Individuals who suffer from anxiety see the world differently and this may have some bearing on the degree to which they are susceptible to suffer from anxiety in the first place.
One study’s main discovery has been that those who suffer from anxiety find it far more difficult to distinguish between things that are not safe versus things that are safe.
In other words, anxious people may have a tendency to generalize fears ‘beyond the point of rationality,’ according to researchers.
This different worldview can help shed some light on why it appears as though some people are more prone to suffer more anxiety than others.
But why is this the case?
Prior experience of anxiety affects the physical structure of the brain and this may be the mechanism behind a tendency toward anxiety in some people. One researcher observed that the experience of anxiety in prone individuals appears to induce changes to the structure of the brain.
These changes remain even after the experience has ended. This is serious because the changed structuring of the neurons in the brain helps to decide how someone will react or think about a stimulus the next time it appears.
This process has the potential to create a feedback loop that ultimately leads to over-generalization of anxiety.