7 Signs of High-Functioning Anxiety and Ways to Overcome It

Anxiety can be of concern to anyone, and the most crucial factor in treating anxiety is to accept that it exists. But high-functioning anxiety is like a hidden trait that does not reveal itself easily to others. People with high-functioning anxiety are quite successful in their professions, are very much admired by peers, and seem to have better work-life integration. Although everything about them looks perfect, they end up with guilt, anxiety, overthinking and overworking. 

People with high-functioning anxiety claim to be driven by their fear of perfection. Their innate desire to make everything perfect never slows them down.  However, very similar to Impostors (People with Impostor Syndrome), they berate themselves for not having done enough. Sadly, there isn’t a particular medicine to treat the symptoms as it’s not recognized as a mental health disorder. People with high-functioning anxiety suffer in silence as their exterior does not give them away or make anyone doubt them. But here are certain signs that may indicate that you have high-functioning anxiety or are in the company of someone who has it.


7 Signs to Recognize High Functioning Anxiety

While some of the signs below could be similar for any anxiety disorder, the intensity of the symptoms may vary for different ailments. Here are the symptoms to look out for.

  1. Feeling restless or extremely moody
  2. Muscle tension and irritability
  3. Traits of a workaholic
  4. Limiting social connections
  5. Excessive sweating, palpitations
  6. Difficulty concentrating and constant worry
  7. Easily fatigued

insomnia cure

What Causes High Functioning Anxiety?

  • Inheritance

If you have a family history of anxiety disorders, you might end up with a high-functioning anxiety disorder. People who have been exposed to childhood trauma or stress, or who have experienced chaos in the family  are most likely to exhibit signs of anxiety. 

  • Addiction

Addiction to alcohol or drugs could result in high-functioning anxiety. The excess simulants confuse the brain and lead to severe anxiety issues that may persist in the long run if left untreated. 

  • Shyness

Some people are naturally shy and experience difficulty connecting with others. The nervous traits may emanate from childhood but lead to overthinking and assuming about people’s reactions. These hindrances, later on, convert to high-functioning anxiety or panic disorders. 


  • Troubles in Life

Negative situations in life may cause stress and lead to many disorders like high-functioning anxiety. Coming face to face with stressful situations may often cause an imbalance of thoughts and create fear. High-functioning anxiety has even been found in many successful doctors who have seen the worst cases of anxiety in patients. 

  • Health Issues

People with thyroid and heart issues may get high-functioning anxiety if they do not cure the root cause of the problem.

6 Effective Ways to Treat High Functioning Anxiety

  1. Analysis of the Issue

One of the major steps in treating mental health issues is acknowledging the issue. As you accept that you have a problem of severe anxiety that is keeping you away from inner peace, you can move ahead to find solutions for it. Like, why is it happening, what’s the trigger, and is it recurring? Once you figure out the trigger, you can mindfully take time to respond to it rather than giving in to fear.

“Our energy is getting dissipated in the form of fears and desires. And it is the desire that makes you weak.”       

                                                                           ~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


  1. Positive Self Talk

Before you start blaming yourself for not having done a job perfectly, convert your negatives to positives. If your mistakes are giving you a feeling of incompetence, then put in extra effort without stressing over the past. Say to yourself daily, “I can do it. I am conscious of my capabilities and can handle this responsibility very well. I am the best at what I do.” Doing these little exercises could spur your confidence and make you stronger to face your challenges. 

find happiness

  1. Relaxation Measures

Deep Breathing, Meditation, and Progressive Muscle Relaxation techniques are very beneficial for people wanting to overcome high-functioning anxiety. Anxiety can have physical and mental health consequences. It’s important to reconnect with your body by doing exercises, yoga postures, and stretching to relax the overly active mind.

“Meditation makes you alive in the present moment, and you feel disconnected from all that happened in the past.”

                                                           ~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


  1. Mandatory Breaks

Breaks help us engage in some happy activities while allowing us to disconnect from work. It provides us relief from stress and anxiety, and we experience a change in our perspectives with a little rejuvenation. It helps us kill the obsession of doing it all in one go. For example, compensating for a stressful week with a short weekend vacation to your favorite place. 

  1. Prioritize Your Wellness

Seek therapy when you have diagnosed yourself with high-functioning anxiety. Do not jam-pack your days with lots of work that disregards your wellness. You need to prioritize your health before prioritizing your engagements. Speak to a counselor or therapist to understand your problems better and manage them efficiently. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (change in thinking pattern) has been found to work in some patients with high-functioning anxiety. 

  1. Seek Support from Friends & Family

Open up to people you are most comfortable with and who you can trust. Talk about what’s bothering you and seek suggestions. You will be surprised to see that you may not be alone in fighting anxiety. As mentioned before, people feel shy talking about high-functioning anxiety while being severely affected by it. As you share, you become less stressed and also help others open up their bottled emotions.

masked unmasked

 Face Your Fear

It is quite challenging to face your fears and overcome high-functioning anxiety and similar issues. However, changing the way you approach your problems and prioritizing your self-worth and wellness can help you find solutions. Learn to self-appreciate and reward yourself for tiny improvements in your thought process. In the process of treating your anxiety, you might feel you have to give up a lot of your personality. However, be mindful of how it affected you and focus on your positive traits. Make some lifestyle changes in addition to the above tips to enhance the process of coping. 

“Meditate. A few minutes of deep meditation will connect you with the ocean of intuition deep within you.”

                                                                         ~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar                                           

Take a step towards your body and mind wellness by joining us in our wellness program here.

    Learn Sudarshan Kriya - the world's most powerful breathing technique