Coping with High-Functioning Anxiety: A Personal Guide

By Patricia Rios

Hey there! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re no stranger to the whirlwind of thoughts and feelings that come with high-functioning anxiety.

Signs of High-Functioning Anxiety

But guess what? You’re not alone, and there are ways to navigate it gracefully. Let’s dive into some strategies that have helped me and might do the same for you.

Understanding High-Functioning Anxiety:

Signs to Look For:

  • Have you ever found yourself overthinking the most straightforward decisions, like how to respond to an email?
  • Do you feel like you’re always on the go, striving for perfection and fearing judgment?
  • Maybe saying no or asking for help feels impossible, and failure seems like your worst nightmare.

What “High-Functioning” Means:

  • It’s about juggling life’s demands while battling inner turmoil.
  • You might seem like you have it all together on the outside, but it’s a different story internally.

Identifying High-Functioning Anxiety:

Take the Quiz:

  • Ask yourself: Do I constantly doubt myself and fear judgment?
  • Am I always chasing perfection and avoiding downtime like it’s the plague?
  • Take a moment to reflect. Does high-functioning anxiety sound like something you can relate to?

Signs You Might Have It:

  • You might appear successful to others, but deep down, you’re overwhelmed.
  • Setting impossibly high standards for yourself is your default mode.
  • Saying no feels like betraying your principles and asking for help. Forget about it.
  • Oh, and overthinking? You’re the reigning champion.

Coping Strategies

Seeking Personal Help

When it comes to managing high-functioning anxiety, seeking personal help can make a world of difference. Therapy, in particular, has been a game-changer for many, including myself. It’s like having a safe space to unpack all those messy thoughts and learn how to manage them effectively.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a cornerstone in the realm of therapy for anxiety. This approach delves deep into your thought patterns and behaviors, aiding you in recognizing and challenging negative thinking. It’s akin to rewiring your brain to see the glass half full instead of half empty.

  • Identifying Negative Patterns: CBT assists you in pinpointing those pesky negative thoughts that keep popping up, allowing you to replace them with more positive ones.
  • Developing Coping Strategies: Through CBT, you’ll learn practical techniques to tackle anxiety-inducing situations head-on, such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.

Mindfulness Practices

Ever tried meditation or deep breathing? Let me tell you, they work wonders in calming the storm inside. Mindfulness teaches you to focus on the present moment instead of getting caught up in worries about the past or future.

  • Living in the Moment: By practicing mindfulness, you’ll train yourself to stay grounded in the present and let go of anxious thoughts about what’s already happened or what might happen.
  • Acceptance and Non-Judgment: You’ll learn to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment, which can significantly reduce anxiety and stress levels.
  • Increased Self-Awareness: Mindfulness can help you become more attuned to your thoughts and emotions, empowering you to respond to them more healthily and constructively.

Consider Coaching

  • Set Achievable Goals: Working with a coach helped me set realistic goals and take steady steps toward achieving them.
  • Accountability: Having someone to keep me in check and cheer me on made all the difference.
  • Focus on Self-Improvement: Coaching isn’t just about fixing what’s broken; it’s about leveling up and becoming the best version of yourself.

Practice Self-Care:

  • Prioritize Yourself: Take time out for activities that nourish your soul and bring joy.
  • Set Boundaries: Learning to say no without feeling guilty was a game-changer.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Whether it’s yoga, nature walks, or journaling, find what helps you unwind and make it a part of your daily routine.

Adopt Healthy Lifestyle Changes:

  • Nourish Your Body: Eating well, staying active, and getting enough sleep are non-negotiables for maintaining mental health.
  • Cut Out Stressors: Identify what’s causing you unnecessary stress and do your best to minimize it.
  • Connect with Others: Having a support system of friends and family who understand what you’re going through can be a lifeline.


Hey, I get it. Living with high-functioning anxiety isn’t easy, but trust me when I say there’s hope. By embracing these coping strategies and finding what works best for you, you can regain control of your life and thrive. Remember, you’re stronger than you think, and have this!


Patricia Rios

I have been writing makeup and beauty content for more than ten years. My passion is to uplift you, my reader, to feel better about yourself.

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