I've always had the idea that people who were more likely to experience anxiety were smarter.
Because they could spot the precursors and early signals of stress and anticipate what was to follow. They reacted from having learned in the past.
They are intuitive, fast learners.
While they may suffer more from worry, they are also the first ones to spot real dangers to themselves and others around them. They are therefore poised to take action that can make a huge difference in forestalling a mishap or surviving a crisis. Years ago, I met a 50+ portly woman on a flight to California a couple of years after the World Trade Center disaster. We got to talking and 9-11 came up.
She had been working at her computer in the building when the first plane hit. The people in the second building had not yet heard about it. Without telling them why, security aggressively shunted everyone into the stairwells where they were guided down to the lobby. She was terrified not knowing why they were being herded down. When they got to the bottom.they were instructed to stay in the stairwell. Even though she didn't know what was happening, this seemed wrong to her. She pushed her way into the lobby and bolted for the large glass double doors. Guards were screaming and chasing her but she made it to the street and ran until she reached her apartment 6 miles north on the Upper West Side. It was only later that she learned what had occurred and that the people in the stairwell were crushed by that building collapsing when the second plane crashed into it. This was an overweight, non-athletic woman who never ran but whose anxiety and the adrenaline that accompanied it saved her life.
It's an interesting article in Live Science. There are other studies that concur about the relationship of anxiety to intelligence.
I'm wondering what it reminds you of in your own experience. When has a worry actually been helpful to you or someone in your life? Would love to hear your story.