Despite the severity of your circumstances, my friends, you always have a choice of attitude. The most important thing you can do to be emotionally strong is to strengthen your mind. If fate has attacked you, you need to shore up your emotional well-being. Have you been able to shake off the pain of past events? Perhaps you feel continually harmed by circumstances that might not even take place in the future.

You can change the way you think about your challenges.  You make your suffering worse by dwelling on it or by resisting it. Your thoughts may cause you more pain than the physical or emotional discomfort itself.

It is plausible that we may endure some form of suffering in our lives. But believe that you can endure. They say: Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.

On top of the discomfort, please do not allow yourself to become frantic or agitated, for you can end up experiencing additional sadness and suffering.

Why make your difficulties even worse by judging? Of course, we assume that we do not deserve to be hurt. It is this belief that causes us judgments, which only creates even more distress. We cannot live a happy life if we are continually in conflict with our fate.

Are you constantly wishing for things that may be unrealistic? If a magic genie grants you three wishes, but he won’t let you wish for more wishes – wish for more genies.

But truly, being optimistic still requires us to be in line with reality. There are hardly any grounds for endlessly assuming that we will never get ill or be hurt by others. We will thus continually find fault with life.

What tools can you use? Visualize yourself as a rock that the ocean’s waves may crash over, but yet you remain calm and focused. Meditate, and stop asking too much of the world around you. We often ask the impossible. Many things may happen that do not remotely resemble your expectations. Do not be at the mercy of your emotions. But please do express them.

All right, so you tried sharing your feelings of disappointment. Do you have a nagging feeling that others don’t even listen to you? Hey, my friend told me that his girlfriend yelled at him today, saying, “You weren’t even listening just now, were you? He thought, “Man, what a weird way to start a conversation.”

Sure, we talk about ourselves endlessly. You know what they say: People talk too much. They aren’t descended from monkeys. They come from parrots.  Do you love hearing the sound of your own voice? When we speak about ourselves, sometimes we do receive self-clarification. But guess what? You can learn quite a bit about yourself by listening to others. Have you ever learned about yourself simply by reading a novel about someone you never even met?

Are your friends a lot less interesting than the book you just read? Some things are universally relevant, my friends. When she tells you her story or opinion, don’t get bogged down in some of the boring details. Factual points are not as important as how you felt about her revelations.

What made his story live in your mind and what feelings were triggered? Learn to listen in a creative way.  Help her stick to the point and ask her how that happening made her feel.  As he speaks, say things like: “Go on, please.” Always try to find yourself in his words.

You can’t eliminate differences, but please do not confront her with force when and if you do disagree. If you have been hurt, please do not try to administer justice by hurting him back. Teach your friends how to love you properly by being kind and having the strength to reveal your wounds to those whom you trust the most.

The truth is that you will never feel completely emotionally safe if you are looking for true intimate connections. Use comedy, my friends. It is essential for your emotional well-being. Back in the day, jesters were hired whose express role was to make jokes for the king. I have many jokes about unemployed people… sadly none of them work.  I can’t believe I got fired from the calendar factory. All I did was take a day off. Oh, and my resume is just a list of things I hope you never ask me to do.

There are a host of things that humor will help you with. A sense of humor can relieve suffering and bolster you to feel defiant in the face of some of the most challenging things in your life.

Did you ever have a comedic take on a really dire situation? Perhaps you were able to laugh at your doldrums instead of surrendering and succumbing to the misery. There are many things that threaten your worth. Go ahead and do something absurd occasionally. Act like your favorite cartoon character. Hey, “A guy walks into a bar and says, ‘Ouch.’”

Yes, you are flawed and faulty, but you are equally lovable, sweet friends. Look kindly on others’ neuroses. Know that his anxiety about being liked may be what leads him to do some of those embarrassing things that make you cringe. Believe it or not, finding yourself comical is actually a sign of maturity.

You know what they say: Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.

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