What do the events of your life mean to you? Can you accept the reality for the sometimes truly sad thing that life is? At times, we need to allow for some dark truths about existence. Life can feel like a sequence of disappointments every so often. You had a misunderstanding with a loved one. You may be grieving a horrific loss. You have even endured a catastrophe.

We get angry, outraged, or deeply depressed due to the sudden defeat of an expectation we had. The truth is that we need to learn to be less reassured about how life will actually go. No, this surely does not mean to expect the worst.

On occasion, you just wake up spiritless and unenergetic. The smallest challenge may seem inordinately heavy. An intriguing insight about sadness is that it may not be sadness at all. It could actually be anger that simply has not found expression.

Our resentment has actually turned in on itself. To regain your spirit, you must learn to understand your specific disappointments more thoroughly. You may have lost sight of the particular events or people who have let you down. No, it is not all of existence or life that has saddened you, sweet friends. Charlie Brown once said: ‘Sometimes you lie in bed at night, and you don’t have a single thing to worry about. That always worries me!’ No one in my family appreciates that I stayed up all night over-thinking for them.

Did you ever feel angry but were clueless about the cause of your aggravation? Don’t fret. We as humans are not particularly good at keeping tabs on the origin of many of our emotions. Have you always had a secure hold on why you found that particular song so powerful? Did you ever laugh for seemingly no reason at all?

The truth is that in many ways we are all strangers to ourselves. Most of us have certainly been told that it is simply not nice to be angry. It may induce a great deal of guilt to admit that you felt vengeful when she hurt you – or outraged when he disappointed you.

You may imagine yourself above being insulted or offended by others. When you are, you can feel petty or small. It is possible that you simply do not know how to express anger in a healthy way.

You may have resorted to bitterly swallowing all of your hurt feelings. But what if I told you that you can actually have a respectful, even cathartic conversation about your anger or hurt? No need to have a tantrum or a blatant refusal to compromise.

Your wife just bought you a “Get Better” card. Oh, you’re not sick. She just thought you could “be better.” Uh-oh. But seriously, do not lose your voice. Learn how to effectively verbalize your emotions. Let your feelings find expression, please. No need to be prideful. Be modest, but manifest your frustrations nonetheless.

Loud complaints or rage are a precursor to bad feelings. Do not scream, but protest in a firm, polite way. It will be of incalculable benefit to clear the air at times. If you respond intensely to something in the here and now, and feel suddenly hurled into anger or fear, you may find it difficult to hold onto calm or composure.

Of course, some situations demand anger. But it is depleting to be visited by fierce feelings that are not truly warranted. What flusters, troubles, and unnerves you actually reveals your emotional history. You become disturbed “now” by what devastated or hurt you “then.”

What aggravates, infuriates, or unsettles you? Images of your friends, who seem to be leading their “best life” on the IG or Facebook? Your neighbor who is infinitely wealthier than you? The girl who seems to eat all day, but never gains an ounce? Then again, I spent about $60 a year watching bananas turn brown. Okay. It’s been 12 years now. I’m starting to think I’m not “bloated.” But honestly, don’t you wish everything was as easy as gaining weight? Oh, and stop trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” They’re broke. While you’re trying to keep up with them, they’re trying to keep up with you.

And yes, some seem to have gotten the memo: You only live once, so make sure you spend 15 hours a day on the Internet seeking validation from strangers. You know what they say: Twitter is a great place to tell the world what you’re thinking before you’ve had a chance to think about it.

We overreact because the happening in the present has a disguised grain of a hurtful or traumatic event in the past. Then again, it is most likely unexplored or even unknown to most of us. Of course, that is what gives it so much power over you.

We must learn to respond with calm in the here and now instead of feeling vulnerable about the “there and then.” Happy may not even feel normal to you, if you have learned to be constantly anxious.

Instead of: “What might happen?” – ask: “What is happening now?” Oh, and by the way, there’s a difference between living the best life and living your best life. It’s been said: “There are good days and there are bad days, and this is one of them.”

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 facebook.com/pages/Safe-Haven-Healing.