Living with Anxiety


Anxiety is deliberately, with any amount of anxiety you will understand this and chances are you don’t think of it as beneficial, why would you After all, anxiety has many unpleasant symptoms and negatively impacts our entire being–thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and behaviors. Anxiety most definitely gets in the way of our ability to create and live our lives. Yet anxiety offers some positives and in some ways can be an asset to our lives. Here are three surprising benefits of anxiety to consider so you can use this nuisance to your advantage.

It Does Have Drawbacks

Anxiety does have benefits, whether a full-blown anxiety disorder or ordinary life stress and worry, has negative effects on our lives. It’s okay to acknowledge that because that leads the way to positive action.

What follows isn’t a denial that anxiety is bothersome; instead, it’s an offering of a different perspective. When we can see problems with openness and increase our awareness of their positive side, we can use them to our advantage. We can even stop berating ourselves for experiencing anxiety and start appreciating our whole selves. So just what are the benefits of anxiety?

Surprising Benefits of Anxiety

Anxiety does serve us well in several ways. It has a positive purpose. While the mind talks to us with words and images, that’s not the only way our bodies communicate. The brain and body use physical sensations and abstract, wordless concepts (like joy or anxiety) to send us messages, keep us safe, and help us enhance our situation so we can live life to the fullest. Some of the good things anxiety does for us:

  1. Anxiety alerts us to potential problems. It is the nagging notion that something isn’t right and needs our attention. This warning system can keep us safe from imminent harm if we’re in a dangerous area in the dark, and it can be a glaring clue that we’re in the wrong job or relationship. When you feel anxious, pause to assess what’s going on in your life that might need adjusting.
  2. Heightened anxiety can be motivating. Let’s face it, no matter how success-oriented we are (this could be in our careers, relationships, or pursuits of passions), sometimes life gets too much and Sometimes, we are tempted to throw in the towel, to quit and do something easier. Anxiety and stress can serve us well in these times, giving us the motivation we need to keep going in the face of difficulty.
  3. Anxiety can build compassion and empathy. Often, we are anxious about something because we care. If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t experience worry and stress about people or situations in our lives. Worrying about a loved one can strengthen our sense of connection and caring and help us take measures to protect them. Anxiety can lead to nurturing, both others and ourselves.

Anxiety isn’t all bad. It can have a positive purpose and benefits to our wellbeing.


If you live with any amount of anxiety, chances are you don’t think of it as beneficial. After all, anxiety has many unpleasant symptoms and negatively impacts our entire being–thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and behaviors. Anxiety most definitely gets in the way of our ability to create and live our lives. Yet anxiety offers some positives and in some ways can be an asset to our lives. Here are three surprising benefits of anxiety to consider so you can use this nuisance to your advantage.

Despite the Benefits of Anxiety, It Does Have Drawbacks

First, a caveat: anxiety does have benefits, but that doesn’t mean that you have to love living with it. Anxiety, whether a full-blown disorder or ordinary life stress and worry, has negative effects on our lives. It’s okay to acknowledge that because that leads the way to positive action.When we can see problems with openness and increase our awareness of their positive side, we can use them to our advantage. We can even stop berating ourselves for experiencing anxiety and start appreciating our whole selves. So just what are the benefits of anxiety?

3 Surprising Benefits of Anxiety

Anxiety does serve us well in several ways. It has a positive purpose. While the mind talks to us with words and images, that’s not the only way our bodies communicate. The brain and body use physical sensations and abstract, wordless concepts (like joy or anxiety) to send us messages, keep us safe, and help us enhance our situation so we can live life to the fullest. Some of the good things anxiety does for us:

  1. Anxiety alerts us to potential problems. It is the nagging notion that something isn’t right and needs our attention. This warning system can keep us safe from imminent harm if we’re in a dangerous area in the dark, and it can be a glaring clue that we’re in the wrong job or relationship. When you feel anxious, pause to assess what’s going on in your life that might need adjusting.
  2. Heightened anxiety can be motivating. Let’s face it, no matter how success-oriented we are (this could be in our careers, relationships, or pursuits of passions), sometimes life gets overwhelming we can be tempted to throw in the towel, to quit and do something easier. Anxiety and stress can serve us well in these times, giving us the motivation we need to keep going in the face of difficulty.
  3. Anxiety can build compassion and empathy. Often, we are anxious about something because we care. If we didn’t care, we wouldn’t experience worry and stress about people or situations in our lives. Worrying about a loved one can strengthen our sense of connection and caring and help us take measures to protect them. Anxiety can lead to nurturing, both others and ourselves.

Anxiety isn’t all bad. It can have a positive purpose and benefits to our general well being. When you feel anxious or think worrying thoughts, pause to really listen to what your brain and body are trying to tell you. Use the message to take positive action. If, however, you find that anxiety is preventing you from moving forward and is interfering in one or more areas of your life, take this as another message that it’s okay to seek help.

When you feel anxious or think worrying thoughts, pause to really listen to what your brain and body are trying to tell you. Use the message to take positive action. If, however, you find that anxiety is preventing you from moving forward and is interfering in one or more areas of your life, take this as another message that it’s okay, not to be okay and to seek help.

Steven Connelly

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