I am certain that high levels of anxiety come from the ability to retain high levels of both mental and emotional intelligence.

I’ve noticed, the more I think and analyze a situation, the higher my levels of anxiety become. I have often told myself and others this: “I wish I was dumb”. To me, being less intelligent would mean having peace of mind, you know…”Ignorance is bliss” sort of thing. But then I think it over and then come up with even more questions like this one: “How do you categorize intelligence?

Do you see what I mean?

So, to understand the correlation between high levels of anxiety and intelligence, intuition or even empathy, I must first look at each one separately. The objective is to gauge how these characteristics influence emotions and the ability to cope. Maybe there’s something there that can help bring out the best in us.


Intuition is something that I have been gifted with from an early age. You might say it came from trauma, which gave me the ability to reason and assess probability more effectively. It’s true that intuition is only making an educated guess based on past experiences, right? It could be more than that. Maybe there’s a slight bit of extra sensory perception involved, and a great deal of anxiety… possibly.

Did you know that people who are diagnosed with anxiety can predict situations 50% more frequently than those who do not have anxiety? It’s true, and so this gives a little insight on how these two relate. I remember speaking before about how being anxious wasn’t all bad and was actually a heightened “fight or flight” instinct.

Well, it’s not all bad, that’s true, but anxiety and intuition can also cause a state of alarm when nothing is even happening as well. So, basically, you take the good with the bad. But yes, there is a clear connection between high levels of anxiety and intuition.


A study at the Lakehead University in Canada proved that out of 100 students surveyed, those who exhibited higher levels of anxiety indeed had a higher I.Q. In a separate study, two psychiatrists, Tscahi Ein-Dor and Orgad Tal both reported that these students with higher I.Qs were also more alert to dangers in their surroundings. They had heightened senses of smell and hearing.

Now the downside of this, and we know there is a downside, is that intelligent people with high levels of anxiety can sometimes let this anxiety cripple them. Instead of taking action on all these analyzed scenarios in their head, they will sometimes become paralyzed and unable to act at all. No amount of intelligence can override some of the fears concocted by the anxious mind.


High levels of anxiety are common in empathy as well. The reason this rings true is that empathy means being able to feel what other people feel in such a heightened way that you find yourself wanting to “save the world”. Of course, you know you cannot save the entire world and that, in turn, makes you depressed. Being empathic carries a boat-load of responsibilities, at least that’s what you think. It’s important that you try to understand and walk in someone else’s shoes, right?

The connection between anxiety and empathy is strong because of the desire to always want to make things better. Sometimes, personally, I even try to understand how the turtle feels when it crosses the road, and even when I’m in a hurry, I will stop and help him across. If there are three turtles crossing the road in different locations, on a particular day, I will be late. Then I will worry about whether or not they wish to cross back again. sigh…

Sometimes, I just have to distract myself from such thoughts. lol

The good, the bad, and the not so attractive…

Okay, like I said before, there are good and bad sides to high levels of anxiety and the effects on your intuition, intelligence, and empathy. The bad side is losing control of your thoughts. Now, you might ask, why is it so terrible to be a little worried about things? Well, in case you didn’t know, anxiety is completely different from worry. Having high levels of anxiety contribute to many other physical and mental illnesses such as:

  • Damage to cardiovascular health
  • Causes onset of depression
  • Causes OCD and PTSD symptoms
  • Damage to digestive health, joint health, and pulmonary health.
  • Migraines
Do you need a few more examples? I thought not. Here’s a good example then to balance things out.

I was told that I worried too much when my car battery died a few days ago, and I started to make plans to buy a new one. I was also told that it was just because I left the door open and that after a while the battery would build back up and everything would be fine. So, I listened to this suggestion and felt like my anxiety was getting the best of me again.

The next day I was stranded, because why? My battery was bad! This time, I was right to use my logic to buy a new battery, but because of my anxiety track record, I listened to someone else. As you can see, having high levels of anxiety can be tricky. You have to know when to stick to your guns and when to admit that… “you worry too much.” This can be a difficult thing to do.

And no, it’s not rocket science to realize you need to purchase a battery for a car, but sometimes you will choose to ignore your intuition because of how your anxiety has caused problems in the past. There lies the biggest problem of all.

Here lies the cure…


There’s a word that wasn’t mentioned in this title, and I think it’s worthy of mentioning. The word discernment is your answer. Practicing healthy discernment is the key to conquering your doubts with high levels of anxiety in connection with intuition, intelligence, and empathy. As you grow older, you will understand when the time is right to fight or take flight…or simply do nothing at all.

Yes, it will take time, you will eventually gain a healthy insight on these things. From one anxious person to another, and to all those who love us…

Thank you for listening and learning.

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This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. Annemarie Hassock

    This is a very good article, I always wondered and thought they have a connection.

    1. Sherrie


      Thank you so much for reading. Anxiety can both cause high levels of empathy and intuition and it can also be the result of having a heightened ability of these things in the first place. It’s strange how these things work, and as I am learning, they affect different people in different ways.


    1. Sherrie Hurd

      Thank you for reading, Simon. 🙂

    1. Sherrie Hurd

      Thank you for Nannette, for reading my work. 🙂

    1. Sherrie Hurd

      Yes, unfortunately, gifts come with sacrifices and sometimes these sacrifices are mental and emotional sacrifices. The good news is, I believe we can find outlets for our negative feelings and anxieties. It takes time and work.

    1. Sherrie Hurd

      Kevin, thank you for reading my post. 🙂

  2. Kathleen Doyle

    Too short an article on a very complex issue. But..it rings true for me.

  3. TWD

    I think my 10 yr old us an empath. He has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety (more the latter). He can not go to crowded places, he becomes overwhelmed. He has break downs. And I have always noticed how the mood of other affects him. Please, we need help. Life is becoming so difficult for him

    1. Sherrie


      Oh yes, I was there too, in that place as a child. I could feel things so deeply that it disrupted my classwork. One thing I suggest first of all is that you give him plenty of creative outlets: Artwork, writing, music, singing….etc. Because these will be ways for him to continually express himself without feeling pressured to talk about it all the time. These things he is feeling are sometimes difficult to put into words, but much better into creative expression.

      Never force him to go into crowded areas, but encourage him to get outside and connect with nature, it is soothing. When he is having break downs, be there for him and make sure he knows you are there to listen and help in whatever way you can. Hugs are great if he will allow it, if not, then just be there. I am far from an expert in any of this, no degree, no certification, but I was him a long time ago, or close to it. I couldn’t spend a day in school without having a breakdown. This went on for months before I grew strong enough to stay a whole day without going home.

      This is going to take time, talk with professionals, be supportive, and if you find others like him who are now adults, then speak with them. Never be harsh with him, that’s for sure, and he will slowly begin to cope with all these feelings. Always shower him with love too! I don’t think we can have too much of that. Just look at it this way, your child could be feeling things that most people do not feel until adulthood. This is quite a load on his mind. I believe, and this is just my opinion, that he is slowly learning how to process the realities of life around him.

      I hope this helps.

    1. Sherrie Hurd


      Many doctors told me similar things about myself when I was struggling as a teen. I thought they had no idea what they were talking about, but they do. Over the years, I have noticed a correlation between anxiety and theses heightened senses. Sometimes these senses are pretty supernatural in nature – being times when I would have knowledge fo something that I shouldn’t have.

      There is a connection and it has allowed me to help others because of this connection.

  4. Lara

    I’m sorry but i must disagree – I have met and lived with someone with deep anxiety and panic attacks and his level of empathy was about 0, his degree of selfishness was absolutely elevated and in no way one could ever consider him particularly intelligent; I think that generalizing in this kind of things is not logical nor very close to the truth

    1. Sherrie


      I have met others like this, so I can understand a bit of what you’re saying about this person. I have a friend, known her for almost 20 years, and until just a few years ago, this is just the same way that I perceived her as well. She had high levels of anxiety and was also negative, holding onto grudges and grasping all that she could attain for herself. After a while, I started to deal differently with her, and she is now quite different in response to that and other stimuli from places and people unknown to me. She still harbors negativity, but she now loves to do things for others, and it has given her a small sense of peace in the process – her anxiety has improved drastically.

      I have also noticed how selfishness plays into this as well. If you have experienced so much trauma in your lifetime, and thus deal with anxious feelings associated with this, you have that rare ability to become extremely selfish. I can tell you why. Selfishness sometimes comes from the fact that so many times, things were taken from you earlier in your life. As an adult, you might grasp for as much as you can, unwilling to share. It is such a negative attribute, but explainable. I have lived with such a person as well. Sometimes, empathy is destroyed by early treatment, especially any form of abuse. It takes a strong person to retain this empathy. At times, I get selfish, but I have learned that this is a bad decision and I need to get out of that mindset immediately!

      I do apologize for generalizing, but usually, this behavior ends at some point as the person recognizes their flaws for what they are. There are rare and unfortunate times, however, that this behavior carries on and leads down dark pathways of selfishness. I am sorry for your friend and hope that he finds peace and recognizes this negative behavior as being unhealthy for him, his loved ones and any future relationships.

    2. Sherrie

      Thank you for reading, Lara.

    1. Sherrie Hurd


      To put it into simple terms…I believe we are accessing areas of our brain that allow us to be able to more effectively discern things, feels things and know things. I believe this feeling of anxiety is just the stress of breaking through. It’s kind of like cracking a coconut or breaking the barrier between ignorance and knowledge. Even when we learn something new, there’s an “Aha!” moment, and it almost makes a sound. Imagine starting up a dormant area of your brain, what do you think it would sound like in animation? Do you think there would be no resistance when reaching this new level? Of course, there would be. When we grow, do we not have growing pains?

      I just think society looks at mental illness in the wrong way, and thus, doesn’t have the right tools to help.

  5. Chad Joseph

    A very good article. I grew up with tremendous trauma. It was very bad.

    1. Sherrie Hurd


      Thank you, and my heart goes out to you. Your pain is a testimony to others who feel helpless and hopeless, so share your story when you feel up to it, so you can be a light to someone’s darkness. Seek out those strengths that you gained from this horror. They are there, and it may take the time to heal.

  6. Raj Prasad Neralla

    Holds true to the extent I HV been through ….

    1. Sherrie Hurd

      Stay strong, Samina, stay strong. It might not be easy, to overcome past hurts, or to deal with anxiety, but your gifts, if you haven’t already seen them, will manifest in time. Listen to your intuition and give yourself credit for your intelligence. Most of all, never hold back your feelings because someone needs you.

    1. Sherrie Hurd


      Yes, that intuition thing, it’s almost as if a red flag waves, an alarm system goes off, and people start screaming! It can be so strong sometimes and people wonder why you get so passionate about a decision or situation. I have made people really angry before because of my discernment about situations. It’s something that takes a while to get used to.

  7. John Michael Leoncion

    Untrue. I’ve come to understand anxiety as just a term to excuse one lacking emotional self control. It’s simply just overthinking. Stop overthinking and control your emotions.

    1. John Michael Leoncion

      Life experience, you should try it old man. If I can make it through 18 straight months in central Baghdad right after the initial push, seen and experience all the fucked up nightmarish shit that I had then, and come out of it without any excuse like PTSD or anxiety problems all because I can control my thoughts and emotions, then I’m sure I’m on to something. I’ve had to hold the hands of a just murdered friend to his chest in a medevac humvee so he wouldn’t be flailing around on the ride home; I’ve witnessed the devastation of a car bomb strong enough to put a 3 ft hole in the road, killing 52, wounding 48 out of 100 estimated persons; squashed an eyeball under my foot, kicked a piece of skull plate with hair still attached to it, seen a head with spine still attached to it hanging from a fence, a dick and balls blown off of a person plastered to a brick wall, walked around in a literal blood bath due to that car bomb that required 5 firetrucks to hose off an overpass full of blood and body parts… Yeah, anxiety is an excuse. PTSD is just weak mindedness in individuals. I’ve lost friends right in front of my eyes. Don’t tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about, civilian. You’ve probably aged in safety. No college will teach you what actual experience will.

    2. Sherrie Hurd

      Mr. Leoncion,

      First off, I want to thank you for your service. I appreciate you reading my article as well.

      Okay, of course, I disagree with you on what you speak concerning anxiety, but that’s the beauty of it, we all have our own way of thinking. Where you are dealing with your trauma, in a strong way (which, I might add, could be seen as calloused and even numb), others deal with trauma by attempting to reconcile what they’ve been through. The anxiety and PTSD that you speak of is not just overthinking, it is behavior that cannot always be controlled. Some people are not able to shut down their emotions to deal with an issue because they are empaths who feel too deep to ignore the stimulus of the surroundings emotions. Some people may step on an eyeball crying, while others may squash it while angry and still there is one who can walk through mounds of carnage with a steel heart intact, machine, cutting on and off at will.

      Shutting down, being tough, steel, concrete, machine…..may not be so healthy in the long run. Calm facades can be deceiving.

      Some of these people who you call civilians with a cushy lifestyle may have been through mental battlegrounds with crushed skulls and bleeding torsos littered throughout their mind. Abuse, neglect, civilian trauma, death – how can you categorize your trauma with the next man’s burden?

      Honestly, whenever I encountered death, a choking child, going on a body search with my father who was a police officer and finding a foot in a shoe…a man having a rear view mirror shoved through this skull etc…..I numbed up too. But it always comes back to you, sooner or later, sir. Maybe you have a hold on it now, but please, be prepared for your future, which could be a little more…anxious.

      And….then there are just those who have different brain functioning levels. To be absolutley fair, you are different from those who suffer from anxiety, but not necessarily stronger, just different. If you wish to understand, study more about those with anxiety and PTSD, and you will see they are quite the opposite of weak-minded individuals.

  8. Stephen James

    So far this is the best article I have read from you. It is funny and enlightening. However, I do have to agree with Lara. Perhaps it is that in “many” or the “majority” of cases you are right.

    1. Sherrie


      Thank you so much for reading. I am heartbroken, however, for Lara’s friend. And apologize once more for generalizations. Maybe in a future writing, I can address these differences and where they come from. Basically, you have two choices in life, I face these every day. You can learn and grow from your illnesses, abuse, trauma, and neglect or you can become bitter and take it out on the entire world. I feel like this is where it splits. The lack of empathy and selfishness comes from anger and hurt that is so deep. These individuals usually feel like there is no one there to help them but themselves and they take take take in an effort to retain as much as they can.

      I know this because I waver here sometimes, right before I jerk myself up and say, “okay, you’re not okay, and that’s fine. But there are others who need you. There are things that are so much bigger than your pain right now.” I do, I have conversations with myself quite often.

      Thank you and thanks to Lara for keeping me on my toes and making me want to learn more!! You guys are awesome!

  9. Sakib

    I find that hugs reduce anxiety.

    1. Sherrie Hurd


      Yes, hugs reduce anxiety and so does other outlets. Sometimes even reading humorous comments reduces anxiety.

  10. John Laursen

    You mean stress causes growth ??? This is not a new concept. History has been trying to teach us that. Since the beginning

    1. Sherrie Hurd


      Yes, stress causes growth and growth cause stress. It’s a pattern…thus anxiety.

  11. Raymond

    I was diagnosed with Anxiety 2 years ago. I developed physical symptoms from it which almost put me in really bad shape. but I have to say, it is only from that experience that I have grown spiritually, my awareness has increased. You start to put things into perspective and appreciate the simple things, and people more..

    1. Sherrie


      Yes, I agree with the things you have said. I too have anxiety, and I hate hate hate hate it!!! I have grown as well. My weaknesses still revolve around social awkwardness, but I am learning how to deal with myself and with others in a much better manner. Thank you for reading!

  12. Mark

    Wonder how these thoughts and emotions would apply to early stages of dementia or alzhiemers (or maybe even a cure). My mother , widowed for 42 years, went through some traumatic times in her life growing up and with my Dads illness.
    For the most part growing up , she had a negative outlook on life based on her past, but was always caring more for others besides her self. I think she lost faith and her shadow as well. Now in early stage of dementia, she communicates very well but has lost sight of who she was, which is too good to lose. Do you know anything non-medical about living someone else’s past life.(metaphysics, astrology)? Sounds a little deep but it is probaby better than listening to the pharmas of the world elite.

    1. Sherrie

      I am not sure what you’re asking, but I will take a stab at it. I do believe in extrasensory perception, clairaudience, clairvoyance, etc.etc. I believe that anything is possible. I have my own personal beliefs based on my intuition, which manifests in physical sensations. So, with that being said, I do believe there are ways to recover past lives, and through natural means – mostly through meditation and homeopathic means. What she needs the most is to feel comfortable. Now, mind you, I am going with how I feel, thus these are only opinions. I am 43 and have endured quite a traumatic life. I lean toward the negative and suffer from multiple mental disorders including depression. There are various things I use to ground myself, including herbal teas, lemon/cucumber/ginger water, oh, and, ginseng is great for the memory. I spend lots of time alone and when I have the worst days of depression, I watch comedies as much as possible and take naps. It’s best to keep her away from drama so that she can focus on what her mind is trying to tell her. The disease makes it harder to get to these things, obviously. If you are talking about past lives as in reincarnation, then yes, I do have an open mind about that as well. Meditation can also help you realize these things if they are there as well. Pay attention to dreams and note any recurring dreams she may have. I hope some of this helps. Thank you for reading, Mark.

  13. Usman

    Your article made me realize that I’m not alone.
    Im a Doctor by degree but did not pursue clinical specialization after my intern year. After years of struggling with generalised anxiety I finally went to a psychiatrist and started on meds. Only then In realized why I choose not to continue my clinical studies.

    I felt too closely to what my patients were feeling, and I felt too closely what the nursing staff was feeling and more often than not I would end up exhausting myself both emotionally and physically, only to feel a crippling guilt when Id be too tired to do more.

    I so understand when you say that sometimes I wish I was dumb.

  14. Jillian

    Thank you for this.
    Just, THANK YOU.

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