The list of reasons why anxiety sucks is a very long one, but have you ever stopped to think about the good things that anxiety does for you?
“Wait, what?! Good things??” Yes! You read that right. Good things!!
While anxiety can be awful, there are some not-so-awful things that anxiety does. They may even work to your advantage.
In the spirit of this recently past Thanksgiving holiday, I want to share with you some reasons why you should give thanks for your anxiety.
**(if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, this article is for you too! It’s less about the holiday and more about finding the positives in negative situations!)
This symptom plagues our anxiety community. It. Is. Aggravating. When those wheels get to turning, it can feel impossible to stop. That being said, overthinking isn’t all bad! Let me tell you why.
1. It saves you from saying things that you’ll regret!
Do you painstakingly analyze every sentence you string together before it ever leaves your lips? Then the chances of you saying something you’ll regret are pretty slim!
Because you overthink, it’s unlikely that you’ll sling out an insult during a heated argument, or blurt out something careless to a friend. That’s one less thing to keep you up at night, and a great benefit for your significant other or best pal!
2. It motivates you to get things done!
You know that super annoying noise your door started making? It began yesterday. You keep telling yourself that you’re going to get around to WD-40ing that sucker, but your anxiety just isn’t letting it go. Might as well fix it really quick so you can stop obsessing over it.
Your anxiety doesn’t let things go, but that isn’t always a bad thing. Instead of having a mile long to-do list, you get the easy fixes knocked out as quickly as possible. The fewer things that your anxiety has to remind you about it at 1 am when you’re trying to catch some sleep, the better.
3. It pressures you to make improvements to your life!
Anxiety knows what you really want, and it’s going to bully you for as long as it takes to get you there.
For example, If your weight is causing you to have a negative self-image, it’s going to comment on those thoughts until you start making changes. It knows you want to change, and it’s not going to lay off until you are happy with that aspect of your life.
4. It can help you save money!
If your anxiety is like mine, it makes you second guess every purchase you ever consider.
Trying to pick out cereal at the grocery store is a very long process for me. It’s annoying, yes, but I can’t tell you how often my anxiety saves me from buying something that I will NEVER use.
I think we can all appreciate a better spending habit.
5. It makes you a professional googler! (is that even a word?)
You overthink everything, so when you need answers where do you go? Google!
I can find answers to the most hard-to-find questions. Why? Because I’m constantly googling things!!
I think I should add “professional googler” to my resume.
I don’t know about you, but my anxiety is continually reminding me about all of my fears and insecurities. It can tear down my self-esteem, but in the same breath, it helps me. “How Kabrina, could that possibly be helpful?” Well, I’ll tell you!!
6. It keeps you from being the things you don’t want to be!
I have this fear of being a selfish person. (it probably stems from my childhood, that is a whole other story) But my point is, every time my anxiety tells me I’m selfish, that fear will make me stop and analyze whether or not my decision IS actually selfish. It ensures that I will never be that thing I’m so desperate to avoid.
If your anxiety is tearing you down over things that you genuinely can’t change, use that as a reminder to start practicing self-acceptance.
7. It makes you give 100% every time!
Because you always think nothing you do is good enough, you do the best you can. If you’re doing the best that you can, then that is all that you can ask from yourself.
Oh, that darned paranoia symptom. You feel like you should be walking around with a tinfoil hat on your head.
Anxiety paranoia can make it feel like people are out to get you, judging you, or that you or your loved ones are slowly dying from an unknown illness. That last one was heavy, but you’ve probably worried about it.
We get scared over things that are extremely unlikely and convince ourselves that it’s more of a possibility than it actually is BUUUUUT, there are some positives to this one.
8. You notice early symptoms!
If you have kids, you’re probably constantly paranoid about your children’s health. Your child coughs, you run to Google, and by the time you’re done, you’re convinced your two-year-old has somehow contracted Ebola (or some other deadly illness). You rush to make a doctors appointment, all to find out your child has.. *drum roll please* a cough! It’s stressful, but guess what? You’re going to have a head start if your child contracts anything serious.
9. You’re going to be safer than most!
Do you scout out the exits in a public place in case something terrible happens, and you need to get out fast? Well, guess what… You’re probably one of the very few that do that. The chances of you needing that knowledge are pretty small, but if you ever do, you’re going to be thankful.
Do you find yourself looking around in the grocery store to make sure that someone isn’t following you, or that someone isn’t staring at you or your children? We’ve seen this a lot on the news lately, and it happens more than you think. You’re not paranoid, you’re aware, and one day that could save you.
anxious people tend to be hyper-aware of their surroundings, and while this can leave you feeling very drained, it can also be beneficial.
10. You’re going to notice if you’re in danger!
I just talked about paranoia and how it can help you, but being hyper-aware of your surroundings is going to do the same thing. You’re going to notice that the man walking behind you has managed to land on the same three isles as you. (it may be a coincidence, but you noticed him, and that is good!)
11. You can read people!
You notice very small mannerisms that convey how people are feeling. This is a great talent to have. It makes you excellent at steering conversations in the right direction. You can tell when you’ve hit a topic that doesn’t jive well with the individual. You also pick up people’s lying tics pretty quickly, making it easier to find the truth.
12. You can spot a troublesome person pretty quickly!
Do you get a gut feeling about people shortly after meeting them? Does that gut feeling usually end up right? That’s probably because you take in a lot more than most people, and a lot faster! You can tell a lot from a person’s tone of voice, mannerisms, and the way the word things.
Anxiety can make you feel like you’re always at war with yourself. Like everything anxiety related its exhausting, but there are some positives to this tiring symptom.
13. The small wins matter to you!
When you’re constantly fighting to be better, you realize how important it is to appreciate the small victories. Some people in this world only feel accomplished when they do something life-altering. You, my dear, have learned every little improvement deserves to be celebrated.
14. It makes you a more understanding person!
You know how hard you fight behind closed doors just to be normal. You are aware that everyone has their own demons, and you’re more likely to cut someone some slack because of this fact.
One of the biggest keys to managing your anxiety is changing your mindset. If you are content obsessing over the negatives instead of trying to give yourself more of the positive, then you just aren’t going to improve.
A little positivity goes a long way. Take a step back and look at your problems from a different viewpoint.
Can you think of something positive that your anxiety does? Comment below!!
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