The 20 Most Unexpected Benefits of Anxiety

benefits of anxiety
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DISCLAIMER

Please always remember that there is no quick fix for any mental health issue. In order to overcome it, you have to address your problem and ask for help a mental health professional. There are many mental health institutions where you can find professional support. Suffering in secret is never a good idea. Mental health professionals are out there to help people with any type of mental health issue. Don’t minimize your problems, sometimes everyone needs help and there is nothing to be ashamed of. If you find it difficult to go to the mental health institution just call a helpline (you can easily find a number online and it’s free!)

Remember you are not alone even if you feel this way. Many people have mental health problems especially in today’s world where it becomes more and more difficult to cope with stress and anxiety. All you need to do is to take care of yourself!

how to overcome anxiety

If you suffer from anxiety you probably think that nothing worse could have happened to you. If you feel this way it wouldn’t really surprise me because until quite recently I’ve believed that my anxiety is not only my worst enemy but above all my biggest weakness. I remember all these frustrating moments especially during various job interviews when they asked me this stupid question: What is your biggest weakness?

When I hear this I just want to scream at the top of my lungs: anxiety, Anxiety, ANXIETY! In case, you haven’t noticed yet. Let’s talk about your weaknesses, you mor*n…

Oh my gosh, I hate this question, I literally HATE this! Why they even ask you this? Really, what’s the point? Is this some kind of mind game or an incredibly pathetic way to distract or upset a person who they (job interviewers) are talking to? I don’t know about you but for me personally, this question is not only embarrassing but actually offensive.

I know, that self-awareness is one of the most important skills you can acquire in life and of course knowing your weaknesses and trying to overcome them it’s definitely part of this process BUT asking this dumb question to a complete stranger during a job interview is just ridiculous. Unless someone finds some kind of sadistic pleasure in making people embarrassed and extremely uncomfortable. And then, let’s face it a job interviewer can receive only two types of answers; one would be a complete lie, because hello! …who wants to admit their real weaknesses and waste the chance to get a job. The second possible answer will be actually true because given by a person with potentially low self-esteem and dangerously developed superego. Unfortunately, the second option (the honest one) will bury every single possibility to get the job… So, in both cases, an applicant is losing because oversharing just like lying as we all know doesn’t pay at least in the long term.

I’m not saying that we should focus only on our strengths and good qualities but label people with their so-called weaknesses which in my opinion are a completely subjective thing is some kind of perverse and unnecessary. Especially if we are talking about anxiety which by no means can be described as a person’s weakness. But unfortunately because of social stigma that’s exactly what it is. This phenomenon exists only to facilitate labeling others. I just don’t understand why we should establish further criteria for categorizing people? That makes absolutely no sense to me at all. So, why we won’t go a step further? Let’s use Post-it notes to describe a people’s selected character and biological traits and stick it to their backs so that we all could know with who we are dealing with right away, no games, no wasting time. That would be SO convenient. Don’t you think? Imagine that. You wouldn’t have to spend some time with others, talk,  ask questions, observe their behaviors etc because there would be everything on Post-it notes glued to someone’s body. However, before doing this we should all agree on what crazy color goes with a particular feature and of course, on what part of the human body we should glute it. This would make “get to know somebody” even easier. For example we could assign a yellow Post-it to depression, orange Post-it to anxiety, pink Post-it for sexual orientation, gray Post-it for single parents (because they are already treated with pity) and I know, a red Post-it for everyone who is struggling with some kind of addiction because it would be easily visible at a distance with who we are REALLY dealing with. It would be SO convenient… and extremely STUPID at the same time. Who on Earth thinks that a human being is only a bunch of character traits and other features? Is there really anyone who believes that we can categorize people on the basis of particular arrangements of those characteristics and features and put them in some kind of imaginary box just like we do with different objects? Oh my gosh, it’s so pathetic, naive and foolish. I feel sorry for those who believe in this bulls**t. No, I’m sorry if I’m offending someone but we as human beings are not a bunch of characteristics and different features. Everyone is a unique and individual human being with their own life story, personal experiences of suffering and joy, the vision of life, moral compass, goals, self-image and of course… we all have skeletons in our closet. So please, for God’s sake STOP labeling people as they were some kind of objects or office items. It’s really not helping anyone. It’s just the opposite, it can only hurt somebody because it’s unfair, wrongridiculous and just absurd. So please, STOP doing this.

Personally, I think that this is the biggest problem with a perception of Anxiety. Anytime when someone who does not know anything about this disorder finds out that I am myself suffering from Anxiety gives me this strange look. You probably know exactly what I am talking about. I mean this kind of look that tells you immediately that this person has already formed an idea about you and your whole life. As if it was possible to know everything about somebody and understand their life story after discovering one single thing about them… no, I’m sorry but it is NOT possible. Let’s just establish it now and not get back to this again. I really hope that you agree with me on this matter. I really do because it is extremely important. 

Anyway, after this long introduction, we can finally get to the main point of this post and that is Unexpected benefits/advantages of Anxiety.

Different Types Of Anxiety

First of all, it should be said that there are different types of Anxiety Disorder the most common are:

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Social Anxiety
  • Specific phobias
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (OCD)
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (PTSD)

Anxiety Is An Disorder

Regardless of the symptoms, causes, and diagnosis, every person perceives anxiety differently. Everyone experience is different, unique and personal. Anxiety does not define a person. Nor other mental or physical issues do. We should never forget about this. We tend to judge, label, criticize, stigmatize others so easily, mindlessly and carelessly. We should stop doing this, seriously.

Secondly, is important to understand that Anxiety is a disorder, a serious health issue NOT a personal choice. And for all of these people who do not understand that Anxiety is a serious medical issue please stop talking all this nonsense that anxious person should just behave normal, be more positive, smile more and worry less, etc. And my favorite one: “Others have it worse so stop exaggerating”… Yep, I’ll bet that every person who suffers from Anxiety Disorder heard this bulls**t more than once. It’s so frustrating and it definitely makes things even worse.

Every single person who suffers from anxiety perceives this disorder differently. Even if the symptoms are the same everyone experiences them in a different way because it’s an individual thing. I’ve read many times that anxious people view the world differently BUT it doesn’t mean one particular vision of the world that share all of the anxious people. It’s not some kind of freak show, for a God’s sake. For example, high functioning anxiety is different from agoraphobia just like anorexia nervosa is different from bulimia. We all see the world in an individual way.

Remember that fear can be irrational but it is always perceived as a real danger. It happens because the effective perception of fear signals in our brain activate control defensive mechanism in our body and as we all know it is crucial for our survival as human beings. If you suffer from Anxiety don’t feel guilty about it, it’s not your fault. No one is responsible for having a disease. However, everyone is responsible for their mental and physical health. It depends only on us if we want to get well if we decide to seek medical treatment and how much we will commit to our recovery. (the best option is 100% of course).

And thirdly, you should know that there are unexpected advantages of Anxiety. Living with this particular disorder can be taught and extremely exhausting especially if you have to deal with many emotional triggers, panic and anxiety attacks. BUT, let’s stop for a second and just think outside the box. Have you ever thought that there can be some, surprising advantages of having an Anxiety Disorder? When I first heard about this, I thought what kind of sick joke is that? Then I said to myself: But, wait a minute, since I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder, many things have changed. I’ve changed. I started practicing mindfulness, learning about self-care, taking seriously physical activity and the most important I’ve created a healthy, life balance. It may seem crazy but in the past, I wasn’t paying attention to my physical and mental health at all. Can you imagine that a couple of days (or night) ago I’ve slept for 7 hours straight for the first time in my life? This is crazy. I’m still learning how to listen to my body and I know that being diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder changed me for the better.

Listen to me now and believe me later, we can use Anxiety to our advantage. It won’t be easy but it’s possible. It requires hard work, commitment, patience, and self-awareness but it’s worth that sacrifice. Remember that you owe this to yourself. You deserve to be happy, peaceful and satisfied with your life.

So, let’s list the unexpected advantages of Anxiety.

(Please note that I’m speaking from my personal experience and from my friend’s life stories)  

Use Anxiety To Your Advantage

Benefits Of Anxiety

Unexpected benefits and advantages of suffering from Anxiety:

Anxiety can be beneficial when you.:

1. Become Mindful

Mindfulness is power.

  • Start practicing mindfulness & Learn how to live in the present moment
  • Keep in mind that the present moment is the only real and authentic one
  • Mindfulness techniques are thought to deal with intrusive thoughts and accommodate them with kindness and compassion
  • Mindfulness helps you create a healthy relationship with yourself  

 2. Start meditate

Meditation is a powerful tool

  • Meditation helps you to train your mind and redirect your thoughts.
  • Guided meditations reduce stress and anxiety and teach you to stay mindful and focused on the present moment
  • The purpose of meditation is to connect with your higher self, with your intuition and inner voice which are our best guidance in life
  • My advice: create a dedicated place at your home (the one where the magic happens) for meditations and start meditating right away!

3. Develop self-love & self-compassion

  • Self-love is the most important ingredient you need to add to your life because it plays a key role in your personal growth and self-awareness
  • Both self-love and love for others is simply an authentic and transparent state of awareness and a sign of being an authentic human being
  • Love is not about feeding your ego or meeting somebody’s expectations but about self-compassion, self-respect, kindness and genuine affection
  • Developing self-love and self-compassion means creating positive self-talk, silencing your inner critic and learn about yourself

4. Create a self-care routine

  • Self-care is crucial for our physical and mental health
  • Learning how to take care of yourself equals self-compassion, self-awareness, self-management, confidence, mindful living and making healthy life choices
  • Self-care routine helps you to stay productive, motivated and focused on our goals
  • My advice: divide self-care routine into three different parts: physical, mental and emotional to be sure that you’re not forgetting about any of the important parts of this trade 🙂
  • Examples of self-care routine: physical activity (for me it’s a workout), healthy balanced diet, guided meditations, yoga, aromatherapy, sleep enough, positive affirmations (mirroring practice)

5. Build a social support system

  • Create a social network of people who can understand what you’re going through, respect your feelings and emotions, know how to listen and help you to calm down and make you feel secure in a high-stress situations
  • If you suffer from a psychological crisis talk to somebody, you don’t have to and you should not suffer in silence. Talking, sharing your thoughts and experiences can be not only extremely helpful but even cathartic

6. Create a healthy daily & night routine

  • Healthy daily & night routine is necessary for the mental & physical wellbeing
  • Don’t forget that we are creatures of habit and through the healthy routine, we can achieve our goals to find life purpose
  • Healthy routine keeps you grounded, motivated, productive and focused on your micro & macro goals. It also provides familiarity in your life, increases efficiency, helps you to break bad habits and build the good ones, provides a better sleep and builds better mental & physical health!
  • My advice: create a good daily routine, adopt a schedule and set your goal structure because living day by day in a chaotic, unplanned manner means sacrificing your sanity  

7. Personal growth & Self-improvement

  • Dealing with anxiety can be your path to your personal growth
  • Anxious people are usually more dedicated to improving themselves
  • Being honest, an Anxiety Disorder changed me for the better, because it was and it still is essential for my growth and development as a person. Since I was diagnosed I managed to prioritize my life, establish both micro & macro goals and find my life purpose, the real one

8. Become organized 

  • Learn how to establish goals and plan ahead
  • Concentrate on your macro & micro goals – you become determined to move forward, achieve your goals
  • Develop the ability to fight procrastination
  • My advice: Make a schedule and stick with it – remember that schedule means getting things done

9. Discover the benefits of journaling

  • Writing a journal it’s a form of storytelling
  • Writing a journal helps you to calm down, regain your focus, understand your feelings and emotions, release anger and frustration, liberates you from overthinking and overanalyzing past events
  • Any form of writing (journal, creative writing, letters etc can be extremely therapeutic
  • My advice: create a self-care journal and do not leave your house without it!

10. Discover Art therapy

  • Art therapy is thought to be good coping techniques
  • Is a proven fact that art therapy is a creative method of dealing with anxiety and depression
  • My advice: use anxiety to your advantage and improve your performance, choose the form of creative work that you like and feed your passion
benefits of anxiety

11. Start working on self-esteem

  • Dealing with anxiety teaches us how to put ourselves first and work on self-esteem
  • Anxiety can damage self-esteem and social stigma around mental health issues significantly contributes to it
  • My advice: work on self-esteem (read books about self-esteem, implement the mirroring technique into your daily routine, use the positive affirmation, pay attention to the negative self-talk, feed your passions, give yourself credit for every single achievement – trust me it makes wonders!)

12. Learn how to confront the fear

  • Healthy coping mechanisms help us to confront fear instead of denying it
  • “Courage is not the absence of fear; it is acting in spite of it” -Mark Twain; becomes your life motto
  • If you suffer from anxiety you learn that thoughts are not facts
  • Fear can be irrational but it is always perceived as a real danger but through mindful techniques, you learn how to distinguish between real danger and an imaginary one

13. Get better at asking for help

  • Create your social support system
  • Stop making someone guess what you want or need
  • Learn where to seek help – do your own research
  • Make your request effectively and honestly
  • Learn how to be grateful

14. Learn to be more grateful

  • Gratitude is a quality to be thankful and respectful
  • Being grateful means appreciate what you receive (I don’t mean only materialistic things)
  • Being grateful makes us decent human being and definitely bring meaning into our life
  • My advice: Start practicing mindfulness because we  never know what tomorrow brings

15. Become more empathetic

  • In my personal opinion, people who experience anxiety find it easier to show  empathy to others because they understand how difficult and exhausting dealing with extreme emotions really is   
  • If you suffer from anxiety you probably feel this desire to make things better
  • Empathy makes us decent human being
  • Practicing empathy is extremely healing and it definitely contributes to personal growth

16. Develop healthy coping skills & the ability to deal with stress

  • Diagnosis of anxiety disorder is an important impulse to learn healthy coping skills
  • Anxious people learn how to distinguish between good and bad stress and they use mindfulness techniques to deal with it in a healthy way

17. Learn how to relax

  • If you suffer from an Anxiety Disorder you probably find it extremely hard to turn off your brain and just relax because you constantly fight with intrusive thoughts, possible scenarios analysis, perfectionism, and guilt. Furthermore, dealing with anxiety is difficult and extremely exhausting and it takes time what can make you think that you are procrastinating which obviously is NOT true.
  • Relax is an important part of self-care. It is our possibility to recharge our batteries, rethink our goals, plans and ideas. If you feel guilty for taking some time to relax – schedule it! I’m serious, implement relax in your daily routine. Productivity, creativity, and motivation do NOT exist without relaxing and recovery. So give yourself permission to switch off your brain and relax because you deserve it.   

18. Stop being a control freak

  • We cannot control everything, some things happen beyond our control and we have to accept this.
  • Learn through mindfulness techniques how to stop stressing about things you cannot control
  • Relax becomes an important part of self-care NOT a waste of time or a synonym of procrastination
  • Remember that being a control freak takes the fun out of being alive

19. Develop the ability to predict different scenarios

  • Anxious people are able to detect and avoid a possible risk and potential danger
  • Anxiety can be an advantage in making plans, analyzing possible scenarios
  • It is proven that people who experience anxiety are less likely to be the victims of fatal accidents because they are too careful and overly cautious what as you can see can be highly beneficial  

20. Physical activity becomes more important

  • If you suffer from anxiety you probably know that physical activity improves mental health and play a key role in the recovery process
  • It’s a proven fact that exercising on a daily basis not only boost our mood and energy level but also helps to reduce anxiety and panic.
  • Physical activity stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, these chemicals that are produced in our brains are directly responsible for our mood
  • For me personally working out is the best way to clear my mind and set a positive mindset for the rest of the day

If you suffer from anxiety this post is dedicated to you! I hope it will inspire you to use your anxiety to your advantage because it is POSSIBLE and HIGHLY BENEFICIAL!

Anxiety Disorder is a path to personal growth.

Anxiety can be your superpower!


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Karen
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I am by no means an expert on anxiety disorders, but from my own experiences with PTSD much of how I was living my life was dictated by the character traits I’d developed in order to deal with trauma. When things are so ingrained as a part of you it’s incredibly difficult to change, but not impossible.

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Hey, I’m Kate. I am a blogger with a holistic & mindful approach to life. If I am not here it’s because I’m enjoying my creamy cappuccino in one of my favourites coffee shops… 😎

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