Ep 52 - High Functioning Anxiety, with Georgie Collinson
Georgie Collinson is a Certified RTT® Hypnotherapist, Anxiety Mindset Coach, Inner Voice Facilitator & bachelor degree-qualified Naturopath & Nutritionist. She's helped hundreds of clients worldwide through her online programs to master their anxious mind, and is host of the chart-topping Anxiety Reset® Podcast. She's deeply committed to helping career-driven women step out of anxiety and fear using The Anxiety Reset® Method so they can thrive with confidence and pursue their heart's desires. Georgie’s first book The Anxiety Reset Method is now available for purchase.
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Broadcast: March 17, 2023
Here is a snippet of our conversation…
How would you define high functioning anxiety?
High functioning anxiety is the kind where general day-to-day activities and responsibilities are carried out. You tend to get the job done, get through life, and from the outside people would think you've got it all together. People see someone who is in some ways performing well in various areas of life, but on the inside it's a different experience. And so it might not look like what we think anxiety looks like - hyperventilating, panic attacks - it can, but usually it's a little more subtle and it's more of that worry, and racing mind, self-doubt going into those crippling self-doubt spirals. Women with high functioning anxiety often notice they can feel confident at times and then fall into these crashes of self-doubt too. On the physical side of the sensation, it could feel like a churning or a butterflies in the belly kind of feeling. It might look like a racing heartbeat. It could be sweaty palms, or it could also be, and this is an interesting one that sort of overlaps the physical and the mental experiences, the mind blank. You just completely forget what you're saying, or you notice a situation is stressful and you can't focus at all…
What could we do in tricky moments to help break that cycle?
..emotional eating and supporting ourselves with food is such a common one that I see with women with high functioning anxiety because the food was always there for us. Like, we don't have to bother anyone, it's just the friend that's always going to bring us comfort, without us having to deal with any of our stuff. So I would say before we reach for the food or buy something online or do the things that are distracting us from our feelings, it's really doing that uncomfortable work and saying, what is this about? What is this anxiety trying to tell me? Learning to befriend it as a helpful signal that is just letting you know that something is a little bit out of balance or there's a need that isn't being met, that is being required of you.
I remember someone defining anxiety to me as unexpressed emotion. Do you think that's true?
Absolutely. So essentially anxiety can build up, it's almost like a volcano filling with lava. All these emotions are there - our grief, our sadness, our frustration, our anger, and that's all behind anxiety. If you can imagine that volcano is getting really full of lava and it's about to explode, it's going to shake and shutter a little bit, right? So that's the anxiety or the panic attack.. when what we really need to do is look at those deeper emotions underneath, and gosh - we have so much grief, so much to grieve in our lives beyond bereavement, beyond actually losing a person that we love. There are so many other forms of grief and we will all lose people that we love in our lives at some point. So, there's that element to grief. But there's grief of your job. There's grief of the life that you had, maybe the life you had before you had children. Before you met your partner. There's so many relationships to grieve and friendships to grieve, right? So much to grieve that we don't want to look at because society tells us, keep calm and carry on.