Too much anxiety can make us fumble; too little can leave us apathetic. But just the right amount of worry can actually allow us to perform important tasks better, researchers tell the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper dubs it the "anxiety sweet spot." Indeed, experts have surmised since at least 1908 that a bit of anxiety can be useful—and "coaches and sports psychologists have always known that you don't want your athlete to be relaxed right before an event," says a psychologist.
In any year, some 18% of the population suffers from anxiety disorders; others could stand to worry a little more and gain a feeling of urgency, Melinda Beck writes. The goal, experts say, is to convert your concerns into action, whether it's in the office or on the playing field. "We'll say to athletes, 'You're going to be anxious. Great. Channel it and use it," the psychologist adds. "Being willing to feel some anxiety and not running away from it is huge."