What are the benefits of anxiety?
Anxiety is normally associated with fear and uneasiness. Anxious people are typically viewed as stressed out, nervous, and on edge. For most people the idea of walking around riddled with anxiety is good enough to send them running to the nearest doctor for some anti-anxiety medication.
But, anxiety is not completely negative. There are some traits that anxious people have that are beneficial in our society. Anxiety lends itself towards making people more aware of dangerous situations, helps people be more understanding of others’ feelings, and is a necessary trait in good leadership.
Anxiety In Dangerous Situations
Anxious people are known for having a mind that runs constantly. They are always thinking of the what-ifs in life. Anxiety is a driving factor in those people who are always running different scenarios in their minds. “What would I do if I got a flat tire on the way to the airport?” or, “What happens if lightning strikes the tree outside my house?”
The anxious person is usually best at calculating risks and coming up with solutions before a problem even occurs. In a dangerous situation, the anxious person has probably already pondered the situation beforehand and will most likely be a driving force in implementing the solution.
Non-anxious people tend to live more in the moment. There is nothing wrong with that type of personality. But when danger strikes, it is the anxious person who has already formed a plan of action. And that is going to be most effective.
Anxiety And Friendships
On the surface, it may not sound like an anxious friend would make the best friend. Someone who is already worried about many things may come across as too preoccupied to really give emotions in their relationships. But that could not be further from the truth.
People who are anxious, and are aware of their anxiety, appreciate those in their lives that are true to them. They have a better understanding of what it is like to need support, and understanding. When they find people who accept them for who they are, anxiety and all, they are even more supportive of that relationship.
Anxious people tend to be less judgmental and more accepting of others. They understand what it feels like to be different from those around them.
Anxiety In Leadership Roles
Possibly one of the easiest ways to understand where anxiety would be beneficial is in a leadership role. Any good leader possesses great thinking skills, excellent organization, great planning skills, and the ability to not only think on their feet, but to carry out new ideas quickly and efficiently.
Anxiety keeps the brain moving in many directions at once. It serves to help people multitask and evaluate situations quickly. The most efficient leaders are those who own these skills.
Leaders who are lackadaisical and lack forethought are ineffective, and will soon find themselves replaced with one who has more drive, more anxiety fueling their fire.
Anxiety is not something that should rule our world, but it certainly has its place in our lives. Anxious people should not spend all their time worrying and not enjoying life. They should find that happy balance between stopping and smelling the roses, and knowing what they will do if one of those rose’s thorns happens to stick them.