5 Tips for Managing High-Functioning Anxiety
High-functioning anxiety is an often misunderstood and underdiagnosed mental health condition. People with high-functioning anxiety are prone to the same panic attacks, racing hearts, and general fear as anyone experiencing a more “typical” case of anxiety. It’s just that their intense stressors tend to be things like public speaking, meeting new people, or flying on an airplane. Here are 5 tips for managing your high-functioning anxiety:
Change up your routine
If you’re having a particularly anxiety-ridden day, try changing your daily routine. Likely, the habits you’ve formed over the years have inadvertently conditioned your anxiety. Breaking these habits and exploring new routines may help you put less stress on your system. Make sure to keep rest and relaxation a part of your new routine — both are important parts of managing anxiety.
Practice relaxation techniques
There are tons of relaxation techniques you can try, but a couple of great options are deep breathing and guided imagery. Deep breathing is one of the most basic and accessible relaxation techniques. You can do it anywhere, any time, and it’s totally free. Guided imagery is a great way to clear your head of anxious thoughts and focus on something positive. You can picture yourself surrounded by a beautiful landscape, sitting on a beach, or doing anything that calms you.
Change your thinking
Many people with high-functioning anxiety think negatively about themselves, their abilities, and their future. Negative and worrisome thoughts are a big part of anxiety, so try to avoid those thoughts as much as you can. If you think negatively, try to change your thinking to something more positive.
You can use a cognitive restructuring exercise, or CRE, to change your thoughts. For example, if someone tells you you are great at public speaking, you may think, “I’m good enough to be a public speaker.” If you have an anxiety disorder, you might think, “I’m not good enough to be a public speaker, and I’ll probably mess up anyway.” In the first example, you have a positive thought, and in the second example, you have a negative thought. To combat your anxiety, you want more positive thoughts than negative ones.
Take care of your body
Managing your high-functioning anxiety means taking care of your body, especially when you’re not feeling well. Make sure to get enough sleep and rest, eat enough nutritious food, and exercise regularly. If you take care of your body and support it with the right things, it will be better able to deal with your anxiety.
Learn how to self-soothe and breathe
You can use self-soothing techniques whenever you’re feeling anxious, even if you’re not in a particularly stressful situation. It’s a great tool to use when you feel your anxiety coming on. Breathing is the best way to self-soothe for most people with high-functioning anxiety. You can practice different breathing techniques when you need to calm down. You can also use positive affirmations to calm your anxiety and help you feel more in control. An affirmation is a positive statement that you repeat to yourself. It can help you change the way you feel and give you more control over your emotions.
High-functioning anxiety is a very real mental health condition that can have a serious impact on those who suffer from it. It’s important to seek help if you think you may have the condition, as it’s often treatable with therapy. If you manage your high-functioning anxiety properly, you can lead a successful and fulfilling life.
The author of this article is a therapist from the Sensera app. Sensera is a daily 10-minute self-therapy app. It’ll help you to cope with various mental problems (anxiety, self-esteem, relationship issues). Feel better with CBT audio sessions and exercises. Download now to become happier!