In my upcoming novel, PANDEMIC, the main character, Lil, is a worrier. Lil definitely has her reasons for using worry as a coping mechanism. In general, worrying has a lot of negative connotations associated with it. But are there any proven benefits? It turns out, for a moderate level of worry, there are.
According to a study recently published by the American Psychological Association, older pessimists may live longer than older optimists, perhaps because their worries lead them to take better care of their health. You can read more about the study here: Pessimism About the Future May Lead to Longer, Healthier Life, Reseach Finds.
The NY Times article Why Worry? It's Good for You points out that worry can be a motivating factor that drives people to word harder and this ultimately contributes to their success.
Apparently, worriers have less of a certain protein that can be harmful at higher levels in their system. You can read the medical jargon in this article by Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen: When Is Worrying OK? (Of course, too much worry can have negative health consequences, and the article discusses that as well.)
Are worriers smarter? This article explains the study linking the two: Worrying is Good for You and Reflects a Higher IQ.
Acting on your worries can make you more prepared to deal with problematic events. If you're worried about an emergency situation, you're more likely to stock the necessary supplies (such as batteries, flashlights and canned food), just like my character Lil does. Whether or not that will ultimately be enough during an actual pandemic is something else to worry about.
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