Worrying Won’t Change the Outcome

This morning my daughter and I were having a conversation about anxiety.

I told her that all worries fall into two categories: those within our control and those in which we will never have control over.

Worrying about things within our control can be immediately eliminated from our psyche. Don’t commit a crime and you you’ll never have to worry about going to prison. Live an honest life and you’ll never worry about getting caught in a lie. Don’t try coke and you’ll never have to worry if you’ll be addicted. I could go on and on.

Unfortunately, it is easy to fall prey to worrying about the things beyond our control. Those types of worries are much harder to manage.

When I was pregnant, I worried about everything – the things I couldn’t control and even the things I could.

I worried about how every move I made would impact this child that was growing inside of me. Exercising made me paranoid. I scrutinized every morsel of food that passed my lips. My husband bought me a meat slicer and a frozen yogurt machine so I would be able to eat deli meat and frozen yogurt without worrying about digesting harmful bacteria. I once called my OB in hysterics after googling the ingredients of the cough drops I had just eaten. I found myself constantly reading horror stories in pregnancy chat rooms – worrying about everything that could possibly go wrong.

It was awful.

Until the morning I awoke to a post-it note that my husband had placed on my computer.

post-it

While I’ve eliminated all worries that can be controlled by my actions, I still need a post-it to remind myself not to waste the present fretting about an outcome that I don’t have the power to change anyway.

43 blog posts down – 322 more to go…

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