12 Things You Don’t Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety

Ruhiyih Temko
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Imagine a well-dressed gatecrasher who charms their way into the party, making you laugh but secretly swiping all the canapés. That’s high-functioning anxiety for you. It’s not your regular, run-of-the-mill nervousness. This shifty character operates under the radar, often dressed up as productivity or perfectionism. Underneath the seemingly calm surface, there’s a whirlwind of worry. Here are such instances:

When Slow Responses Trigger a Mental Marathon

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
Canva by Galitskaya

Living with high-functioning anxiety often turns waiting for a response into a mental marathon. It’s like having a roomful of hyperactive hamsters in your head, all running on their wheels at once.

A simple delay in getting a response, whether from a text message or an email, can set those hamsters into overdrive. Your mind starts weaving a tapestry of worst-case scenarios and what-ifs.

Networking Nightmares: The Unsettling Task of Meeting New Faces

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
Canva by YuriArcus

Even for those with the most charming social butterfly persona, the thought of meeting new people can rattle anyone with high-functioning anxiety. This is due to new faces, names to remember, small talk to navigate, and the pressure to make a good impression. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that leaves you with a mental hangover.

Opting out of Events You’d Love to Attend

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
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High-functioning anxiety has a sneaky way of making you say ‘no’ to things you genuinely want to say ‘yes’ to. Whether it’s a casual hangout with friends or a concert featuring your favorite band, anxiety whispers in your ear, convincing you to stay in your comfort zone.

Obsessing over the Minutest Details

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
Canva by AndreyPopov

The tiniest details – a misplaced comma, a slightly off-kilter picture frame – can send your mind into overthinking. You may not even realize you’re doing it, but this fixation on minutiae, while often seen as meticulousness, is a manifestation of your anxiety.

Relentlessly Revisiting Past Conversations

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
Canva by KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Here’s a fun fact about those of us with high-functioning anxiety – we’re like involuntary time travelers. Our minds possess this uncanny ability to pull us back into the rabbit hole of past conversations.

Whether it’s a chat over coffee or a formal business meeting, we find ourselves obsessively replaying the dialogue, dissecting each word and gesture, and wondering if we could’ve said or done something differently. It’s like having a mental DVR that refuses to delete old episodes!

Struggling to Forgive Yourself for Past Mistakes

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
Canva by ImagineGolf

High-functioning anxiety often manifests in the form of constantly revisiting past mistakes. Not a day goes by without an internal monologue, berating yourself for the blunders you made, even if they’re trivial or years old. This is your anxiety playing puppeteer, molding your self-perception and allowing past errors to overshadow present triumphs.

A Dance with the Dawn: The Sleep Late, Wake Up Early Tango

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
Canva by And.one

Your relationship with sleep can feel like a nightly tango with the dawn. You’re often found burning the midnight oil, working on projects, or overthinking the day’s events, only to rise with the sun or, sometimes, even before it. This unique sleep cycle – staying up late and waking up early – is your peculiar rendition of the classic waltz, albeit one that leaves you perpetually exhausted.

Embracing the Art of Pessimistic Optimism

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
Canva by Yuriz

Even though you’re the life of the party, and your productivity levels are through the roof, you’ve mastered the art of pessimistic optimism. You’re constantly engaged in a mental tug-of-war, always anticipating the worst-case scenario.

Whether a simple meeting at work or a casual get-together with friends, your mind perpetually creates an elaborate screenplay of all possible disasters. This constant focus on adverse outcomes, although exhausting, is your unique way of managing and preparing for any uncertain situations that may come your way.

The Chronic Comparison Conundrum: A Dance with Anxiety

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
Canva by Artur

Isn’t it funny how our minds are like overactive squirrels when comparing ourselves with others? It’s like a never-ending marathon where we’re constantly striving to match up, keep pace, or – let’s admit it – outdo the rest. It’s a mental tug-of-war that has us continually measuring our accomplishments against those of others, turning even the most mundane situations into a competitive arena.

Future Fears: The Uncertainty Paradox

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
Canva by Tatyana Abramovich

When you have high-functioning anxiety, the future isn’t just tomorrow or the next day – it’s an intimidating labyrinth of ‘What Ifs?’. The mere thought of the future causes your mind to race, envisioning many plausible and improbable scenarios.

The Art of People-Pleasing: A Hidden Manifestation of Anxiety

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
Canva by Marekuliasz

You’re the person everyone can count on, the one who jumps at every opportunity to lend a helping hand. They see your willingness to please as a selfless attribute, yet few realize that this trait could be a manifestation of high-functioning anxiety.

Upholding an image of an ever-ready helper allows you to evade potential criticism or conflict, creating a safety net that guards you against the turmoil of anxiety.

Always On-The-Go: The Unending Race Against Time

12 Things You Don't Realize You Do Because You Have High-Functioning Anxiety
Canva by Simon_Watkinson

High-functioning anxiety often transforms you into a perpetual motion machine, always on the move, ticking off tasks, and trying to outpace the relentless ticking of the clock. It’s more than being a workaholic or an over-achiever. It’s a constant, sometimes exhausting, race against time, a desperate attempt to stay a step ahead of the anxiety nipping at your heels.

All in all, high-functioning anxiety can make life feel like a high-wire act. But remember, it’s okay to be a perfectionist, to plan excessively, or to worry about the worst-case scenario. Your anxiety doesn’t define you – it just means you experience the world with a heightened sense of awareness. Embrace it, learn how to manage it, and remember, you’re not alone in this adventure called life!

Man exercising
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It’s no secret that most people don’t like therapy. It’s a typical case of not “fancying the couch” or being unable to “stand a shrink breathing down on me.” Whatever the reasons, you can try many DIY anxiety-taming techniques besides therapy to keep you balanced. People in an online community who struggle with anxiety share these tips on fighting those pesky demons. Inspired by the discussion, we share 12 practical steps to tackle anxiety whenever therapy doesn’t seem to make the cut.

12 Practical Steps To Navigate Anxiety When Therapy Isn’t an Option

15 Mental Health Issues You Never Even Knew Existed

15 Mental Health Issues You Never Even Knew Existed
tommaso79 via canva.com

When it comes to mental health, most of us can name the usual suspects: depression, anxiety, and maybe even bipolar disorder. However, the human mind is an intricate and often mysterious labyrinth capable of concocting a dizzying array of mental health conditions.

15 Mental Health Issues You Never Even Knew Existed

12 Unexpected Ways Social Media Is Ruining Our Mental Health

12 Unexpected Ways Social Media Is Ruining Our Mental Health
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Social media has become integral to our lives, connecting us with loved ones, sparking new ideas, and even uncovering exciting job opportunities. However, we must tread carefully, as its impact on our mental health can be profound. From the green-eyed monster of envy to the dreaded FOMO (fear of missing out), social media can trigger anxiety, depression, and battered self-esteem.

12 Unexpected Ways Social Media Is Ruining Our Mental Health

20 Things I Stopped Doing To Improve My Mental Health

The Importance of Staying Organized for Your Mental Health
Provided by Frenz

Taking care of our mental health is as important as maintaining our physical health. However, the path to better mental health isn’t always about adding more habits to our daily routine; it’s about letting go of some that may be holding us back. In this journey towards a healthier mind, I’ve discovered several things I needed to stop doing.

20 Things I Stopped Doing To Improve My Mental Health

12 Ways a Relationship Can Hurt Your Mental Health

12 Ways a Relationship Can Hurt Your Mental Health
Photo: © South_agency via canva.com

You know the saying, ‘Love is a battlefield’? Well, sometimes, it isn’t just metaphorical. When it comes to relationships, it isn’t all candle-lit dinners and long walks on the beach.

12 Ways a Relationship Can Hurt Your Mental Health

 

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