Being An Anxious Mess Is Actually Healthy & Here's How

If you’re not a total airhead, you probably experience a decent amount of anxiety on a daily basis. Maybe your boss is giving you a hard time about leaving at 3pm when you have a 6pm Bumble date (those pre-date shots aren’t going to take themselves), or maybe you’re just shaken by Dean’s ice-cold treatment of Kristina on Paradise. Either way, while I fully endorse your right to take a Xanax and a sick day in these situations, I’m here science is here to tell you that those anxious feelings are actually basically a superpower.

That’s right: a recent study published in Psychological Science shows that “being high in neuroticism” helps you live longer—or, to put it in their creepy science terms, gives you “a lower likelihood of premature death.”

And to give you even more good news, the way they tested for neuroticism in this study was by seeing how people responded to statements like “I get irritated easily,” “I worry about things,” and “I get stressed out easily.” So, you don’t exactly have to be Larry David to qualify here—and if none of these made you say “yes” out loud at your desk, go out and get a fucking personality. Enjoy your premature death, I guess.

In another hilarious turn of events, the researchers who first got these results were like “shit, we must have done something wrong,” since people have spent years telling you that things like “positive thinking” and “running outside” are the keys to long life, and that your healthy skepticism toward new people and the outdoors the “psychological distress” caused by neuroticism is somehow harmful. So, these researchers rolled up their sleeves (lab coats have sleeves right? I wouldn’t know *hair flip*) and decided “Okay, let’s see if all the neurotic people we tested are also narcs don’t drink or smoke and that’s why they live longer.”

Guess what? The people who possessed this predisposition for immortality (you know what I mean) also were “less likely to eat enough fruits and vegetables or exercise, and more likely to smoke and drink alcohol either every day or nearly every day.” In other words, if you’re not heavily identifying with this trait yet, then I’m glad you won’t be living as long I’m really not sure what you’re doing on this website. And next time your peppy co-worker tries to sign you up for a half-marathon, you can feel free to tell her to fuck right off—you’re basically just adding five years to your life.

To sum up, put down your sad little salad, pour yourself a drink, and write your psychiatrist a refill request thank-you note for diagnosing your anxiety. If you need me, I’ll be designing my “Not Neurotic, Just Immortal” Betches tank.