Sometimes, my anxiety affects me to the point where I’m afraid to leave my house. For some people, that might not be a big deal, but I’m also a highly social person so hiding away for a few days makes me feel worse. As I’ve gotten older, my anxiety has unfortunately become more of a struggle and has continued taking over my life.
Going to therapy helps, but I reached a point where it just wasn’t enough on its own. I recently started taking medication (more on that in another post, you guys) and am slowly but surely feeling better. The better I feel, the more clearly I can see and understand my anxiety. I’m not getting so wrapped up in how horrible it is to wake up and be terrified all the time because I’m not feeling that overwhelming emotion anymore, which is great!
One thing I didn’t expect was to realize some benefits of my anxiety. Part of my therapy and self-reflection has been to work on finding the silver linings of things. I’ve always been pretty good at that, but when my anxiety started controlling me instead of the other way around, I lost my touch for it. Now that I’m not focusing on being anxious as much, I can see those small silver linings again.
Anxiety, surprisingly, has some positives. If you have anxiety, it might not feel that way, but it’s true!
1. We make decisions more carefully:
If you’re living with anxiety, you likely agonize over making certain decisions. Sometimes even making the smallest choice can throw you into a spiral of panic because your brain makes you go over every possible scenario. When it comes to making really important decisions, this can actually be good thing because you analyze and will make said decision carefully since you’ve thought about it so much.
2. We’re more empathetic and understanding:
Studies show that anxious people are more empathetic and understanding of other people’s emotions. While we may be more sensitive and susceptible to negative emotions, we can also pick up on other people’s emotions more easily than someone who doesn’t have anxiety. Although this can sometimes be emotionally draining for an anxious person, it’s also a good thing because it allows you to understand other people better.
3. We’re easier to trust:
Anxious people have the tendency to feel easily embarrassed, or at least we personally feel embarrassed even in situations that aren’t embarrassing. Well, luckily, that humanizing factor makes you easier to trust. Also, because of your understanding of emotions, people are more likely to open up to you than someone who isn’t as empathetic.
4. We perceive danger better:
I have trouble thinking of this as a positive sometimes because my anxiety makes me scared of a lot of irrational things. I used to get so anxious about falling down the stairs and knocking my teeth out that I would literally clutch the railing the whole way down. That’s one of the bad things about being overly cautious. However, anxious people are far less likely to be involved in fatal accidents because of our cautious behavior. Sometimes your anxiety does alert you to actual danger. If you weren’t anxious, you might not avoid said danger.
5. It can be a good motivator:
Even though anxiety can make it difficult to get things done, it can be a good motivator. Anxious people are often anxious about doing things right or about taking tests, but that anxiety can make you perform better. Instead of letting your anxiety hinder your productivity, make it work for you.
Living with anxiety is hard. I won’t lie about that, but I also am tired of letting my anxiety control me. By taking the reigns and focusing on the positives, I’m dealing with my anxiety so much better than I was before. Yeah, anxiety isn’t fun, but it also is a part of me that I can’t change. So I’m making it work for me instead of against me. For the first time in nearly two years, I can breathe a little easier.
Do you have anxiety? What are some benefits or positives you’ve experienced? Tell us in the comments below!
You can reach this post’s author, Caitlin Corsetti, on Twitter and Instagram!