-being and makes it hard to live in the present moment.
Feeling some anxiety from time to time is normal.
For example, before a big competition or presentation, or when you’re waiting for medical test results, it’s normal to feel anxious. You may also feel some anxiety if you’re not sleeping enough, eating poorly, or if you’re overindulging in caffeine or alcohol.
If your anxious feelings are consistently overwhelming you and interfering with your day-to-day life, you may have an anxiety disorder. There are many different types of anxiety disorders, and they affect people with both mild and severe anxiety.
There is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, and post traumatic stress disorder. No matter the type of anxiety you may have, if it’s negatively affecting your everyday life, it’s best that you seek the help of a mental health professional .
High functioning anxiety It is not a recognized mental health condition. In fact, people with high-functioning anxiety often appear even more successful than the average person and are often labeled as “type A” or “overachievers.” But don’t let their productivity fool you.
They tend to outperform others due to anxiety about falling behind or being perceived as inadequate. Typically, people with this form of anxiety are unable to enjoy their many successes because they are too consumed with worry.
Causes of High Functioning Anxiety
So, what causes high-functioning anxiety? There are dozens of potential attributes, and they run the gamut from physical health issues to lifestyle factors and even nutritional problems. Often, the culprit is a combination of all three.
But remember, the causes of anxiety vary from person to person. If you’re just starting out on your journey to combat anxiety, we recommend working with a healthcare professional. They can help you find the sources of your anxiety.
Here are a few common causes of high-functioning anxiety:
Anxiety may have a physical health cause. Anxiety is a common side effect of disorders like diabetes or irritable bowel syndrome, and it can be a symptom of thyroid issues, too. Anxiety may even be a result of suffering from chronic pain.
Sometimes, certain lifestyle risk factors can contribute to high-functioning anxiety, such as having too much stress at work or home. A lack of exercise, negative thinking patterns, spending too much time on social media, or generally not taking care of yourself.
Anxiety can also have a nutritional cause. For example, if you’re consuming too many processed foods and drinks (like potato chips and soda), skipping meals, not drinking enough water, or if you have an undiagnosed food intolerance or allergy. All of these can contribute to anxiety symptoms.
Additionally, our subconscious conditioning and beliefs plays a huge role here. One of the jobs of our subconscious is to learn how to properly navigate society, and often interactions with authority figures and peers can leave a lasting imprint we are not consciously aware of.
One way these subconscious programs can present is by limiting the success we believe we deserve to achieve. The programs can be created by parents telling us wealthy people are evil, a teacher telling us we’ll never amount to anything, or having a moment of accomplishment be ignored or belittled by someone we look up to.
If we then go on to achieve a high level of success, a level that exceeds the amount of success we believe we deserve, that can lead to feelings of worry, doubt, negativity, and even a subconscious pull to sabotage yourself down to a level you’re comfortable with.
The opposite can also be true. If you grew up in a family where your very best was never good enough, that can create a program where you always have your foot on the pedal, and feel the drive to achieve more and more, never stopping to enjoy the rewards of your hard work.
These subconscious programs can take an infinite number of forms, and anxiety is often a sign that they are running in the background.. Other signs can include overthinking, perfectionism, and procrastination.
Most often, solving the source of your anxiety is a bit of a puzzle. It can require lifestyle alterations, nutritional changes, and other interventions. If you find that it’s holding you back from unlocking the amount of personal success you’re able to achieve, or you are able to achieve success but not enjoy it, working with a Mindset & Performance coach may be a great option.
And remember: Whatever the cause of your anxiety is, don’t beat yourself up about it. The important thing is that once you understand what’s negatively affecting you, you can make changes for the better.
Symptoms of High Functioning Anxiety
In many cases, the symptoms of high-functioning anxiety are identical to the symptoms of any other anxiety disorder—things we discussed above, like an overwhelming sense of doom or a rapidly beating heart. However, high-functioning anxiety also has some unique, telltale signs:
- Those with high-functioning anxiety often appear calm to those around them. They tend to be very organized and prepared because they plan ahead for the worst possible outcome.
- They are often perceived as high-achieving perfectionists and have a difficult time trying to relax.
- People with high-functioning anxiety may procrastinate due to their anxiety, then work very hard to meet or exceed their goals by their upcoming deadlines.
- They may also do whatever it takes to please the people around them, even if it’s detrimental to their health. For people with high-functioning anxiety, their fear of failure may feel more urgent than meeting their own needs.
- People with high-functioning anxiety tend to focus on and engage with negative thoughts more than people who don’t have anxiety.
- High-functioning anxious people may also keep their calendar full and avoid any free time. Conversely, they may excessively turn down social events.
- People with high-functioning anxiety are likely to compulsively compare themselves to others.
- They may have nervous habits, like biting their nails, licking their lips, or tapping their pens.
- Those with high-functioning anxiety may experience physical symptoms of their mental health issues, like panic attacks, racing thoughts, and a high heart rate.
- They may turn to substance use (like drugs or alcohol) to cope with their anxiety.
Hypnotherapy for High Functioning Anxiety
Hypnotherapy is a science-backed method to help address high-functioning anxiety. Hypnotherapy works by helping you change the negative, unhelpful beliefs rooted in your subconscious mind. It’s these beliefs that can cause anxiety, but hypnotherapy replaces them with helpful thoughts that are more conducive to living a healthy, mentally-well life.
There are many factors that can inflame your anxiety, like poor health, stress, and nutrition. But at the end of the day, most forms of anxiety are rooted in an unhealthy relationship between your subconscious and conscious mind.
See, your subconscious mind stores all of your deeply buried beliefs, which influence many of your actions. Your conscious mind is the rational part of your mind that you have control over.
Many people don’t realize that the subconscious mind dictates a majority of your behaviors. So when it’s sending signals that you’re in danger, it’s very hard for your conscious mind to overcome them. This is why hypnotherapy is so effective. It gets to the root of your beliefs to eradicate your anxiety at the subconscious level, helping you effect lasting change.
Using Primed Mind to Combat High Functioning Anxiety
Primed Mind is a hypnosis app developed by one of the world’s leading mindset coaches to help you access the power of hypnosis from your home. Easy to fit into your wellness routine, Primed Mind is full of hypnotic primers that can help you develop a strong mindset in as little as 5-20 minutes a session.
It has hypnosis audio primers on calming anxiety, letting go of stress, overcoming insecurities, and more. Start reducing your high-functioning anxiety by downloading Primed Mind for free today!