THE ADVANTAGES OF HAVING ANXIETY
Did you read that right? Did I say advantages to having anxiety? Am I having a wack-attack? That’s right! Advantages to having anxiety. I am determined not to live my life in the negative, and neither should you. Here are some reasons why…
Heightened sense of empathy – As a result of the suffering we endure, we are more easily able to relate to people that are going through difficult times. This makes you a great candidate for being the friend that people come to when they just want someone to listen.
Fewer fatal Accidents – we have a heightened sense of awareness of the environment around us. We are more easily able to avoid situations that could cause us any harm. Your anxious friend will be the one to call 911 or administer first aide.
Strong memories- The fact that we replay almost every human interaction we have ever had over and over in a loop means that we remember things, we remember in detail. This might not be as good for your friends from high-school when you meet their kids.
Good friends – We are selective on who we let in. We screen friends rigorously. If you have an anxious friend you must be good people, because we took our sweet time selecting you. We also make good friends, loyal to a fault and always happy to lend an ear.
Creativity – Comedians, Actors, Musicians and Artists are notorious for having dealt with mental health issues. A great example is Robin Williams, may he rest in peace. Other examples include Brooke Shields, Catherine Zeta Jones and I don’t think there was any doubt Mel Gibson has some issues.
The human race needs us – We are needed for the survival of the human race. Anxiety is essentially a fight or flight reaction, that some believe was developed as a method of survival. This would have made us pretty bad-ass at fighting off Saber-Toother Tigers back in the day, or at the very least, avoiding them.
I have come to accept that my anxiety is as much a part of me as having brown hair, or a smart ass attitude. I refuse to continue to focus on the negative. It isn’t going anywhere so my life has become about how to cope. It has become about gaining knowledge, finding out what works for me, cutting out the things that don’t, and trying my best to remain positive! To quote a very smart fish, “Just keep swimming!”
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I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder in my early 20s, but started dealing with it much younger than that. I am in my 30s, I work in mental health giving my anxiety a sense of purpose. I recently started writing about my experiences and have been so empowered and humbled by the support I have received from strangers and friends alike.
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