Stress and Worry, Stress vs Worry

Stress. Worry.  I am extremely good at both.  Have I always been that way? I guess that answer depends on who you ask. I do know that I stress and worry way more now than ever before.  But I do less worrying and stressing now than I did during the divorce proceedings.


“Stress is an external force on us and worry is created inside of us. We can learn to cope with stress although we might not eliminate it. We can learn to eliminate worry.”  

Dr Leslie Willingham


“Stress can be caused by many things. Worry is stress.”


I totally stressed and worried over the possibility of losing my kids. I stressed about having a nice place to live, a job, being able to pay my bills, about surviving on my own, and on and on.  Why would I lose my kids?  Why would I not have a nice place to live? Why would I not be able to pay my bills? Why? Because my ex made threats? Really, who gave him the gavel?



There is more to it than just his threats. I had never had to rely on just me. Getting married at 19 and becoming a mom at 20, I was never alone. My ex and I created, built and ran a very successful company. Since we had sold controlling interest in that company, once the divorce was final, he had me fired. Then the worry really started. I had been working for our own company for more than 6 years, a long time to be out of the work force, and it wasn’t like he was going to give me a raving recommendation!


When we worry, we take time away from the now. If we stress and worry, we don’t allow ourselves to be in the here and now. Is our worrying really going to change any outcome? If I worry more, will the outcome be better? I am a Christian and am told by my Heavenly Father not to worry about anything, but pray about everything, a lesson I continue to struggle with almost daily. I have gotten better. I pray way more and worry way less…but nevertheless, I still worry.


I am definitely not saying to not be prepared; I am not saying to not follow the advice of your attorney; I am not saying to not do things to better yourself and your situation. I am saying to worry less while doing what you know is right. If we spend all of our time worrying, we have less time to prepare, less time to take care of things that need done, and less time to enjoy the good things in the here and now.


I know in the early stages it is extremely difficult to see the good, but believe me, it is there.  A smile on your child’s face, an unexpected hug, a call from a friend, and yes, some days simply that I woke up another day.

I have met a man that looks at every day that way. He has the most amazingly positive outlook on everything. Unique? Perhaps. But even more so because 10 years ago on August 4th, a doctor told him he would not live until Christmas that year. WOW! How devastating, but this man sees things with such grace and positiveness it is almost contagious. So inspiring that I find myself striving to see more good in the world as a whole.

Do I still worry?  Yes, of course I do, but I don’t think I do as much as I used to.