Last night, before I fell asleep, I started worrying about a loved one. After a few minutes, I noticed I was worrying and I decided to do something different, since I believe worry is useless.

Instead of worrying, I step back and look at my thoughts. I realize they are very unlikely to be true and I decide to think different thoughts that are true. Thoughts like these:

  • My friend is whole just as she is.
  • My child is on his path as he is meant to be.
  • My loved one is living the life she needs to live right now.

If I let go of worry, I assume the person is on the path they are meant to be on and I feel loving and peaceful toward that person. When I feel loving and peaceful, I can listen with empathy, I can stay present enough to allow the person to solve his own problems, and I am in a place of peace that allows me to be totally available for whatever I’m asked for.

One of the ways I let go of worry is to focus on the person I’m worried about and dialogue with a part of them the shaman call their “highest, best self.” The way my friends, the shaman, explained it to me, there’s a part of our soul that never came to live on this earth. It’s the part of us that has never been through all the problems and conflicts we’ve experienced throughout our lives. It’s the part of us that can still see “the big picture” because it never narrowed that focus to get though the day. Whether you believe this construct or not, I’ve found it a helpful way to think about the people I love. We can think about who our loved ones are when they are at their very best—relaxed, peaceful, and loving.

Basically, I try to connect with my loved one on a soul level.

When I do this exercise, whether it’s on paper in my journal or in my head before I fall asleep at night, I am always comforted.

As I dialogue with a person on a soul level, I’m able to have—and believe—thoughts that they are whole and all is well.

I might say to the person (in my head or on paper): “Why did you put yourself in this situation?”

I always get an answer, and it’s always a peaceful answer, such as: “I know I can only learn the lesson I need to learn by being in this situation at this time.”

While this answer may sound very convenient, it comforts me on a deep level, because it matches my belief that we live in a world where everything happens for us, not against us.

Who do you worry about? Try to connect, instead, on a soul level, with that person. Let me know what comes up for you.

Diane MacKinnon, MD, is a family physician, master life coach, writer, and blogger. You can find her speaking schedule and other writings at