Does some anxiety stem from greater intelligence?

Having a brain that overthinks everything can be a blessing and a curse.

Some people get anxiety and obsess over details.

Almost as hard as getting an Oscar. GIF from "Wolf of Wall Street."


And we often see it as a sign that there's something broken in our psyches or that we're not dealing with things correctly. And since it's not fun to feel anxious, sometimes we rush to try to find ways to make it go away.

Managing anxiety in whatever way you and/or your doctor decide is right for you is important, but if it's not debilitating, consider that some anxiety is normal and healthy. And it can even be a sign of higher intelligence.

Yahurdme, Audrey. Higher IQ. GIF from "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

In 2014, scientists found correlations between verbal intelligence and stress levels. Why?

One of the theories, noted by New York Magazine, involves the prevalence of white matter in anxious people:

White matter has been described like a subway system — just like it's slower to walk 30 blocks than to hop on the subway for the same distance, white matter helps connect areas of your brain for faster connection. It's like having more white matter makes your brain operate faster and run through more potential scenarios, which can feel like a heavy processing load.

And another possible explanation is rooted in evolutionary theory:

It posits that anxiety could have developed as a method to ensure survival. If you have considered every possible outcome and potential responses you'll have to them, you could be more likely to make it through them in a satisfactory way.

You can watch the super-quick video here for more theories (I know you want the full scoop, you detail-oriented person, you):

The moral of the story is that some worrying and obsessing can mean you're just firing on all cylinders. So being a worrier is one less thing you can worry about!

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