It’s a sunny, cloudless Miami day. The house is calm, and you have nothing to do. It is the perfect day to sit back, relax, and do something you want to do.
Except your anxiety won’t let you.
The thoughts sprint across your mind so fast you can hardly keep up. In the absence of things you need to do, you start thinking out about the agenda for that meeting next month. That makes you think about past agendas and how you could have made them better. That triggers the memory that you’re supposed to drive up to visit your parents in two weeks. You begin obsessing about how you hate driving long distances.
You may have high functioning anxiety if you’re familiar with this scenario.
People with high functioning anxiety tend to be detail-oriented, high-achieving, and successful. But while dwelling, over thinking, second guessing, excessive worrying, perfectionism, and avoidance/procrastination drive them to their success, these thoughts and behaviors make it an uphill fight to just make it through the day.
You are always busy, not because you want to, but because you need to.
You tell your friends just how much you enjoy staying busy, but the truth is that you stay busy to avoid the anxiety that lurks in quietness. Keeping a lot of commitments and responsibilities dials down the volume of the voice of worry inside your head.
You vacation in the “I’m not good enough” land.
You wonder if you said the right thing to the lady at the grocery store this morning. You’re not sure how you came across to the new guy and worried he got the wrong impression of you. You constantly doubt yourself and your abilities.
Your compare yourself to others.
You spend countless time obsessing about how someone else’s skills stack up against your own. Without others as a point of reference, you’re not sure what ideas, goals, or talents set you apart. You never take the time to compliment yourself for doing a great job but rather pin point out the things you did wrong.
Perfection hides your insecurities.
You do everything to please other people to keep them happy. You obsess about being the best (fill in the blank). Secretly, you hope if you’re the best and everyone is happy, no one will notice what a mess you truly are. Internally, you never feel fully at peace with yourself.
OMG…That’s me. What do I do?
If you’re anything like most individuals with high functioning anxiety your mind is racing with millions of questions. Before you start being anxious about being anxious, here are a few tips that may help you along the way.
Acknowledge that you are flaw-some.
I know that’s not a real word, but hear me out. Flaw-some describes someone who knows that they are awesome regardless of their flaws and embraces their imperfections. It’s about remembering that flaws don’t decrease your value as a person.
Be kind to yourself.
Tell your inner critic to shut up and give yourself credit. Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses. Give yourself a compliment. Recognize that you worked hard for that promotion or remind yourself that you’re a considerate friend.
Be in the here and now.
Remaining grounded in the present moment can quiet the “what if” thoughts. It can also keep you from digging up the past. Meditation is a great way to train your brain to stay in the moment. If that’s not your thing, try a gratitude practice. Think of something that you’re grateful for each time worrisome thoughts about the past or the future creep into your head.
Life in Miami is fast-paced, and trying to live it with high functioning anxiety can be downright exhausting. You can call us at (305) 501-0133 or click here to schedule a free 20-minute Clarity Consult if you’d like to find out how to slow down and live with more daily calm and ease.