According to a new study State University of New York Downstate Medical Centre in New York, anxiety and excessive worry may have evolved concurrently with intelligence.
The researchers recruited 26 people with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and 18 healthy volunteers without a diagnosis of anxiety.
Published in the journal of Frontiers in Evolutionary Neuroscience, the study of participant’s brains found that symptoms of anxiety and high levels of general intelligence were both associated with reduced levels of choline a a water-soluble essential nutrient found in the white matter of the brain.
It has been shown that excessive worry and anxiety symptoms including emotional disengagement, heart palpitations and excessive perspiration are more likely to occur in people with a high level of intelligence. Although anxiety is generally though of as problematic, the researchers’ claimed that is was actually a means of self-preservation as it encourages a person to avoid dangerous and risky situations.
Other research studies into the impact of anxiety on health and wellbeing have shown that excessive worry and fear can have a negative impact on the immune system, nervous system and has been directly linked to high blood pressure (hypertention), increased incidence of cold and flu and even cancer.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety and subsequently, have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. By integrating mindfulness into every day living, an individual may be able to respond to dangerous or risky situations rather than simply react with fear.