>Spring Cleaning Part II – Stress and Worry

>We’ve all felt it. Stress of exams. Stress of a job. Stress of family. Stress of friends. The stress of life. What do we do about the things that stress us? We worry about them.


n. a state of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium. [dictionary.com]

Basically, we’re thrown out of whack. We aren’t at peace with ourselves or our environment. One thing to notice about the definition is bodily or mental tension. We are tense, anxious, nervous. All of those things are negative and studies have shown that stress is a contributing factor to disease. What I’ve found is that it is also a contributing factor to unhappiness.


n. to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret. [dictionary.com]

This definition scares me more than stress does. We are literally tormenting ourselves when we worry. We are suffering. That’s pretty harsh isn’t it? It’s natural to worry if your child is out late, or if you’re getting home late. But if you’re like me, you are constantly worrying about school, work, food, exercise…. life.

I have lived the better part of the past couple years in a stressed state. At all times I am worrying about the future, the past… I get stressed out by all these worries. I am constantly thinking about everything that could go wrong instead of right. 

Too much stress makes us burn out.

This is where the dreaded What if’s haunt me. 

The Future: What if I fail a class? What if I don’t have a fun summer? What if I start drinking and I can’t stop? What if I don’t like biology? What if I don’t get into graduate school? What if Adam leaves me? What if my friends don’t like me? What if I lose my friends at college? What if I fall into an eating disorder again? What if I can’t defeat the negativity? What if my dad never finds a job? What if we lose our insurance? What if I can’t afford to go to college anymore? What if….

The Past: What if I really messed up my GPA this year and that ruins my college career? What if I picked the wrong classes? What if I didn’t do everything I could’ve this year? What if I hadn’t bought certain things? What if I would’ve exercised more? What if I hadn’t taken so much upon myself, would I still be as messed up? What if I picked the wrong college? What if I should have gone somewhere else? What if I’ve already ruined my future? What if…

Okay, now how many of these are legitimate worries? Not many. Some of them I have every right to worry about. But most of them, I can’t do anything about. That’s the biggest issue for me: When it comes to most of my worries, I have no power to change the situation. Thus, worrying is pretty pointless isn’t it? All it does is increase those butterflies in my stomach and add more anxiety to my life.

I spend about 80% of my time worrying. The other 20% I spend sleeping. I used to spend so much energy on worrying about what I was eating and how much I was exercising. Was I eating too much? Was I exercising enough? Did I eat too much chocolate? Should I really take another bite of that cake?


Breathe. Inhale. Exhale.
It’s not worth it. I am telling you right now. It is not worth it. I have struggled enough with these things to tell you it will never help any situation. Like I mentioned earlier, some stress and worry is natural. It keeps us on task during exam week, and it keeps us from making rash decisions. But when it starts to permeate every part of your life, like it has mine, it becomes unhealthy. Very unhealthy. We can’t worry about the food we eat. We just need to eat when we are hungry, sleep when we are tired, and love always.
Life throws a lot of crap our way. We all have those moments where we feel that we could not possibly have more on our plate, and then something else comes up. Everyone has to face tough times, some more often than others. We have each other though. We have friends, family, and people around us. 
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to Let It Go. Do what you can, and then go get a good night’s sleep. Sometimes you are going to choose partying over studying for a test. Sometimes you are going to fail. It’s all part of life. Getting back up again.

Stress is inner biofeedback, signaling you that frequencies are fighting within your system. The purpose of stress isn’t to hurt you, but to let you know it’s time to go back to the heart and start loving– Sara Paddison

So go out into the world, and when your worries overwhelm you, look for your blessings. Think of how lucky you are. And think about how many of your biggest fears have actually come true in the past. And if they did, aren’t you still alive? You made it through. The world did not collapse in on itself. You are strong. Be blessed, be happy, don’t worry.
This next week, let’s focus on finding little joys. Little happy times. No stress, no worries.


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4 responses to “>Spring Cleaning Part II – Stress and Worry

  1. >Love this. Like you, I used to worry so much about food and exercise and my weight that it completely consumed my life. It really took the LIFE out of my life and I wasn't able to enjoy anything. Since moving on, it's still hard to keep from worrying about how much or what I'm eating — sometimes I revert back to those obsessive behaviors — but I keep reminding myself not to DWELL. "Do what you can, then go get a good night's sleep." So true. I'm doing the best that I can for my body but inevitably I will screw up. I am not perfect and I cannot pursue perfection.

  2. >What a GREAT post! Your spring cleaning is so inspiring to me :)Not worrying reminds me of chapter 6 in Matthew (in the Bible). It tells us that God will ALWAYS provide for us and we can't change ANYTHING by worrying! Thanks for this awesome post 🙂

  3. >Okay, this is a bit creepy. I usually just read and lurk, but this hit home with me so much and so accurately described what I am going through right at this very moment that I had to say something. I've been recovering from anorexia since…oh, mid-March of this year. I've been homeschooled for a year and a half now, and it's been SUPER hard keeping up with schoolwork and studying as best as I can because of what I am going through. And the problem is, it makes me feel so, so terrible. I keep thinking (in addition to the food-related worry and stress): What if I didn't study hard enough? What if the setbacks from my other current struggles ruin my education? What if I can't get into college in a few years? What if I'm so behind in school that I have to repeat a year's worth of curriculums? What if my mom hates me for not studying as hard?I literally woke up crying because of this STRESS and WORRY. And then I checked your blog. It's funny because I really did stop and breathe when I read. And I needed it. I just need to stop, breathe, inhale, exhale, and forget about my worries. I'm going to focus on finding those blessings as you said and surround myself in them. I don't need to hurt with worry because that will never help me reach my goals of health and happiness.Thank you, Vivianne, again for pulling me out of my dark hole of nothing and pointing me toward the light! (As cheesy as it sounds, it's really an accurate metaphor.) Thank

  4. thebeautynotebooks

    >this is a beautiful post, girl! I know very well how worrying can take over life. I am the hugest worrier…I think I take after my mom 😉 I’ve also felt a lot of low self esteem and self-doubt, being very critical of myself. But I’ve come to take things in stride, learn from and love and TRUST! myself, and be happy. I totally agree: worrying isn’t worth it. I’ve come to realize that no matter how hard I worry, everything is always okay in the end. I can’t spend my life hyperanalyzing every little thing that comes my way. live, learn, move on with a big smile on your face 🙂 way to go, and thanks for being so inspiring.

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