Everybody worries, whether it is a slight worry over something small or something that takes over your mind on a daily basis. However, researchers at King’s College in London have recently linked anxious, overthinking and worrying traits to a high level of creative IQ. If you think about it, overthinking is basically another way of saying you have a good imagination, which is a show of creativity.
Worrying goes back to the days of hunting when cavemen would opportunistically hunt more than they could consume, so had to find ways to preserve their food for future use. This natural instinct of worrying about waste has been passed down through evolution and is seen today in many forms. It has been used as a safety mechanism for worst-case scenarios and a great deal of creativity is needed in order to envision such situations.
There are many established theories that look into the ways in which personalities that place a strong emphasis on worrying and the links that this can have to different personality types. Many influential studies have looked at threat sensitivity and the ways in which worrying and other negative psychological states are linked to creativity.
“It occurred to me that if you happen to have a preponderance of negatively hued self-generated thoughts, due to high levels of spontaneous activity in the parts of the medial prefrontal cortex that govern conscious perception of threat and you also have a tendency to switch to panic sooner than average people, due to possessing especially high reactivity in the basolateral nuclei of the amygdala, then that means you can experience intense negative emotions even when there’s no threat present. This could mean that for specific neural reasons, high scorers on neuroticism have a highly active imagination, which acts as a built-in threat generator.” Dr. Adam Perkins, an expert of Neurobiology of personality explains the science behind the theory.
So the next time you feel as though you are worrying and allowing negative thoughts to take over your brain, remind yourself that you are just letting your creativity flow and try to channel it into something positive instead. Are you an overthinking worrier?