How can you live a more joyous life? The universe is made of material things, clearly, but what comprises your essence? Do you often feel disorganized or even aimless? If your life is out of order, how can you function day after day? Believe it or not, organizing your day soothes stress and anxiety. It will additionally give your confidence a much-needed boost.

What is your daily ritual? What? You don’t have one? Yikes. Try planning your schedule the night before. Make sure to include time to de-stress and decompress. Make a To-Do list. I know, you made a huge To-Do list for today – you just don’t know who’s going to do it. My list for today seems to consist of everything from my list yesterday. Hmmm.  Remember: Dates on the calendar are closer than they appear.

Clean your room. Fold that laundry. You don’t feel like folding the laundry, so you just restarted the dryer. I see you. Listen, when I said, “I do,” I didn’t mean laundry. But trust me, you have more time than you realize.

Last night’s clothes are still on the floor? Are those dishes still in the sink? You know that cleaning is not putting things in less obvious places.  For mercy’s sake, please de-clutter. What better time of the year than now? I know. Instead of cleaning, you just sprayed everything with Febreze. Sheesh.

Cleaning my house is a spectator sport. My family watches me do it for hours. But truly, your surroundings affect your mood more than you realize. A clean, ordered room or office helps create a sense of control and can make you feel steadier and more stable.

If you are sitting in front of a device or at a desk all day long, by all means, please let your body engage with nature and the outside world. No need to go extreme snowboarding. Sometimes, my workouts are so strenuous that I reward myself by taking a year or two off. But seriously, simply take a walk to feel the sun and the breeze on your face. Find healthy outlets to address your concerns and problems.

Recognize each other’s strengths. Tell him what you admire about him. It could be as simple as his sense of humor or her new shoes. Listen, I list “shoe shopping” as special skills on my resume. But truly, we have all been bashed and trashed at one time or another. How often have people gone out of their way to lift your spirits?

It’s been said: If you want to be happy, try making someone else happy. Fill your life with random acts of kindness. The world desperately needs some thoughtfulness and tenderness. Turn someone’s day around with a smile. If you spend time with those who are less fortunate, it will be rewarding in a profound way. Do something for someone who can never repay you. Great opportunities may not come. but small ones surround you every day.

“Fine, thank you.” Not really? It’s okay to feel insecure, stressed, or strung out. No need to make believe that you are ecstatic and enchanted 24/7. It is important to give credence to what emotions you are feeling, even if they are negative. Perhaps something went awfully wrong today or in your life. Please permit yourself to be unhappy or sorrowful at times.

“Gee, I wonder what it would be like to…” Take some risks, sweet friends. Challenge yourself. Get off the sidelines and into the game. By risking nothing, you are really risking everything. If you never ask, the answer is always: No.  Experience the one thing you always dreamed about. Do you know what it is? It was once said: When in doubt, make a fool of yourself.

Start paying attention. Know the source of meaning in your life. You need not be trapped in the same cycle, day in day out. Try something new, no matter how small. Life does not have to be uneventful, uninspiring, or boring. Do not underestimate the power of novelty in your life.

Is the murmuring stream of voices in your head spewing negativity? What do they say? Do they encourage you and gently remind you to calm down when anxiety hits? Or do they humiliate you or instigate you to be panic-ridden instead?

Perhaps you have absorbed the opinions of others who may have put you down. Please mute that one. A true inner voice will speak to you with kindness and affection. Do not allow harsh inner comments to cloud your capacity to love or to feel capable. You have strengths latent within you. Believe that. Is there anyone who simply loves you for being you?

Do not crush your true nature, sweet friends. There is something within you that this world needs. Do more for the world than the world does for you. Let no one be in your presence without leaving them happier.

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