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5 Surprising Benefits of Anxiety


Living with anxiety can feel overwhelming, exhausting, even frustrating at times. Sometimes, it can keep you up at night or doubt your own abilities.

However, there are a few things that anxiety can teach you. It may even be helpful and benefit you from time to time. When you take a step back and explore your relationship with anxiety, it just might help you uncover some of your more significant strengths and help you identify what your values are.

So, let’s take a look at some of the ways anxiety can be beneficial.

1. Anxiety acts as a warning sign.

While distraction can be healthy to a certain extent, if a thought or feeling makes you feel anxious more often than not, your body and mind may be telling you something needs to be addressed.

Anxiety can be a red flag that tells you that you need to become more aware of your current situation or make a few necessary changes in your life. A recurring worry or nervousness can indicate that something isn’t right and needs to be adjusted.

For example, you may realize that you’re in a relationship that isn’t working for you anymore. Maybe your job is starting to interfere with your home life.So the next time anxiety strikes, take a moment to consider what message it’s trying to send you and what possible adjustment you need to make in your current situation.

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    2. Anxiety can be motivating.

    In facing a challenge, like giving a speech or meeting with your boss for a review, anxiety can help you feel more motivated and prepared in facing them. Research has shown that athletes and students who experience anxiety performed better on tests and competitive sporting events.

    For those who have a solid working memory, anxiety can enhance your performance on cognitive tests. Consider how your anxiety works to create an incentive for you to be successful in some areas of your life.

    Maybe it helps you put in the extra effort into your work or personal responsibilities, or making a good impression when meeting someone new. Think about how you can use it to inspire you and help you grow as a person.

    3. Anxiety is your personal, built- in warning system.

    If every emotion has a purpose, anxiety’s purpose is your body’s natural way of dealing with stress. When nervousness, worry, and fear arise, your body activates its natural stress response system, known as fight or flight. 

    Think about the last time you had an adrenaline rush. Maybe it was after avoiding an accident while driving. Your anxiety and stress response is meant to protect you from harm and react faster to potential threats. It’s what allows you to slam on the brakes when you aren’t paying attention or get out of the way of a reckless driver. 

    Evolutionary speaking, our fight or flight response prepared us to run away (or flee) from a dangerous animal or attack one (fight). The same anxiety that allowed our ancestors to hunt and gather is the same kind we experience on first dates or a job interview.

     Research has shown that teens who struggled with anxiety had fewer car accidents than those who don’t have anxiety. In a sense, anxiety helps you stay alert and keep you safe.

    4. Helps you be a better friend.

    People who deal with anxiety tend to be more empathetic and understanding. Maybe you’re more sensitive to those who are going through the same things you once did, or you’re more loving and accepting when your loved ones are going through something.

    5. Anxiety makes great leaders.

    Anxiety can make you a skillful leader, as it makes you carefully consider the possibility of various outcomes. For example, people with anxiety have described it as ‘a sense’ where they’re more aware of potential issues or things that can go wrong. Anxiety can make you more cautious in your thinking, carefully make decisions, and be great at problem-solving.


    The bottom line

    While anxiety symptoms can be uncomfortable to experience and sometimes challenging to manage, exploring and learning how to cope with them can be an excellent opportunity for self-improvement.  

    However, it’s also worth noting that anxiety can become debilitating in various ways. Your relationships, career, and personal goals can be negatively affected by it. 

    If anxiety stops you from living the life you desire, you may benefit from working with a professional therapist or counselor. They can help you manage symptoms, learn coping strategies and support you in managing your anxiety with a personalized treatment plan. 

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    Is Your Overthinking Sabotaging Your Success?

    Take this quick quiz to find out whether your overthinking habit is holding you back from getting the success you know you deserve.


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    Take this quick quiz to find out whether your overthinking habit is holding you back from getting the success (you know) you deserve.