Your belly won’t stop talking to you. Man do I need a slice of pizza right now. I know, you just burned your tongue on a slice of pizza and realized that sometimes the ones you love hurt you the most. Heh. My eyelids feel heavier than concrete. This calls for that extra large cup of coffee. How do I take my coffee? Seriously. Very seriously. Oh, and I could use two straight days of sleep, too, while I’m at it. Gosh, I am just longing for a vacation right about now. Do you know what your needs are?

Physical needs tend to make themselves known. But what about your unmet emotional desires? Do you even know what it is that you require for your mental and spiritual well-being? Our loved ones, friends, or even strangers cannot give us what we need unless we tell them what that is. And we certainly can’t inform them if we don’t even know what it is. At times, rather than be ashamed or disappointed for not having our wants or desires met, we simply tune them out.

Do you need more support, reassurance, affection, space, or someone to simply listen to you more? Let’s be real. A hug from someone else surely feels different from one that is from yourself. Just remember: You can’t put your arms around a memory; so hug someone you love today.

We all feel anxious, angry, and even sad, at times. A bit of affirmation that what we are feeling is normal, and will pass, may be lifesaving for us. Please don’t assume that your loved ones or friends always know what you want or need. If you are struggling through an emotional moment, let her know what type of response makes you feel comforted and comfortable.

And guess what? Sometimes we don’t even know what we need. That’s okay, too. You can tell him that you really don’t know what you need right now. Your loved ones will have to learn to simply be there with you and for you. Maybe you just want love and a sense of belonging.

If your feelings are overwhelming you, see the blue ocean in your mind’s eye. Allow the waves of feelings to wash over you; but then visualize them going back out to sea. Try not to hold on or hang on to that dark emotion for too long, sweet friends.

It’s all right to want to feel recognized or even respected by others. Just remember that self-respect is the most critical and crucial. Be sure to earn your own. Reclaim yourself. You may need to learn how to honor who you are. There will always be someone who can’t see your worth. Don’t let that someone be you.

The next question is: Are you being the best version of yourself or a downhearted, dejected, and distressed version? If you don’t take care of yourself, chances are it will take its toll on your relationships and entire life. Step one: Learn to differentiate between your feelings, thoughts, and actions. Most of us need to be taught or trained as to how to manage very powerful feelings of sadness or anger without acting on them. I know. Some people were put on the planet just to test your anger management skills. That is where impulse control comes in. And yes, we need to inject ourselves with doses of optimism and hope – even in the face of life’s blows and backsliding. You all know who a real optimist is, right? The one who starts their diet on Thanksgiving Day.

So just how good are you at shaking off feelings of anxiety, angst, or worry? You know what they say: “Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles. It only takes away today’s peace.” The pessimist may be proven right in the long run, but the optimist has a much better time on the trip. So try laughing. It’s like a windshield wiper. It doesn’t stop the rain, but it sure allows you to keep going.

So how do athletes win gold medals? In a word, perseverance. Please don’t get discouraged, sweet friends. You know it’s always the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at