Oct 14

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English & Science – Worry warts are creative geniuses!

The next time you look down on someone for worrying, you might want to remember they’re probably a freaking genius. I feel so much better about being a worry-wart – let’s hope the genius part will kick in sometime soon… :) Until then, let’s enjoy this interesting article about why worriers may be creative geniuses!

Level: C1 and above


According to new research worry-warts are probably creative geniuses!

I think we all know someone who you’d call a worrier or an overthinker. It seems like they take forever to figure out what they need to do. They might frustrate us, but according to a recent study, people with these traits often have them because they’re incredibly developed, creative people.

Researchers at King’s College in London made the connection between anxiety and a stronger imagination as well. According to Dr. Adam Perkins, an expert in Neurobiology of Personality:

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 amygdale, 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.”

In a sense, worry is the mother of invention. When you think about it, it makes sense. Many of our greatest breakthroughs through the years were a result of worry. Nuclear power? Worry over energy. Advanced weapons? Worry of invasion. Medical breakthroughs? Worry over illness and death.

Vivid imaginations have helped humanity best nature. Again, Dr. Perkins says:

“Cheerful, happy-go-lucky people by definition do not brood about problems and so must be at a disadvantage when problem-solving compared to a more neurotic person.  For example, think of the life stories of Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Vincent Van Gogh, Kurt Cobain, etc. Perhaps the link between creativity and neuroticism was summed up most succinctly of all by John Lennon when he said: ‘Genius is pain.’”


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TIP: If you are not sure of the meaning of the words, it is a good idea to go back to the text and try to understand the word in the sentence in its context. Sometimes the words around it can help you get an idea of its meaning.


an overthinker = someone who thinks too much before making a decision

take forever to do something = spend a very long time before doing something

figure out = to understand or form an opinion about something after thinking about it

according to someone = in one’s opinion

trait = a characteristic feature

incredibly = unbelievably

anxiety = worry (noun)

it occurred to me = I realized

if you happen to (be/do something) = if you are/do something

preponderance = dominance of one group over the other

negatively hued = a negative opinion of, a negative take on something

medial prefrontal cortex = the part of the brain behind the forehead

be conscious (of) = be aware of

switch to = to change to

amygdale = areas in the brain linked to memory and emotions

breakthrough (noun) = a discovery, an important development

happy-go-lucky = always happy

brood = a large family of animals or young children

succintly = expressed clearly in a few words, concisely


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Permanent link to this article: https://www.euenglish.hu/2015/10/english-science-worry-warts-are-creative-geniuses/

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