What Is High-Functioning Anxiety? Psychologist Tips To Tackle

High-functioning anxiety, although it may not be in-your-face, is still important to alleviate. “[It] essentially becomes a really big rabbit hole or vicious cycle,” Neo says. 

To do so, Neo suggests first identifying “the why” behind your emotions. Ask yourself questions like: What bothers you the most right now? What do you want to control? What are your burning questions? These all can help you determine whether you’re dealing with anxious thoughts underneath the surface. “When you’re anxious, you tend to want to preempt everything because you think that worrying helps you to solve problems,” Neo says. That’s why asking yourself those questions can help you realize what feelings you’re unintentionally burying.

The next step, says Neo, is to create a boundary between what you can and cannot control. Much of anxiety surrounds trying to “control the uncontrollable”; by accepting the unknown, perhaps even embracing it, you can help lift some of the weight off your shoulders. It’s not the only way to quell anxiety, of course—see here for some neuroscientist-approved ways to manage worry. 

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