According to the NHS website “Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life – for example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview. During times like these, feeling anxious can be perfectly normal.“
.Anxiety is a part of life and is normal in terms of the flight-or-fight response we have in high stress or threatening situations. This fight-or-flight mode produces adrenaline and cortisol which means we either stand our ground or flee from a harmful situation. It’s a perfectly natural response to what’s happening and can save our lives.
However, sometimes anxiety becomes overbearing and oppressive and can take over our lives in a detrimental way. As the NHS website says, “some people find it hard to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety are more constant and can often affect their daily lives.” But not everyone who has severe anxiety looks as if they have anxiety. Many people function on quite a high level but are still suffering inside.
This is a list of six things you’re probably doing if you have high functioning anxiety:
- Trying to please everyone. I have been so guilty of this one in the past! Trying to make everyone else happy even if it makes you unhappy. We are the ultimate people-pleasers and our anxiety makes us feel like we’re never good enough.
- We put off calling or texting people. I’m also guilty of this. Sometimes picking the phone up and making that call is the most stressful thing in the world. What if they don’t pick up? What do I say? What if I can’t do what that person wants me to do? What then? What if I don’t know what to do when I speak to them? I had a job as a Management Administrator. Sounds posh, doesn’t it? Ha ha. I was terrible at it. I hated picking up the phone. I was so super-stressed all the time because, like, what if I didn’t know the answer to what they were asking, or what if I messed up? I know, stupid, right?
- Shutting down and not telling people what we really feel. Because, what if you laugh at us? Because we’re not supposed to show you that we’re struggling, right? And we know we’re just being stupid. And, what if you don’t like us then?
- Or we talk and talk because we don’t know what else to do and we can’t stand those big uncomfortable silences. Sometimes this means we say completely inappropriate things! Inside we are so freaking out right now!
- We are good at making people think we’re totally snobby and off limits and completely rude. We’re not. We’re just really overwhelmed and very anxious!
- And we apologise for everything! Even, and especially when, it’s not our fault and it’s something out of our control. I still do this, even now! Someone bumps into me in public, I apologise! I even apologise before I ask someone a question. Like, really? I so need to stop that!
Is there anything you’d add to the list? I know I could. I could probably go on all day 🙂 And then I’d apologise!!!!