Anxiety is tough, not only for the victims, but for their friends and loved ones who see them suffering daily. In fact, it is one of the devil’s most popular tools that he uses against us. Those who are dealing with anxiety feel can feel like their emotions are on a constant roller coaster ride, up one minute and down the next. Those who care about them can feel those changes and that can be devastating. Those with high-functioning anxiety are a little different. Those dealing with it are often propelled by their anxiety. It may even be hidden. They look fine on the outside but what’s going on inside looks very different. High-functioning anxiety can put an emotional strain on your personal health, especially if you don’t have the tools in place to know how to manage it. Anxiety can be confusing, frustrating and even intimidating. Here are six things only people with high-functioning anxiety will understand.
Sometimes it’s best to act when the adrenaline is high.
If you have high-functioning anxiety, you know that the best time to act is when your adrenaline is high. Prior to acting, have a well thought out plan that you are ready to execute the moment your adrenaline is rushing. We begin to worry and over analyze situations when we don’t have detailed and well thought out plans for our life. It’s important that you set extremely clear goals with a detailed plan on how to achieve those goals. After you have a well detailed plan, take action. Taking action towards meaningful goals helps to relieve stress and gives you a huge sense of fulfillment. Fear creeps in and paralyzes us when we don’t take the time to plan things out. The perfect time to act is before you start thinking too hard about it.
You can challenge your anxiety.
Those with high-functioning anxiety know how deep fear runs so they sometimes take the time to challenge it. Situations can be intimidating so do one thing every day that scares you. While it’s easy to live in your comfort zone, it’s not the best way to live, especially when you’re trapped in your own fear. Not doing the things that frighten you will increase the likelihood that your fears will become bigger – and take over your life. It can even be something small you choose to do, but do something daily that really challenges you to step outside of your norm. When you form the habit of doing something daily that scares you, your courage will begin to grow little by little. After some time, the barriers that once were holding you back vanish and your potential will grow tremendously.
It’s important to remember the bigger picture.
When you’re suffering with anxiety, it may not be easy to remember the bigger picture but those with high-functioning anxiety begin with the end in mind. Fear feels uncomfortable, but in most cases, it won’t really harm you – but attempting to avoid the experience of fear will because you are robbing yourself of the chance to experience the deep satisfaction which comes with listening to your heart and soul and creating a better life fill of passion and purpose. First, reflect on the fact that whatever you fear now will likely not be on your radar down the line. There can be comfort in knowing that whatever you’re experiencing now isn’t a forever thing. Next, check in with your future self. How will you feel a year from now if you don’t take action towards your dreams? How about five or ten years from now? Remembering the bigger vision for your life can help you out of your comfort zone and into the unknown.
They know to value courage over security.
Being secure is important to most people. Those with high-functioning anxiety know the importance of courage though they don’t always channel it because of their fear. The truth is, most people value security over just about everything else in their lives. People will put up with jobs that they hate, marriages that make them miserable, and habits that are killing them simply to feel more secure. To conquer fear, you must consciously let go of “security” as the things that you value most in your life and replace it with “courage.” Decide once and for all that it’s more important for you to have courage to do what you must to succeed, rather than to cling to the things that make you feel safe. Also, treat fear as a call to action. If what you fear is outside of your control, write down a specific plan of the exact steps you’ll take to adapt. Then, you’re already prepared even when you’re walking into the unknown.
Letting go of mental distractions can be game-changing.
Your mind is your enemy when you have anxiety. Those with high-functioning anxiety try to let go of mental distractions because they know that it can make a big difference. If you can make it harder for your mind to focus on things that could cause fear, you’ll be less able to trigger symptoms that cause the feelings of anxiety. Distract yourself all day with activities you enjoy, phone calls, positive music, comedy on television and other things that don’t cause anxiety but still distract your mind. One really effective activity is walking. Walking around helps with blood glow and provides you with visual and mental stimulation. It also reduces some of the adrenaline in your bloodstream which is important for keeping your anxiety away. Another effective activity is writing out your thoughts. Your mind has a tendency to focus on thoughts when you have them because it’s trying to get you to pay attention to them. But the mind also relaxes when it knows you’ve already recorded those thoughts.
It can be helpful to shine the light on your fear.
Those with high-functioning anxiety know that beginning to expose their fear can make all the difference. Pinpoint the fear that’s plaguing you the most – about your body, finances, love life, career, dreams or yourself – and hold it up to the light out your awareness. It’s time to get super real. Ask yourself honestly: Is this thought really true? Can I know for sure? Is there another way of looking at this? What would the highest version of me say about this? Remember, the word thought is not synonymous with the word truth. In other words, your thoughts are not necessarily true or important and you don’t have to take them so seriously. Think of them like passing cloud in the sky – they come and they go. Your true self is an observer who watches your fear-based thoughts as they pass by.
Whether your anxiety is high-functioning or not, remember that you are bigger than any fear you’re facing and that God is control. One of the best ways to combat your fear is to trust in God and lean on His Word. Immerse yourself in it. While fear may continue to show up for you, when you acknowledge and truly believe that God is in control, anything is possible. Fear can feel like it’s paralyzing you, but fear only has the power to control as much as you allow it to. Trust that you can challenge the fear in your mind and come out victorious. Let fear be your call to action.