Are You Happy?

Are you happy?

Does everyone around you seem happy – but you are constantly stressed, overwhelmed and in a funk? If you are a parent, especially if you are a single parent, work outside of the home, or have a child with special needs, chances are you haven’t had time to think about this for a while.

You are probably running on autopilot, just trying to keep your head above water while you tend to everything and everyone.

So stand back, take a breath, and think about the question.

Why, you might ask, is it even important that I am happy – that my needs are met?  After all, as long as the kids’ needs are being met and things that need to get done are, what does it matter if you’re happy?

Well, it DOES matter that you are happy!

Chances are, you are the rock, the very foundation upon which your family is built.  You are the glue that holds it all together.  So while you may often feel overwhelmed, unappreciated, and unimportant, your happiness matters a lot.

It matters to those that look up to you.  It matters to those for whom you set the tone.  It matters to those that rely on you.  They WANT you to be happy.

And the truth is, if you’re not happy, nobody is happy.

So now you may be wondering how to be happy.  It’s not that hard, once you remember what it was like.  Close your eyes and think about a time when you were happy.  Ask yourself what about that time in your life made you happy, and make efforts to incorporate some of that back into your life.

For example, if you were happiest when you went to the gym every night before you ha children, figure out how to get back to the gym a couple times each week.

If you are happiest when with your friends or family, make them a bigger priority.  Whether it’s hiking, knitting, or Bunco, figure out what makes you happy and do more of it.

Here are a few suggestions to re-discover happiness and eliminate depression from your life:

  • Join a weekly workout group
  • Join a book club and read daily
  • Help others in need
  • Get 1 extra hour of sleep each night
  • Stay off social media where other people’s lives look happier than yours
  • Spend more time with your kids – surprise them in the school cafeteria, take a day off and do something special with them, spend quality time with them on the weekend, etc…
  • Learn a new skill: cooking, photography, art, etc….

You deserve to be happy and you’re worth it!

Lori Freson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Southern California. She has been working in the mental health field since 1997, and has been a licensed therapist since 2002. Lori currently works in her own thriving private practice in Encino and Sherman Oaks, where she serves the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles areas. Contact Lori at or call/text 818-514-LMFT


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