Are you afraid of being happy? Do you think that’s an outrageous question? Perhaps if you feel content, you’ve convinced yourself that you are not doing enough. You’ve gotten so used to anxiety and apprehension, that rest and relaxation feel foreign to you.

It is possible that deep down you don’t truly believe that you deserve good fortune or successfulness. When you finally feel comfortable, do you think it’s too good to be true? Are you just waiting for the other shoe to drop? Listen, if the shoe fits, buy it. By all means, take the road less traveled; but first get new shoes.

Take a few minutes out of your day and notice when you feel happy. How often is it? Do you make a point of spending time with cheerful or carefree people? Spend time with friends who are at ease with their own well-being. You know what they say: The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

Perhaps you’ve been told to “lighten up” one too many times. Some of us spend our lives over-thinking and over-analyzing. Remember that you can’t discover light by analyzing the dark. Simmer down and loosen up for the sake of those around you. You owe it to your loved ones to chip away at your own negativity.

Have faith in yourself to take some small risks. They will not lead to the apocalypse, trust me. Ya know, people are making end-of-the-world jokes like there’s no tomorrow. Do not limit your own potential, sweet friends. Are your actions leading you closer to your true self or further from it?

Please stop mulling and musing over things that you simply cannot change. You have the power to create a rewarding, even an extraordinary, life. What have you done lately to enrich your inner life? Hey, I don’t think my inner child is ever moving out. Listen, I work with spirit, so if I’m talking to myself, I’m just having a staff meeting. But truly, belong to yourself and embrace your humanity.  Focus on what matters.

We are connected to one another by a power greater than ourselves, my friends. Bond with your loved ones, give out hugs. Make someone smile today. Say these words often: “I’m sorry.” “I appreciate you.” “I am so proud of you.”

Face the day with curiosity and optimism. Open your eyes to the beauty all around you. Drink in all the joy you can. Work on trying to understand and forgive others rather than hanging on to all of your resentments and hard feelings.

We all act, in part, due to our past unhealed pain and wounds. How much of your attitude is based on your upbringing? Do you even know? Please do not allow fretfulness and fearfulness to become second nature. Believe it or not, you can even begin to feel uncomfortable if you are not anxious about something or other.

Schedule a time for something small that you thoroughly enjoy every day. Yes, I said “schedule.” It’s been said: Don’t prioritize your schedule; schedule your priorities. Make sure that what you do is intrinsically fulfilling for you. Make your mealtimes pleasing and pleasurable. Speaking of which, real sadness is when you see your food coming in a restaurant, and then it turns out not to be yours. You know that moment when you’re taking a bit of pizza and you accidentally bite the entire layer of cheese off? Me, too. Want to hear a pizza joke? I can’t tell you. It’s too cheesy. But seriously, take care of your body, and it will take care of you.

Please learn to tolerate differences of opinion, sweet friends. If you are self-assured and have presence of mind, others’ views will not freak or flip you out easily. Do not allow others to direct your own destiny. You either control your mind, or it controls you. Stay cool, my friends.

Speaking of cool, seems like it’s finally hot enough to complain about how hot it is. I know, you’re not sure if you’re still wet from the shower or sweating. You bought some vegetables and by the time you got home, they turned to soup already. Well, trust me, on a hot day, iced coffee can perform miracles.

You can truly rise above the chaos of life. Acknowledge the discomfort but take the action anyway. Decide where to invest your precious energy. Build the skill of being happy, sweet friends. Practice savoring all the good stuff. Simply aim to be happier than you were the day before.

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