High Functioning Anxiety

High-functioning anxiety is a double-edged sword. On the surface, they appear successful, excelling at work and meeting deadlines. However, beneath this accomplishment lies a constant undercurrent of worry and anxiety.

They may overthink, struggle to relax, and experience physical symptoms like fatigue or muscle tension. Despite the internal pressure, they maintain a high level of productivity in the short and mid-term.

High Functioning Anxiety vs. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

High functioning anxiety differs from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in a crucial way.

Folks with GAD often experience anxiety that interferes with daily life, making it difficult to function.

In contrast, those with high functioning anxiety can appear outwardly successful, pushing through their worries to achieve goals.

It’s a double-edged sword: productivity masked by constant internal pressure.

What are the Symptoms of High Functioning Anxiety?

High functioning anxiety manifests in a whirlwind of mental, physical, and emotional symptoms. Mentally, it’s a constant battle with worry, perfectionism, and negative self-talk. Physically, it can show as fatigue, trouble sleeping, or muscle tension. Emotionally, it can leave you feeling restless, irritable, and struggling to find calm amidst the internal storm.

Here you have a list of the main ones:


  • Excessive worry and overthinking
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Perfectionism and a constant need to be in control
  • Negative self-talk and self-criticism


  • Fatigue and trouble sleeping
  • Muscle tension and headaches
  • Racing heart or shortness of breath
  • Disturbances in sleeping patterns
  • Stomach aches and digestive issues


  • Feeling restless and on edge
  • Irritability and impatience
  • Difficulty relaxing or feeling calm
  • Fear of failure and social anxiety

What triggers High Functioning Anxiety?

High functioning anxiety thrives in a mental maze of self-imposed pressure and fear. Here’s a closer look at some key triggers:

1. Fear of Failure: This pervasive fear acts as a constant threat. Even minor setbacks can feel catastrophic, leading to overthinking and a drive for perfectionism. The high-functioning individual might push themselves relentlessly, fearing the perceived consequences of not achieving their own (often unrealistic) standards.

2. Perfectionism: This double-edged sword can fuel productivity but also create unrealistic expectations. A high-functioning person might meticulously plan and re-plan, constantly striving for flawless execution. This relentless pursuit of perfection can lead to anxiety, procrastination, and ultimately, hinder performance.

3. Fear of Losing Control: The need for control stems from a desire for predictability and security. High-functioning individuals might struggle with situations outside their comfort zone, leading to anxiety. Whether it’s an unexpected change at work, a last-minute social event, or even making travel plans, the fear of losing control can trigger anxiety and a desperate need to regain a sense of order.

4. Negative Self-Talk: Our inner voice can be our harshest critic. High-functioning individuals prone to negative self-talk might constantly doubt their abilities, amplify their mistakes, and minimize their successes. This relentless negativity fuels anxiety and undermines confidence, hindering their ability to perform at their best.

5. Social Comparison: Constantly comparing oneself to others can be a major anxiety trigger. Social media, with its curated feeds of seemingly perfect lives, can exacerbate this problem. The high-functioning person might focus on perceived shortcomings, feeling inadequate and fueling their anxiety about social interactions and public perception.

Understanding these core triggers is crucial for managing high-functioning anxiety.

How does High Functioning Anxiety Impacts your Performance?

high functioning anxiety
high functioning anxiety

While high-functioning anxiety might appear to fuel productivity, it can have a hidden cost:

  • 1. Paralysis by Analysis: The fear of failure and need for control can lead to overthinking and excessive planning. This can manifest as “analysis paralysis,” where the high-functioning individual gets stuck in the planning phase, unable to make decisions or take action due to a constant fear of making the wrong move. Deadlines are missed, and productivity suffers.
  • 2. Perfectionism Backfires: While the drive for excellence can initially boost performance, it can become counterproductive. The relentless pursuit of flawlessness might lead to procrastination as tasks seem insurmountable. Additionally, the fear of disappointing colleagues or superiors can create anxiety and hinder creative problem-solving.
  • 3. The Burnout Trap: The constant pressure to excel and the fear of failure take a toll. High-functioning individuals may push themselves to the limit, neglecting breaks or self-care. This eventually leads to burnout, impacting focus, creativity, and overall well-being. Productivity plummets, and the risk of mistakes increases.
  • 4. Anxiety Hijacks Focus: High anxiety levels can disrupt concentration and make it difficult to prioritize tasks. The constant worry and negative self-talk create a mental fog, hindering the ability to effectively process information and complete complex tasks efficiently. Deadlines become even more stressful, and performance suffers.
  • 5. Missed Opportunities: The fear of public speaking or negative social interactions can make it difficult to participate in important meetings or presentations. High-functioning individuals might avoid networking opportunities or shy away from taking on leadership roles due to anxiety. This can hinder career advancement and limit their professional growth.

While high-functioning anxiety might appear to fuel productivity initially, the long-term impact on work performance can be significant. By understanding these triggers and their consequences, high-functioning individuals can develop strategies to manage their anxiety and achieve their full potential at work.

How do you treat High Functioning Anxiety?

The good news is, high-functioning anxiety doesn’t have to hold you back!
From my personal experience and after what science has proven, High Functioning Anxiety can be treated successfully applying a holistic approach.

Here are some powerful strategies to help you thrive:

  • Empower Your Mind: Learn powerful techniques to identify and challenge negative thought patterns that fuel anxiety. This allows you to develop a more positive and empowering mindset.
  • Embrace Progress, Not Perfection: Discover ways to redefine perfectionism and break free from over-controlling tendencies. Focus on progress and celebrate your accomplishments.
  • Transform Fear into Action: Learn to reset and manage your fear of failure. By developing a growth mindset, you can approach challenges with confidence and enjoy the journey.
  • Build Your Inner Strength: Boost your resilience and emotional intelligence. This empowers you to navigate difficult situations calmly and effectively.
  • Fuel Your Wellbeing: Learn techniques to manage stress hormones like cortisol. Prioritizing sleep, exercise, and healthy eating habits further supports your physical and mental well-being.
  • Professional Support: A therapist specializing in anxiety and stress management can be a valuable partner on your journey. They can provide personalized guidance and support to help you manage your anxiety effectively.

Remember: You are not defined by your anxiety.

By taking these steps, you can create a calmer, more balanced approach to life, unlocking your full potential for success and fulfillment.

Trust experts, and take the first step towards a life free from the shackles of anxiety.

Book your spot now and let’s walk this path towards healing together.


To your wellbeing!

You deserve to reclaim your life

Let’s start talking about it


Related Posts

What is anxiety ?

What is anxiety ?

Understanding what is anxiety is pivotal for effective control, as it empowers you to identify triggers, develop coping strategies, and cultivate...

3 Anxiety do’s and don’ts

3 Anxiety do’s and don’ts

I understand the turmoil anxiety can bring, how it can feel like a tempestuous wave crashing against your mind, body, and emotions. In light of...

 “Your Happiness begins

where Anxiety & Stress end”