Benefits of Anxiety
If you ask a roomful of anxious people whether they believe their anxiety could be working toward their advantage, I will bet that 95% of them would say ABSOLUTELY NOT! That feeling of being uncomfortable in your skin, that last breath you can’t take, or that racing heart that’s about to pop out of your chest… Yes, I know the feeling. I’ve suffered from hypochondria and panic attacks for most of my youth and well into my 20’s. It wasn’t until I hit rock bottom at 27 that I was able to turn things around. I started accumulating an abundance of knowledge regarding mental health, the brain-body connection, and optimal nutrition plans for a healthy functioning brain. I was finally able to free myself of my crippling anxiety by applying everything I was learning.
Anxiety can promote negativity, which is why it’s important to maintain a positive outlook on the situation. By looking at things differently, you may be able to alleviate depression, stress, and anything else that can contribute to anxiety. Seeing why anxiety is good can help you view the world differently.
How to Use Anxiety to Your Advantage
# 1 Embrace a Healthier Lifestyle
Those with anxiety tend to focus on a healthier lifestyle because the unhealthier options tend to trigger anxiety. Use anxiety to your advantage by eating healthy foods and practicing yoga, meditation, and exercise because these behaviors can help promote relaxation while increasing the happy chemicals in your brain.
#2 Avoid or Eliminate Toxic Behaviors
Sometimes anxious people are forced to limit or eliminate their exposure to toxic behaviors, such as binging on sugar, smoking, drinking alcohol, and doing drugs, because these things can trigger anxiety.
#3 Personal Growth
Often when we’re faced with struggles in life, it forces us to grow as a person. I can honestly say that hitting rock bottom can potentially be the best thing that will ever happen to you. This usually occurs when people are willing to seek the change they so desperately need. Use anxiety to your advantage by turning struggles into self-growth.
#4 Motivation to Succeed
Anxious people may be more prone to fear failure in life, which can motivate them to succeed at whatever they do. However, people will be most successful if they can find a healthy work/life balance while striving to achieve. Use anxiety to your advantage by allowing it to create a burning desire to achieve whatever makes you happy.
#5 Higher Intelligence
Research suggests that there is a connection between people with anxiety and higher intelligence. The key lies in anxious people’s creativity and the fact that they constantly analyze everything around them. Imagine a robot that’s scanning and closely examining everything around it. This is typically how anxious people process information, which can give them a competitive advantage in intelligence. By redirecting this extra energy to collecting beneficial knowledge and information, they can increase their intellectual potential.
# 6 Avoid Toxic Relationships
Those with anxiety tend to be emotionally intelligent, meaning they are highly sensitive to other people’s emotions, as well as their own. Emotionally intelligent people tend to take on other people’s feelings, which can make them feel good when they are around positive people and bad when they are around negative people. Being attuned to other people’s energy can help you avoid relationships that could be provoking your symptoms.
#7 Keeps You Safe
Did you know that the human brain is programmed to think negatively? This goes back to caveman times and was a defense mechanism to keep us safe from prey, fires, getting lost, etc. This extra vigilance can work to people’s advantage by helping them avoid troublesome situations if they can utilize their fears in a rational way.
#8 Compassionate Toward Others
A higher emotional intelligence means that the anxious person tends to be more sensitive to other people’s feelings. You can think of anxiety as that little conscience in the back of your mind telling you what’s morally right or wrong.
#9 Balanced Lifestyle
From personal experience, I know that my anxiety never allowed me to cling to negative behavior for extended periods. Getting hit with a panic attack was always an indication that my lifestyle had fallen out of balance. Anxiety can give you the advantage of knowing when you need to adjust certain things in your life. If you’re experiencing anxiety, take a minute to scan any changes that may have occurred in your life recently. Maybe too much stress, too much partying, too much junk food, or too much negativity? Either way, you can look at your anxiety as a little nudge to bring things back into balance.
Why Anxiety is Good
It’s easier to see how anxiety can negatively impact your life. However, the positive advantages may not be so obvious. Looking back on my experience with anxiety, I can honestly say that I feel grateful for the effect it had on my life.
Having anxiety forced me to live a healthier life. Having anxiety forced me to say goodbye to toxic relationships. Having anxiety forced me to quit harmful behavior. Having anxiety has humbled me. Having anxiety has made me more compassionate toward others. Having anxiety made me more self-aware of my actions. Having anxiety has motivated me to succeed in life. Having anxiety has forced me into personal growth. Having anxiety gave me the opportunity to write a book that can potentially help others struggling with the same thing that plagued me for much of my youth. As you can see, there are some benefits to having anxiety, so I encourage you to explore how you can use it to your advantage.
About the Author: Taleen Keuftedjian is a mental health and wellness enthusiast who coaches others on the importance of whole-body health. She is the author of the recently published book Balance the Bossy Brain – A Personal Experience Guide on Overcoming Anxiety by Finding and Fixing the Root Cause with a Focus on the Brain Body and Spirit as a Whole
She takes a relatable approach where she uses her own personal experiences to help motivate others to live a healthy, happy, anxiety-free life.
Want to read Balance the Bossy Brain? Check out the link above!
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