Anxiety is not an alien term to humans. One of the most common mental illnesses includes anxiety disorder and it is not pretty. The uncontrollable bouts of fear, often irrational are enough to jitter our brains. But what if someone told you anxiety has its perks?
Situational anxiety, not chronic anxiety disorder might actually be beneficial for us.
Anx-iety is often related to fear and worry. Whether it be irrational dread or valid nervousness, the feeling that is attached to anx-iety is often uncomfortable. At the least it can affect you with mere nervousness and at worst, it can make you your grip with negative thoughts and complete loss of control due to immense dread. While there may different levels of anx-iety, some uglier than the other, the truth lies that anx-iety is actually a necessary mechanism.
How is it beneficial?
Charles Darwin said that species that ‘fear rightly’ have more chances of survival than those which don’t fear. Anx-iety at doing something new or meeting new people is valid because that is our mind’s way of protecting us. Often the ‘gut feeling’ that we get before beginning a new friendship or the ‘cold feet’ that we get before the wedding is our subconscious way to tell us that something might be off or some issues are unresolved. Anx-iety is one way of warning us.
Famously known as the ‘Fight or flight’ mode is the state of peak anxiety at the face of the dancer. The intensity of the anger and fear lead to the adrenaline rush. The near-death situation triggers the condition and is often followed by the quickening of heartbeat, palpitation, cold sweat and thumping of heart. The condition often makes us more capable of dealing and surviving the incident and imminent danger. In research, it was concluded that American adolescents who suffered from anxiety had a higher chance of surviving accidents.
Anxiety, to a certain limit, can improve performance under high pressure. A person under danger can do unimaginable feats which may not be possible under normal circumstances. Research shows that students who are anxious about examination fare better. But at the same what must be remembered is that it is only true to some extent. If the anxiety crosses the beneficial threshold, it becomes troublesome.
Experiencing anxiety can make one sensitive towards the cause and understanding others’ perils with anxiety. Empathy is something which is not very common among people but suffering anxiety will induce the maternal instincts of care and the support that a sufferer might need. Support and sensitivity are triggered by anxiety.
Adds to leadership qualities
Borderline anxiety is also helpful in making a leader a bit more careful and considerate. A leader who is anxious about future outcomes will go through the multitude of possibilities of outcome and decide which might be the best route to follow. He would care about choosing projects and distributing responsibilities because he has already thought through all the possible outcomes.
While a lot of positives of anxiety have been focused on in the article, it no way promotes the idea that anxiety disorder is desirable or not an issue that people suffer with. While keeping in mind all the cons, which are in fact many, the issue, anxiety has been observed from a positive light.