What if it happens?

woman in blue long sleeve shirt holding her head

From the desk of Kelsey Buell,

They say being a parent really changes you…and whoever “they” is, I have to agree with “them.”

Having a child has made me really struggle with worry much more than ever before.

If I am not paying careful attention, my mind often wanders.I start thinking about “what if”s like…

  • What if I go into June’s room and she’s not breathing? Or…
  • What if she falls off the couch and breaks her arm? Or…
  • What if I fall down the stairs while carrying her and she gets really hurt?

This past weekend we were having a nice little Sunday afternoon watching the Vikings game (by the way, I cannot believe they won!!).

The game was moving slowly and June wasn’t feeling entertained at all by the game, so we decided to go play upstairs for a bit.

We had a little dance party, threw a ball around the room, had a pow wow in her little teepee, and then decided it was time to head back downstairs.

I scooped her up in my arms and we headed down the stairs.

As we made our way down the stairs and started down the second set, I caught a glimpse of the Vikings game on tv. As I started to read the score….*%j79kls*8J# AHHHHHH!!! My sock slid on the hardwood floor.

Onto my back I fell, with June in my arms, and I skipped on my back down about 5 steps – it felt similar to a rock skipping across a river. 

I remember holding June tightly and up away from my body so as to not have her little fragile body hit the stairs.

As I reached the bottom I looked at June, and she looked at me, and we both began to let out a cry. “OUCH!!” 

But thankfully, neither of us broke a bone and we were both safe. June didn’t even have a scratch.

I sat in that moment and was so grateful for our safety and our health.

As I reflect back on it, I’m realizing that one of my worst fears had come to fruition. Falling down the stairs with a baby in my hands.

I had worried and worried about this happening and then it did. UGH.

Some might argue that because I worried about it so much, I “manifested it” to happen…because I thought about it so much.

That said, what I learned from this situation is this:

  1. We CAN’T prevent negative things from happening to us or those we care about.
  1. We CAN control our pace and level of distractedness.

You see, one of my worst fears happened because I was distracted and moving too fast.

As I let that soak in, I also realized that because of my own “clumsiness” I also could have really hurt someone I love, my sweet daughter.

This was a reminder that I should channel some of my energy “worrying” about everything into instead energy being “mindful” of how fast I’m trying to move and at what level I operate in a mode of distraction.

Also, to take things even further, when we are worried we are spending our mental energy on things that distract us. On the “what ifs”…instead of spending that brainstorming on positive things that will help propel us forward.

Taking time to slow down can be an effective way to reduce worry and anxiety because it allows you to break the cycle of stress and give your mind and body a chance to relax. 

Here are some ways in which slowing down can help prevent excessive worrying:

  • Reduced stress response: When you’re constantly in a rush and under pressure, your body’s stress response is activated, releasing stress hormones like cortisol. Slowing down gives your body a chance to recover, reducing the chronic activation of the stress response.
  • Enhanced self-awareness: Slowing down provides an opportunity to tune into your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. This self-awareness can help you identify the sources of your worry and develop strategies to manage them more effectively.
  • Improved problem-solving: Rushing through tasks or decisions can lead to hasty and potentially regrettable choices. Taking time to slow down allows for better decision-making and problem-solving, reducing the chances of making impulsive and anxiety-inducing decisions.
  • Perspective and balance: Slowing down allows you to step back and gain a broader perspective on your life and concerns. It can help you reassess your priorities and find a more balanced approach to managing stressors.
  • Increased resilience: Regularly slowing down and practicing relaxation techniques can increase your resilience to stress. You become better equipped to handle life’s challenges without becoming overwhelmed by worry.
  • Better relationships: Slowing down can also lead to improved relationships. When you’re less rushed and anxious, you can be more present and attentive to the needs of your loved ones, reducing potential sources of worry in your personal life.

It’s essential to find a balance that works for you, as everyone’s needs and coping strategies are unique, but hopefully these tips can help you deal with worry and moving too quickly.

Also, as a Christian, there are many verses about worry in the Bible.

What does the Bible say about not worrying?

Here are some key verses related to worrying from the Bible:

  • Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV): These verses are part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and are among the most well-known passages on worry. In them, Jesus encourages his followers not to worry about their life, food, or clothing, and instead to seek the Kingdom of God first. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”
  • Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV): The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians advises believers to present their requests to God with thanksgiving, and the peace of God will guard their hearts and minds. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
  • 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV): Peter encourages believers to cast all their anxiety on God because He cares for them. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
  • Psalm 55:22 (NIV): The Old Testament includes verses that address worry as well. This verse is one such example.”Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
  • Proverbs 12:25 (NIV): The Book of Proverbs offers wisdom on managing anxiety. “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.”

If you’re worrying a lot, we encourage you to slow down, take a deep breath, and give it to God!

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