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Worry: The Useless Emotion

Mothers worry. That's just how it is.  It comes with the job.  We worry about our children from the moment they are born.  Our minds race, thinking of all the things that might happen, all the problems that could occur. Will Billy be all right in day care today?  Will Sharon pass her spelling test?  Will the children remember their manners when they are away from home? Will Sam get hurt playing soccer?

There is an infinite number of things we could worry about. From big things like our financial situation to whether or not the Orioles win on Opening Day. The truth is that worry is a useless emotion. It is non-productive and does not serve any real purpose. We can't change the outcome of things just by worrying.

Once my son came home from a school trip to the aquarium, and the first thing I thought of was, "I was so busy today that I forgot to worry about him!"  I really believed that by worrying, I could somehow prevent bad things from happening.  I could have spent all day worrying that he might get lost, but I didn't, and guess what? He was just fine. His teachers were quite capable of chaperoning the group.

Benjamin Franklin said, "Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen."  And we all know the Bobby McFerrin song, "Don't worry, be happy."   It's easy to say, but can be hard to put into practice.

A certain amount of concern is normal, and may even help us to take precautions to help keep our children safe. But a high degree of anxiety over things we can't control is not healthy. Stress can manifest itself in all sorts of ways, from not getting enough sleep to headaches and stomach problems.

Instead of spending time worrying about your children, health, and finances, think about what you can do to make you feel more at ease.  Once you've taken precautions and done all you can, try to be at peace. Have faith that things will work out. Think positive! And it might even help to hum a few bars of a catchy tune to take your mind off your troubles.

Image: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=982

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