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Anxiety in the High Functioning Individual and the Role of Comedy Therapy

What are the signs of high functioning anxiety?

People suffering with anxiety can look great on the outside. They interact well in social settings and can even appear confident and, for the most part, look like role models. However, internally, they’re roiling with fear, depression, confusion, mood swings, rapid heart rate, and low self-esteem along with other health issues. If left unchecked, it doesn’t usually get better; it gets worse over time. Almost 20% of the population suffers from some form of anxiety, yet less than 50% receive treatment.

One serious type of anxiety that can be especially debilitating is high functioning anxiety disorder. Many who suffer from this are unaware that treatment and coping tools are available.

Can high functioning anxiety be cured?

Where does Comedy and Therapy come into all this? Talking about what’s going on for you will help you gain perspective, find support, and build self-awareness. Getting to the bottom of what’s driving the anxiety will help you to change thinking patterns and beliefs that don’t serve you. Choose again. Negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves and the world drive us into an anxious tizzy. When you can find the humour in how you spin around this world like a Tasmanian Devil you can start to laugh about it. Laughing always helps. ALWAYS!

We all experience anxiety and stress to varying degrees. We all worry about this or that. It’s all part of the human condition. Stress and anxiety can be healthy in the right amount, it gives us motivation to get things done. But too much anxiety is like living in a permanent crisis. It’s not funny. Or is it? If we can step back and have a laugh about how crazy our anxiety makes us, we can actually own it and reframe it into something much less serious.

The difference between the average person experiencing garden variety stress and anxiety for a short time, and the levels of anxiety experienced in the high functioning person is dramatic. For high functionals, it’s every day for extended periods. If this is you, ask yourself this, “What’s the point of all this mega stress?”

What are the effects of anxiety to an individual?

Chronic anxiety is basically chronic fear. If a person is in a dynamic and fast-paced career position, sometimes they can hang their self-worth on what they achieve. Hanging your self-worth on outside things will never fill the void. Does fear drive your success?

I’m not going to go into the science stuff about cortisol being released into the blood stream. Okay, just a bit… In normal instances, cortisol is released in small amounts and can actually be very helpful, controlling blood sugar levels, regulating metabolism, helping to reduce inflammation, blah blah blah. However, it is a steroid and is also your “fight or flight” hormone, so in an emergency, it shuts down any functions not essential to tackling the crisis. Basically, too much anxiety equals too much of that pesky cortisol equals you not feeling very well. Stop!

You know what is the best antidote to anxiety/fear? Love! Liberal lashings of self-acceptance, community, and laughs. Big self-forgiving, I-don’t-give-a-f**k belly laughs with people who care about you just because you exist.

Smashing Stigma Article by Rosemary KeevilAt Hilarapy we love meeting other anxious, high-functionals! Why? Because you are brilliant, you have a story, you have skills and talents by the truckload. We love sharing our experience, strength, and hope with people like you because one day you can share too. More importantly, we love diving into the real work, facing the underlying stuff, and walking the path of peace and serenity together.

Joining our Hilarapy – Healing with Humour community can open up a whole new world for you.

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