Do Those That Have Anxiety Also Have Superpowers?
If you are affected by anxiety, this headline might seem like an awful joke. Anxiety causes feelings of extreme discomfort, nervousness, jitteriness and worry. Those feelings do not sound like a superpower; however, they can lead to heightened senses in other areas of their life.
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 18 percent of the adult population over 18 years old. Those who experience mild cases of anxiety, often find ways to cope with the issues that arise with healthy, natural ways — such as running, meditation and breathing exercises. Severe anxiety is less common, only affecting about 4 percent of the American population, and can be less manageable without the use of medication.
A study done by researchers at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center found that there is a positive correlation between being diagnosed with anxiety and also having a high IQ. People that have anxiety are consistently over analyzing, causing them to take in certain elements of the world in that others might miss. They tend to have a high attention to detail. They also remember more details of their experiences to apply to their future endeavors, enabling them to be more successful in life. Having anxiety may also aid in developing personality traits that serve well in higher education, as well as professions like writers and lawyers.
In addition to the feeling of worry and anxiousness that come with being diagnosed, most anxious people also have a heavy feeling of guilt. Sometimes this feeling of guilt or dread is associated with a very simple mishap, but it also keeps most anxious people fairly honest. This is another possible superpower that can backfire on a person that has anxiety but mostly only brings about positive results. Being an honest and a good communicator is important to your career and personal relationships. Most anxious people are eager to talk about why they are feeling the way that they do in an effort to remedy any discomfort.
Israeli psychologists’ research at the Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa found that highly socially anxious people “exhibited elevated empathetic tendencies.” Their heightened awareness in social situations enable them to pick up on other’s feelings and body language more than others that do not have anxious tendencies. It is both a blessing and a curse of a superpower, though, because some anxious people tend to avoid others to not have their mind plagued with the thoughts and feelings of others.
An anxiety-riddled person is constantly on the lookout for life’s curve-balls. They also have a heightened flight-or-fight response that is more easily triggered. French scientists found that some anxiety-prone people’s brains have the ability to detect potential threats in just a fraction of a second (200 milliseconds to be exact). This fast detection and reaction time gives them the superpower to avoid threats and danger, which may aid in one day saving their, or another’s, life.
While anxiety can feel crippling at times, make sure to take note of the superpowers that anxious people may have. At anytime a person may be reading your energy, possibly saving you from a catastrophic event or be able to empathize with you when you are having a tough time. Forced to live in a world that they have to combat their feelings on a day-to-day basis, people with anxiety are some of the strongest people that you will ever meet.