Anxiety Is the ‘Shadow’ of Intelligence, Renowned Psychologist Explains How

They say that anxiety is a burden and when it comes to a recognized mental health issue, it obviously is, however a little anxiety could actually be good for you.

Everyone experiences anxiety, it could be about a job interview or trying to tick everything off your to-do list but you get told not to worry about it, let the anxiety go. If you let the anxiety go, it could be great, you could be floating around a cloud of happiness and not worrying about anything but there’s also negatives to being completely anxiety free.

David Barlow, the founder and director emeritus of The Centre for Anxiety and Related Disorders at Boston University and author of Anxiety and Its Disorders, explains why.

Humans can plan and anticipate future events and there’s where anxiety can be positive. In 1949, psychologist Howard Liddell, wrote how anxiety “accompanies intellectual activity as its shadow.”

Anxiety can motivate you when you have major tasks to accomplish, maybe you’re moving to a new house or even just going on a date. The anxiety you feel motivates you to perform at a high level, it ensures you take care of what needs doing.

Anxiety, along with fear, is part of what keeps humanity surviving. Being able to plan for the future and to think ahead about what’s to come, is beneficial in survival. It enables you to look after yourself, to plan what you need to stay alive.

The key is anxiety leading to fruitful action.

If someone says they have no anxiety about anything, be wary. This kind of person may be fun and carefree but you won’t be able to rely on them as they’re likely to be careless. A little anxiety can be great, so if you’re worrying about the day ahead, take a deep breath and remember that it’s a positive sign.

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