As a self-described neurotic person, I take offense to the negative reputation I'm flanked with.
Sure, I'm anxious, and I overthink everything. Yeah, I'm dramatic and easily overwhelmed. But what is so bad about that, really?
As defined in a 2009 article in the journal American Psychologist, neuroticism is the behavior and “tendencies to respond with negative emotions to threat, frustration or loss.”
Indeed, research has indicated that dabbling in the neurotic is linked to a wide range of physical and mental disorders, as well as a shortened life expectancy. So having a calm, relaxing life will make you live longer.
Doesn't that sound boring? Where is the excitement if there aren't any nerves involved?
Science has shown us worrying is actually good for your health.
In fact, it's linked to higher intelligence. If this is the case, why wouldn't you indulge in your neurosis? When you experience neurosis, you're not just worrying; you're reacting to emotions and situations in a highly realistic and visceral way.
While some may think you're overreacting or being ridiculous, what you're actually doing is channeling a kind of raw emotion other people are just not in tune with.
If that's so wrong, I don't want to be right.
Here are 13 reasons why being neurotic is actually good for your health:
1. You always know what you're dealing with.
When you're neurotic, nothing ever gets past you. You're hyper-aware of everything around you. The smallest of details won't escape your vision.
Therefore, you always know what you're getting into. You're not a fan of liars or cheaters. You surround yourself with people who are real with you. You're too neurotic to emotionally deal with people who suck.
2. You feed off anxiety and use it to your advantage.
According to Nicholas A. Turiano Ph.D. of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, neurosis is connected with anxiety and negative effects on health, but Turiano told The Huffington Post:
Those neurotic individuals that also endorse high conscientiousness don’t seem to resort to these behaviors. We think the high conscientiousness gives the person the resources to refrain from engaging in such detrimental health behaviors and use that anxiety to improve health.
Meaning the anxiety people experience as a result of their neuroses will push them to take steps to make themselves happier and healthier by changing their lifestyle choices.
If you're worried about your health, your anxiety will push you to eat more super foods. If you're worried about your body, you'll start exercising. Neurotic people are the ones who always take action to better themselves.
3. You always assume the worst, so it's easy for you to be happily surprised.
You're easily delighted because you automatically assume the worst of people. You also panic that every single, tiny thing that can go wrong will go wrong.
Since you're so sure of darkness overtaking you, swallowing you into a pit of depression, it's very easy for you to be happily surprised.
People rarely act like complete assh*les and things work out more often than not. You spend a lot more time than other people feeling appreciative, and since you were sure you were doomed, you're that much more grateful.
4. You know yourself really well.
You know when you're getting out of hand and need to calm the f*ck down. While you might not always be so successful in doing so, this kind of self-awareness is unique to us neurotic folk.
When you're constantly living inside of your head, overthinking and anxious, you're bound to have a deeper understanding of that voice that lives inside of your cranium.
5. You have a higher IQ.
According to The Telegraph, a study at SUNY Downstate Medical Centre in New York, consisting of 42 participants, found that participants with higher levels of anxiety retained a higher IQ than those with lower levels of anxiety.
The study found that “high intelligence and worry are linked with brain activity measured by the depletion of the nutrient choline in the white matter of the brain.”
This link between high intelligence and worrying evolved as the human species became more skilled at avoiding dangerous situations.
If you're a neurotic individual, you're automatically more in tune with the world around you and have higher brain function.
Another study conducted by Ontario's Lakehead University found that those who experience anxiety also have more highly developed verbal skills than other people.
6. You're a social person.
You worry about other people and want to take care of them. As much as you panic about your own safety and well-being, you also have great concern for your friends.
This means you constantly engage with others, making sure they are happy and healthy.
Neurotic people can have their annoying tendencies, but they make the best friends. If you have more friends, and are wrapped in a net of support, you're going to lead a healthier life.
7. You have a lot of energy.
High-strung people are inherently more energetic. There's something about constantly feeling (even if it's just a little bit) nervous that keeps you on the move.
Neurotic people have trouble sitting still. They are doers. When you're not constantly doing things, that stagnation will add to your anxiety, overthinking and depression.
As a result, you get a lot of sh*t done at a very fast pace.
8. You wear your feelings on your sleeve.
Is there anything more cathartic than the natural ability to speak your mind? When you're neurotic, the thought of keeping your true feelings bottled up is enough to put you over the edge.
People may take your (sometimes a little bit hysterical) candor as dramatic and ridiculous, but it is liberating to let your feelings fly freely instead of stifling them.
9. You're more productive.
According to the Huffington Post, neurotic people are also highly contentious. Contentious people are highly organized, thorough and fantastic planners.
Those qualities combined with the anxiety of the neurotic make an ideal environment for happiness. You have your life planned out to a tee, never missing a beat.
Everything in your world is there because you put it there. You get sh*t done.
10. You're always being checked up on.
You'd never miss a doctor's appointment, a teeth cleaning or a visit to the dermatologist. You are diligent AF when it comes to your health and never put things off for another day.
11. You're a bonafide dreamer who creates other worlds.
The neurotic character finds comfort in idealizing the world around him or her.
Karen Horney, lead researcher of mental disorders, posits in her book, “Neurosis and Human Growth,” that the neurotic individual relates to the world around him or her and forms his or her identity through the cultivation of his or her earliest fantasies.
The neurotic person is the ultimate dreamer. His or her dream world follows throughout his or her life and experiences. He or she never loses his or her childlike wonder.
12. You'll lose weight.
Anxiety is good for your metabolism. When you're constantly revved up, your body kicks into overdrive, causing your body to burn more calories to keep up with your energetic needs.
Also, anxiety can cause a cut in appetite, making it easier to lose weight. It may not be the healthiest thing for weight loss, but it's an added bonus when dealing with neurosis.
13. You don't do stupid stuff.
Because you're worried about the consequences. You never put yourself in dangerous situations. The idea of taking a risk is not exciting to you; it's painful.
Your acute intelligence and wherewithal about your own mortality forces you to take every precaution and handle every situation with the utmost care.
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