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Studies Link Social Anxiety To High IQs & Empathetic Abilities

Steven Bancarz | Spirit Science and Metaphysics

A few years ago, a series of studies came out in an attempt to sort of ‘debunk’ people who practice spirituality.  The study found that people who have a spiritual understanding of life tend to be more susceptible to mental health problems, addictions, and anxiety disorders.

A passive aggressive news report from the Daily Mail titled “Spiritual people are more likely to be mentally ill (but at least they think life has more meaning)” took a jab at spiritual people as if to say “They’re crazy, but at least they think life is more important to them”.

What if they are more aware of the things that are wrong with society and are more connected to the suffering in the world?  What if an anxious mind is a searching and connected mind? A very important study came out a few years ago linking social anxiety to increased empathetic abilities.  People who report suffering from social anxiety have an increased ability to feel and interpret the emotions and mental states of people around them.  As the study concluded:

Results support the hypothesis that high socially anxious individuals may demonstrate a unique social-cognitive abilities profile with elevated cognitive empathy tendencies and high accuracy in effective mental state attributions.

In other words, people who have social anxiety are able to more tangibly feel the emotions of people around them.  Many many people who consider themselves to be “conscious” or “spiritual” also report feeling social anxiety and experience things like depression and other mental disorders. But as it turns out, people who suffer from anxiety may also be more intelligent.

Studies link anxiety to intelligence

One research study out of Lakehead University discovered that people with anxiety scored higher on verbal intelligence tests.  People who reported having General Anxiety Disorder and depression actually scored higher on verbal-linguistic testing.  Another study conducted by the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya in Israel found that people with anxiety were better than others at maintaining directed focus while overcoming a primary threat as they are being bombarded by numerous other smaller threats, thereby significantly increasing their chances of survival.

Read the rest of the article here.

Check out these other articles related to empaths and anxiety here:

5 Essential Coping Tips For Introverts In Uncomfortable Social Situations

Un-Stuck in Traffic: How to Bring Joy to Life’s Otherwise Annoying Moments

7 Signs That You’re an Empath & How to Cope With Being One