You'll Never Guess the Scenario Anxious People Thrive In

anxious woman

If you harbor a little anxiety, we're betting it's something you find SUPER annoying. Everything seems like a potential threat, and that "Oh my God, are you okay?" switch can be tough to turn off. But don't be SO fast to dismiss your anxiety -- because new research has finally found something anxious people are really, really good at.


And you'll never guess what it is.

Hint: Not skydiving.

But surprisingly, it IS a crisis situation. ANY crisis situation.

We know, it makes no sense. So let us explain the research to you.

French researchers have figured out that the human brain -- that marvel of mysterious engineering -- can automatically detect threats within just 200 milliseconds.

That's pretty awesome in and of itself.

But according to new research published in the journal eLife, anxious people actually detect threat in a different brain region than people who are more like, "Oh, relax. Everything's fine."

Laid-back peeps first rely on their their sensory circuits, which are also responsible for facial recognition, to figure out what's a threat. Anxious people, on the other hand, actually use regions of the brain that are responsible for action.

More from The Stir: 15 Eye-Opening Scientific Facts About Women & Anxiety

It's long been thought that anxious people are really at a disadvantage. Remember how we described anxiety in the intro? When you're anxious, you can imagine threats coming at you from all sides, anytime. So you're always on high alert, which a) is really not fun and b) might cause you to miss a REAL threat.

But this new study calls that theory into question. Because instead of sensing a threat, then switching over to the "action" part of the brain, anxious people are already there in their heads. And because of that, they may be able to move faster in a time of crisis.

We won't give you an an example here because it makes us anxious. But you can imagine.

Now the study only looked at people with non-clinical anxiety, not subjects who have much more severe cases. But we like to think that if they DID, the findings would be even more pronounced. Why?

Mostly because it's about time anxiety was considered good for something. Plus, how kick-ass would a movie about an anxious superhero be?


Image via 9nong/Shutterstock

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