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Does some anxiety stem from greater intelligence?

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

Does some anxiety stem from greater intelligence?

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!

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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Upworthy and GoFundMe are celebrating ideas that make the world a better, kinder place. Visit upworthy.com/kindness to join the largest collaboration for human kindness in history and start your own GoFundMe.

While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

As it turns out, underdog stories can have cats as the main character.

Purrington Cat Lounge, where "adoptable cats roam freely and await your visit" and patrons can pay a small entry fee for the chance to sip coffee alongside feline friends, boasted legendary adoption rates since its conception in January 2015.


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