The image of a tortured artist plagued by their own thoughts, trapped in a cycle of self-doubt and anguish before creating a masterpiece that everyone admires is a stereotype with which we are all immediately familiar.
It may seem like an incredible exaggeration and certainly this cartoon has been overused in popular culture, but apparently it may not be so far fetched after all.
Recent research suggests that the link between creative genius and anxiety is closer than you think.
Worried You Might Be A Creative Genius? Then You Probably Are
Although we all have things that worry us at times, some of us fret over and wallow in our worries more than most.
If you are the type of person who tends to overthink a problem, or if you often engage in anxiety-related behaviors, the good news is that you probably also have great creativity.
Now For The (Genuinely Fascinating) Science Part
Researchers at King’s College London found that those affected had a higher level of activity in the part of the brain that controls our perception of threat, meaning that they jumped into panic mode quicker than most.
Because of these important neurological differences, stakeholders also had exceptionally active imaginations, which only exacerbated these feelings of threat.
In essence, overactive imagination (an essential trait for creative geniuses) and intense worrying behaviors are not only inextricably linked, but also fueled by an endless creative cycle of torment and ingenuity.
[worry + imagination = creative genius]
Where Would The World Be Without Worriers?
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense: of course, you can’t find a solution without first examining the problem in detail.
The very process of getting into trouble is absolutely necessary for that flash moment to have a chance to get it right.
Without people worrying about how to move faster, the wheel may never have been invented; If Alexander Fleming hadn’t cared about bacterial infections, we could still live in a world without antibiotics; If it weren’t for concerns about an unplanned pregnancy, the birth control pill might still be a twinkle in the eye of its inventor.
More Importantly, Where Would The World Be Without Art?
Of course, we have a lot to thank the super concerned in terms of scientific inventions and advancements. But we also have their vivid imaginations for a society rich in the cultural pleasures of poetry, music, art, and theater, without which our human experience would be poorer.
So, those who overthink, take heart! The next time you worry about something, remember that it also has its creative benefits and, who knows, one day your worry could change the world.
Preview photo credit depositphotos