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Love Is NOT Worry: Why We Do It and How to Stop

family on beachWe often believe that one of the main reasons we worry about the important people in our lives is because we love them, but love is not worry.  

Science has recently found that new mothers actually produce a “worry gene” in the days and weeks after the birth of their babies. This gene can cause extreme unrealistic worrying in mothers. Science is still unsure of the cause of this gene, and if it affects all mothers. 

Okay…. Just kidding. Modern science has not done any research on or found a worry gene, but ever since I became a mother, I find myself increasingly and often unnecessarily worrying about my son.

As an example, when my son was only a few months old, I turned on the vacuum, and he started crying. When I turned it off, his cry stopped. My mind fluttered with thoughts: My son is sensitive to loud sounds. Is this is a sign of autism? What is the earliest they can catch this? Are there other signs? Granted he was only a few months old, but I immediately hopped online to reassure myself I was over reacting. 

After a little research, my nerves calmed down a bit. I felt better, but uncertainty lingered in my mind. I texted my friend, explaining to her what happened. Luckily for me, she is a seasoned mom of three kids. She reassured me that her youngest did the same thing and now happily chases the vacuum cleaner. Phew, it was just me worrying.

What I found most interesting about this experience is that when other moms express to me concern or worry for their child, I see the situation from a different perspective. I can be more calm and not immediately jump to consider the worst case scenarios. When it’s your own child, though, you quickly become a worried mama, blinded by your own fleeting thoughts and emotions. Things can get progressively blown out of proportion.

But a little worry is a good thing – it shows you care, right? Maybe not. A lot of unrealistic worry is detrimental to one’s health and should be reduced to a minimum. According to classical Chinese medicine, love springs from letting go and worry stems from overthinking. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that getting rid of my “worry thoughts” may not be possible, but keeping them under control is something I can do. 

To make certain I have a healthy relationship with worry, I decided to implement a simple plan. When I notice my mind beginning to take a ride down worry lane, I take five deep breaths, let go, and send my son some loving thoughts. After all, love is not worry.

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