Three Benefits To Feeling Anxious
Have you ever been so worried about an important presentation at work that you thought your heart would burst? Or have you become physically sick out of sheer nervousness for a school exam?
High levels of anxiety are nothing new, often experienced when going through unprecedented situations that are stress-inducing and extremely pressuring. Sometimes, they can lead to debilitating symptoms, like sweating, trembling, dizziness, and the like.
“Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure,” says the American Psychological Association. “People with anxiety disorders usually have recurring intrusive thoughts or concerns.”
Without a doubt, anxiety – especially constant and repeated attacks – are extremely disruptive, leaving one unable to take advantage of opportunities that come their way, out of fear, as well as the mistaken belief that it would only lead to failure.
It’s clear that one must do all that they can to ensure that their anxiety levels won’t throw their daily routine – and even their entire life – into disarray. However, experts largely agree that feeling anxious can have a few benefits.
Here are three reasons why anxiety can prove to be advantageous to us.
You Have Backup Plans
Individuals who frequently experience anxiety tend to have backup plans, just in case things go wrong. For instance, a bride-to-be nervous about her upcoming wedding will have contingencies in the event that her florist pulls out or her caterer is unable to deliver. Or a student about to take a calculus exam may be worried about the batteries on his calculator, stashing away an extra one in his pocket.
At the end of the day, having a couple of backup plans up your sleeve will save you a lot of time, stress, and money. It allows you to prepare beforehand for every scenario imaginable, ensuring that you have everything covered in case something goes wrong.
You’re More Empathetic
People usually feel overwhelmed and incredibly anxious whenever they’re out socializing, whether it be at a professional networking event or a get-together with casual acquaintances. Understandably, social anxiety is a frustrating experience, often leading to awkward and stilted conversations.
However, those with anxiety are often more empathetic and compassionate towards others. Their ability to instantly understand another’s emotions is unparalleled, which allows them to handle sensitive situations with ease.
You Can Protect Yourself Better
The “fight or flight” psychological and biological response helps individuals protect themselves whenever they feel threatened or at risk. By pumping important biochemicals throughout the body, it leaves them capable of either fighting or escaping dangerous situations.
While this response is naturally ingrained in us, those who often experience high levels of anxiety are inclined to be more aware of danger and can immediately assess a situation, which means that they can more accurately pinpoint whether a fight or a flight response would be more appropriate. Because they’re more in tune with their anxiety, as well as with the circumstances surrounding them, they can protect themselves better from potential threats.
Feeling anxious is often seen as a weak and crippling emotion – one that undermines our abilities and renders us incapable of functioning. However, it’s important to note that anxiety does have several advantages, and learning how to handle these, leveraging them into something good, leaves us all the better.