Why Worry Isn’t Love: KSL Mom Show
I was able to share my thoughts with Lindsay Aerts of KSL’s “The Mom Show” about an important topic for mothers: worrying. It seems we worry a lot, don’t we? We worry about our husbands, we worry about our family finances, we worry about what’s happening in the world, but perhaps most of all, we worry about our kids. And while worry is understandable (and certainly something that every mother has experienced!), it really doesn’t do us any good at all. Here are some highlights from my discussion with Lindsay:
Worry As A Badge of Honor
Sometimes we think of worry as some sort of measurement of how much we care about our kids; we may inadvertently believe that the more we love them, the more we worry about them. But this is not necessarily true at all, as worry often says more about us than it does about our children. I’ve written before about how motherhood is a relationship, and when we worry, we may be over-identifying with our children’s experience. If this sounds like you, I encourage you to think about how you can be appropriately mindful of the well-being of your kids without worrying about them.
Love Is the Opposite of Worry
I’ve pondered a lot about how love can been seen as the opposite of worry: Worry perpetuates your suffering, whereas love is healing. Worry can isolate you from others, while love helps you connect in your relationships. Also, worry is about the future (something that’s not even real), and love is about being in the present. Worry is useless and makes us feel hopeless, where love helps motivate us to action for the things we can change. So not only is worry not love, it’s the opposite of love.
How To Let Go of Worry
So if worry is so useless, how do we move past it? Thankfully, there are some actionable steps you can take to let go of your worry. This has to do with cognitive reframing, which basically means that you shift your thinking. Worry is negative, so try instead to create positivity by building a different story in your mind. When worry thoughts come, acknowledge them, but then practice letting your mind settle on a different outcome of the story (instead of a worst-case scenario).
Another thing you can do to let go of your worries are to write them down; there is something about putting our perspective and fears on paper that externalizes them from us and takes away their power. Practice journaling about your worries to make them more manageable.
When Worry Gets To Be Too Much
Everyday worries are very normal, but sometimes, worrying gets out of hand. When your anxiety or fear of “what if” is disrupting your daily functioning and your relationships are suffering, it’s time to get some professional help. A trained mental health counselor can help you explore the origin of your feelings and also help you use coping skills to manage your worry so that it doesn’t overtake you or drain your energy.
For more on this topic, read here.
Dynamic self & relationship expert Dr. Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW loves to make a difference for women. She owns Wasatch Family Therapy and regularly contributes to KSL TV's Studio 5, and her advice has been featured nationally including Wall Street Journal, Parenting, Fox News, and others. Connect on Facebook & Twitter. Her book The Burnout Cure is available now and The Assertiveness Guide is available now.