Over the last few years, studies have been published against the notion of spirituality and the people who practice it.

Various studies have also expanded on this, in a positive light, and delved more into social anxiety and the way it affects people’s emotional intelligence, empathetic ability and IQ levels.

This isn’t surprising when you consider how anxious people are constantly analyzing and reflecting on their surroundings, formulating ideas and constantly processing information.

The studies

In a recent study on verbal intelligence, it was found that when people who reported suffering from social anxiety took part in psychological tests, their test was higher than those who didn’t suffer from social anxiety.

Similarly, those who suffer from General Anxiety Disorder and depression scored higher on verbal-linguistic testing than those who didn’t.

A further study from the SUNY Downstate Medical Centre in NYC stated that those participants taking part in an IQ test who suffered from severe anxiety actually scored higher than those who didn’t have anxiety.

Furthermore, when tested, people who suffer from social anxiety were found to exhibit prominent empathetic abilities, meaning they have greater psychosocial awareness than their counterparts.

How social anxiety is linked to heightened intelligence and empathy

Taking into account these studies, it does make us wonder why exactly this may be the case. As people with social anxiety are constantly processing the world and their surroundings, they’re noticing the parts of the world that aren’t as they’re supposed to be.

They’re actively seeing dangers around them that others might not see, at least not straight away, and in order for this to happen, their brain must be intelligent enough to be able to carry out these actions.

High levels of anxiety can be paralyzing, but with that comes a great ability to perform in certain situations, and what can seem like a negative emotion can actually be attributed to higher levels of intelligence.

People who are able to empathize to the height of their ability are able to intuitively ‘predict’ situations, which can only be an advantage in many situations. Going back to the introduction, this is where spirituality comes into play.

Higher intelligence and an ability to being highly intuitive have often been seen as being ‘spiritual.’ And with spirituality, comes much criticism through lack of understanding.

As more studies in this area are published, society and the media are becoming more understanding of spirituality as a field and anxiety as a mental disorder. Anxiety disorders are starting to be perceived as less of a problem and more of a working tool.

So if you’re socially anxious, bear this article in mind the next time you have unwelcome thoughts and take control of your emotions and surroundings.

Copyright © 2012-2024 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.

power of misfits book banner desktop

Like what you are reading? Subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss new thought-provoking articles!

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Peggie

    Christina I’m suffering from social anxiety and depression. I experienced some of the thing you mention in the article.I trying to find way to reduce my symptom, so I would like know more about your study. Can you share with me more on your study?

  2. Brittany

    This is a very interesting study and offers some positive news for those who suffer from social anxiety. Thank you for sharing – many people would love to read about these findings!

    1. Donald

      Interesting article. I might add that there are notable distinctions when considering intelligence. Some may be naturalistic, logical, musical, inter-personal, etc. The point is most people are smart in some way.

      You are cute and intelligent. I for one appreciate your efforts

  3. Karolis

    Somewhow it felt the same as reading a horoscope ,where everything fits and nothing can be tested.Could you please share any more information on this topic if youve got.

  4. Stephen Michael Kuhn

    I “fought” my social anxiety for years, and thought that it was “my problem”. Only when I came into recovery (I am an alcoholic, and have suffered from this for more than 35 years) and started to understand myself – to grow, did I understand WHO I was and WHAT I am…and having come to understand myself, my social anxiety stems EXACTLY from deep empathetic feelings – I “feel” people – and not “a bit”, a LOT. So much so that it can be absolutely unbearable to be in large groups – dependent on the overall “emotional atmosphere”.

    For as much as this might appear to be problematic, it is, in fact, not. It is a skill, a tool, if you may, and can be utilised properly and effectively – IF one has the internal strength to see it as such and to work towards utilising it as such.

    Thank you and namasté.

Leave a Reply