Scientists have been exploring the effects of anxiety for decades and they have found that besides the commonly shunned-upon negative effects, anxiety indeed does come with a unique set of superpowers too.
Lou Reed once said:
"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out."
Perhaps anxiety, among other things, comes with a sense of heightened perception. It’s indeed this kind of perception that makes anxiety what it is, but it also comes with the gift of perceiving more acutely than most people. These powers enable those with anxiety to harness levels of perception that most other people don’t possess.
So, you can't really blame people with anxiety for being overwhelmed, they're experiencing the world with 15 feelers instead of just one!
1. Life-saving instinct:
Anxiety has been traced back to a much older period of human evolution than you may think. It has its evolutionary roots and it served as a means to protect our ancestors from dangers that would lead to premature death (just like fear).
This survival mechanism used to help people stay alert and be able to detect dangers before they would happen. However, today anxiety has remained and is seen as a response to non-existent dangers. Yet, what if this response is still relevant and useful in certain vital cases?
French scientists have discovered that people with anxiety possess a unique life-saving sixth sense. They have found that some regions in these people’s brains possess the ability to detect threats in just 200 milliseconds!
This rapid detection ability allows people with anxiety to react appropriately in cases of social threats in the environment and thus possesses the potential to save one’s life!
2. Increased IQ:
What if anxiety goes hand in hand with a higher IQ? Well, researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Centre in New York confirm that it does. In this study, people with a General Anxiety Disorder were tested for IQ and the researchers found that anxiety correlates positively with intelligence.
It’s no wonder really, knowing that people with anxiety constantly over-analyze their environment. This means that their brains process high volumes of information constantly and a higher IQ is needed for such a thing.
3. Increased empathic ability:
People with anxiety are constantly obsessed with how other people feel. What if this ‘obsession’ is not so much of an obsession, but rather a heightened empathic ability?
Psychologists at the Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa in Israel say that it’s true.
According to the research, high socially anxious people “exhibited elevated empathy tendencies.” They discovered that these people not only possess an increased sense of empathy, but that they could "just tell" people’s emotions with a very high level of accuracy...
Perhaps this is why people with social anxiety often need to avoid other people. Empathy can be a curse as much as it’s a gift if left uncontrolled.
But whatever the reason for their avoiding people, know that a socially anxious person can read your emotions like no other person.
4. Sensing other people’s energy:
While this one has not been scientifically tested or measured like the previous ones, the likeliness of this ability is very high and plausible. People with social anxiety aren’t always affected by it when around people.
In fact, certain people can trigger this anxiety, while others don’t. Thus, it’s highly appropriate to assume that people with social anxiety are able to sense the vibrations from people and feel very uncomfortable by those who emit low-frequency vibes.
So, while there are many things people with anxiety need to cope with, one thing is for certain: anxiety comes with a set of gifts that others don’t usually possess.
Perhaps anxiety is not so much a disorder, but rather a different state of mind that people are not used to?
What are your thoughts on this?