Episode 108: Why Shame Is At The Root Of High Functioning Anxiety

Shame is at the root of all anxiety.

Everyone who struggles with anxiety has an underlying belief that they are unworthy, unqualified, a fraud. This belief causes them to worry and anxiously ruminate over feelings of shame and unworthiness. 

We expect people with generalized anxiety, the kind of anxiety we’ve come to know through TV and memes – hiding out, not engaging, numbing – to respond to these feelings by disappearing into themselves. This reaction is triggered by their shame.

But not you. High Functioning Anxiety sends you down a different path.  

No, your response is to over function. Your High Functioning Anxiety has you convinced that the way through the shame is to push yourself more, to accomplish more, to people please, hustle, and polish it all to perfection. All of this in the hope that you can relieve the feelings of shame and anxiety. 

This month on The Happier Approach we’ve been talking about how High Functioning Anxiety plays out in your everyday life. And no conversation about High Functioning Anxiety would be complete without talking about shame. 

Listen to today’s episode to learn:

  • How shame plays out in the everyday lives of people with High Functioning Anxiety
  • What the difference is between shame and guilt
  • How to know when you are acting out of shame by learning to identify Three Strategies of Disconnection:
    • Moving away from your shame
    • Moving against your shame
    • And moving toward your shame
  • And practical approaches to building shame resilience
    • Acknowledge the shame and ask for real empathy for what you are feeling
    • Give yourself kindness and compassion around your feelings
    • And start paying attention to your rules and then lovingly remind yourself to let it go

References & Resources:

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