We all suffer anxiety.
But it’s not always a bad thing.
In fact, when your anxiety drives you forward in life rather than leaves you stuck in fear, you are someone who experiences “high functioning” anxiety.
People with “high functioning” anxiety usually experience the following 13 things.
1.) Turning down invitations at the last minute
You have an event long planned and you’ve already prepared everything for it.
Then, right before the big day, you change your mind.
Because you think you might not enjoy the time socializing with people, or even worse, you think others will not enjoy their night if you were there.
Thus, even though you want to go, you end up avoiding social situations much of the time.
2.) Incredibly sensitive even on the little details
Having high functioning anxiety makes you one of the most sensitive types of people in the world.
You tend to notice and concern yourself with even the smallest matters.
You get really annoyed with little things such as a missing pen or sending the wrong text message. Even a stare from a stranger will keep your mind wandering for days.
Calm Clinic reports that obsessive thoughts are a common symptom of anxiety.
3.) Sleeps late yet wakes up early
Having a hard time sleeping is probably one of greatest struggles you are facing.
When sleep can be the best time to let your mind rest, anxiety has its way of keeping you from it.
You toss and turn for hours and thoughts continue to race through your head without end.
In the morning, when your anxiety switches on, there is nothing you can do to turn it off.
You want to go back to sleep but worries start to creep in your mind and you end up getting up anyway though it’s still early in the morning.
4.) Focusing on the worst outcome
You are not the positive thinker type.
In every situation you encounter, your mind always ends up thinking about the worst things that can happen to you.
When you commit a terrible mistake at work, you will immediately think that you will get fired.
Even a simple sickness will lead you to connect the symptoms to the worst disease you can find while self-diagnosing.
5.) Rewinding conversations again and again
Since you are someone who’s overly concerned with small details, you always end up going through the conversations you previously had with other people.
You do this because you fear that you might have said something wrong that offended the other person.
This might be good in a way that you don’t want to hurt other people’s feelings.
But constantly rewinding things even though nothing was really a big deal can definitely drill a hole in your head.
6.) Concerns from other people bother you more
When someone notices that you don’t look and feel okay, it bothers you more than they do.
You then think that what you’re going through may be worse than what you thought it was.
This makes you obsess with getting immediate healing to avoid another comment from your peers.
7.) You always think you are to blame when something goes wrong
When situations go wrong, you always take the blame.
You think that if you have just done this and that, then everything might have happened perfectly.
According to Healthy Place, guilt is one of the many distressing side effects of living with anxiety.
8.) The thought of the future scares you
When others are motivated to move forward in life, you are on the corner dreading even the thought of it.
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The current struggles you’re dealing with make you fear what lies ahead.
You think that the present moment is already unbearable, how much more can the future be?
You feel hopeless and just don’t see a light coming through.
In this kind of situation, don’t give up hope and start believing that in every bad thing that’s happening, something good will definitely come out of it.
9.) Comparing yourself with others
You always find yourself scrolling through the profile or feed of your friends or someone else to check how they have been doing.
When they’re doing great with their lives, you end up comparing yourself to them.
Their achievements make you worry and wonder if you can become as successful as they are too.
But just try to remember:
We all have a different definition of success. Find out what makes you happy and do it.
In doing what you love, you create your own version of success that you can’t compare with anyone else.
10.) You see yourself as a great failure when you make mistakes
Every time you commit mistakes you end up belittling yourself.
Most of the time you think that you are the worst and you’ll never become better.
You start to think that your boss is so disappointed in you or your co-workers hate you.
Thus, you overthink and conclude things on your own.
Nobody is perfect. Everyone has made mistakes at some point and areas of their lives.
What matters is you learn from your mistakes and you outgrow them. Focus on the HOW and not the WHAT.
11.) You don’t feel like doing anything at all
Sometimes, even getting out of bed exhausts you.
This is how anxiety takes your energy and even the thought of getting up is hard for you to do.
When you’re overcome with anxiety, little things are done which makes your situation worse than it originally was.
12.) You push yourself beyond your limits
People with high functioning anxiety are high achievers and can be considered as a picture of success.
You are always early for appointments, ahead of deadlines, planning for all possibilities and perfectly dressed for all occasions.
But what others don’t know is, you are striving too hard because you don’t want to be rejected and be labeled as a failure.
The good thing though is you are someone who doesn’t settle for less and always pushes yourself out of your own comfort zone.
13.) Constantly striving for perfection
Remember how even small things bother you?
That’s because people with high functioning anxiety are perfectionists and organized.
You find yourself always making lists and keeping calendars. You want everything to be orderly and tidy from the arrangement of your desk to the way processes flow at work.
This can be really beneficial in terms of tasks that needs careful attention and planning.
But your pursuit of perfection may sometimes lead you to disappointments and too much expectation from others.
If you found yourself doing some or all of these things, your high functioning anxiety may harm you in ways you can’t imagine or even notice. But you can also use it to your advantage to move forward in life.
If you have noticed someone with these kinds of traits, you can start to understand what they’re possibly hiding behind.
Don’t make it even harder for them by criticizing them.
Rather, speak simple words of encouragement to light them up and remind them not to let their worries consume the genuinely happy and fulfilling life they’re meant to live.
Or, to try something new, why not find out more about anxiety blankets. Here’s our article introducing them.