He also notes that anxiety used to be more celebrated.
During the Cold War, there was no shortage of things to worry about, but some argued that this was just the price of freedom. Anxiety was seen as something uniquely American, a sign that we were truly free, because we were able to make decisions, which in turn made us anxious. Though frankly, it’s hard to imagine life under a dictatorship being relatively stress-free, unless of course you are the dictator.
Taylor is regretful this notion didn't catch on more.
While noting that patients crippled with anxiety should explore every treatment option available, he notes that there are some who might benefit from looking at their condition as one that can have a positive effect on their lives.
Of course, that's way easier said than done.
However the evidence supports that there are plenty of benefits to being an anxious person. For instance, people who suffer from anxiety have fewer accidents and are generally considered more trustworthy. Those who are chronically nervous might not see this though, as they’re usually too busy worrying their symptoms are more obvious, or annoying, to others than they actually are.
Yet exploring the benefits of anxiety has become more popular lately.
As Tracy Foose, a professor at the University of California, San Francisco told Quartz, “…anxiety tends to be associated with the genetic profile of someone whose temperament is characterized by honesty, attention to detail, a strong drive, pursuit of excellence, and social attunement to the needs to others,”
But it can be hard to see the benefits of a feeling that's literally overwhelming you.
That’s why management of the symptoms is so important, either through medication, therapy, or both. And researchers are also recommending this revolutionary new idea called taking care of yourself, that seems to really help. You know — the wild notion of getting enough sleep, drinking water, and exercising. But even religiously adhering to those measures might not alleviate all symptoms for anxiety sufferers.