The Benefits Of Anxiety And Why It Might Actually Be Your Superpower
People who suffer from worry and stress frequently feel helpless. It seems as though our own experiences always triumph over us.
But what if we stopped to consider the advantages of our capacity for empathy? Did you know that there are advantages to experiencing anxiety and stress? Here are a few scientifically-backed ways in which stress may be beneficial to your mind and body; keep them in mind the next time stress threatens to take over:
You might find it more motivating
Eustress, as defined by psychologists, is short-term stress that not only energises you but motivates you to take on a new task or situation. This is the type of pressure that makes you feel alive and compels you to try new things.
When you’re experiencing Eustress, you’re being forced out of your comfort zone in a healthy way. Examples include the first time doing something, seeing something, or going somewhere for the first time.
The tension you experience when confronted with such temporary but eye-opening problems is the type that drives you to make the best of the circumstance in which you find yourself.
It has the potential to increase cognitive abilities
A study conducted in 2012 found that anxious people tend to be smarter than those who aren’t anxious. The study compared the IQs of 26 persons with GAD (a small sample size, thus the results should be interpreted with caution) to those of 18 adults without GAD. The results of the tests and studies showed that those with high or even mild levels of anxiety had higher IQs than those without anxiety.
One possible explanation is that modest stress can help our brains establish stronger connections due to a substance called neurotrophins.
It’s a life-altering tool
Those who experience higher levels of stress and anxiety are, unsurprisingly, more alert.
A research published in the European Journal of Psychology found that those of us who experience high levels of anxiety are the first to recognise threats and take action.
Do you ever have the uneasy sense that something isn’t quite right, but you can’t quite put your finger on it, whether you’re strolling alone or in a strange situation? Having a strong sense of place is beneficial.
You’ll become a more reliable buddy as a result
Those of us who are more susceptible to worry and stress are far more in tune with our emotions, but unfortunately, empathy is not something that many people embrace. That implies it improves our ability to perceive the moods and attitudes of individuals around us.
Anxious persons have been shown to have a heightened sense of empathy, making them excellent at mediating conflicts, providing guidance, and even just being a sympathetic ear.