• Worry Has No Upside

    My oldest son left last Friday to study abroad in Austria for 5 months.

    He was so sweet telling me goodbye at the airport and as his mom, I feel a whole range of emotions, from pride to worry.

    I hugged him and told him if there’s anything at all he needed or that I could do for him just give me the word. As a mom, you all know this. We’d do anything for our kids.

    I’ve never had a child so far away from home. I must admit – it feels really strange. Suddenly,  it feels like part of my body is walking around on the continent of Europe. He’s been in college for over 2 years, so it’s not the separation that is new. It’s the distance that makes this experience feel unique.

    Despite the distance, I have decided not to worry about the million things I could worry about.

    There is no upside to worry. I’d rather sleep, eat well, run my business, have fun, and trust that all is well than worry.

    Worry takes up space in my brain. I could use this space for inspiration, ideas, and creativity instead.

    Worry is a feeling that comes from my thoughts.

    I can control my thoughts and make deliberate choices about what I’ll think about.

    Here are the thoughts I choose to think about his being away for 5 months:

    • All is well
    • He is ready for this
    • This is an amazing opportunity for him to study the German language and learn
    • I appreciate all the ways his university has set up this program for their students to take advantage of
    • He has succeeded in applying and getting to Austria
    • He has always wanted to do this and now’s his time
    • He paid attention to other students, learned from them, and here he fulfilling a dream
    • He coordinated the efforts that studying abroad requires from applications to student visas and immunizations to airline reservations
    • I can handle this
    • He can handle this
    • I focus on what I can control while he is there
    • I am learning as a mom grow to from situations such as this

    Those thoughts make me feel good, peaceful, and calm.

    And, that’s a much better place than worry.

    And it’s all possible with a change in the way I think.

    If you tend to worry, ask yourself what are thoughts that make you worry.

    Make a list of alternative (believable) thoughts instead and then practice them.

    It’s time to kiss worry goodbye.

    Cookbook author and culinary dietitian Maggie Green coaches aspiring cookbook authors in the process of writing cookbooks, cookbook proposals, and building their author platform. Download her checklist “Am I Ready to Write A Cookbook?”

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