How To Find Your “Happy Place” & Why You Need It
There are days where we just want to burrow deep in our blankets and forget about the outside world for a while – a long while. This feeling we get when we are stressed and worried about something can be harmful to our mind and body if left unchecked.
Many people must have told you to find your “happy place” when the stress becomes unbearable and you can’t find your way out. But what is this “happy place” that people keep talking about? How do you find it? And how can it help when nothing else seems to?
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Don’t fret. In this blog, I’ll help you learn how to find your own happy place and how it can help you in the long-term.
Let’s start with the meaning of a happy place; it is a memory, situation, or activity that makes you feel happy. It can be anything, so to speak. It can be a memory of when you first met your best friend, it could be a memory of past activity or an event you did with your partner, or it could be a place in your mind you like to visit to de-stress.
When people come up to me and say to me, “think happy thoughts” or “think positively”, one thing I positively do is get annoyed. When you’re too stressed about something you can’t just tell your mind to think happy. What you can do is direct your mind’s attention to your happy place.
Our happy place is where our fond memories play like a movie roll. All the things that have ever made us feel happy and relaxed are out there on a projector screen playing like a slideshow. Guiding your mind to focus on that is what makes your “happy place” a happy place.
How To Find Your Happy Place?
“When you finally discover your happy place, your soul will be more easily protected from all the darkness around.” – Christine E. Szymanski
“Humans, not places, make memories.” – Ama Ata Aidoo
Think about the first time you held your puppy in your arms. Think about the day your partner and you first met each other. Think, think, think – about all the happy memories you have created in your life. Thinking about happy memories releases serotonin, the feel-happy chemical. Visualizing your memories in your mind helps decrease stress and panic. This is not hard to do – we all have a happy memory that we know we can fall back on during those particularly rough days. Picture yourself reliving those memories and in no time you will feel your stress and worries melting away.
In the movie, The Sound Of Music, Maria (Julie Andrews) sang a song where she listed all the things that made her happy. One such line that helps me find my happy place is;
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things…
When I’m stressed I listen, in my mind, the sound of raindrops on leaves or the sound of the kettle whistle indicating that my tea is ready. But these are my favorite things – things that bring me comfort and help me relax when I’m stressed. Watching cute kitten or puppy videos on the internet or listening to calming music or nature sounds can help you resonate with your happy place.
“Lying in bed and daydreaming was the best thing I did all day.” – Marty Rubin
If you’re a dreamer and have big dreams, happy dreams then daydreaming can really help you find your calm. Deliberate daydreaming can help your mind focus and visualize a positive and motivating environment. It can act as a mind-body therapy to help you improve your performance, keep you motivated, and keep that smile on your face. You can try by setting a goal, visualize that goal in your mind, focus on it, and give it all the positive vibes you have.
4. List Your Happy Moments
“A happy moment can last a lifetime if you remember to smile when you think of it.” – Anonymous
There are moments in your life that you can never get tired of remembering. When you feel the stress coming on, remember those moments and relive them again – in your mind. I remember the tea my grandfather used to make me when I would get too tired, or when my best friend surprised me with a birthday video in this lockdown. Some moments, some songs, some experiences always put a smile on my face. Find yours. The ones that keep the smile on your face.
Smiling in itself is a gesture that can put your mind to ease immediately. Think about those, relive them, and relax in your happy place.
Why You Need A Happy Place
The stress of our work, studies, and life – without throwing in the stress of the pandemic – can become too overwhelming. Our happy place is somewhere we can fall back, find our calm, and relax.
When you step into your happy place you allow your mind to calm and relax in a place where your happiest moments reside. A benefit of having a happy place is that it provides you with an escape and gives you a moment to ground yourself back to the present. It also increases your feelings of gratitude and decreases your anxiety and panic.
Another benefit of having a happy pace is that it can boost your mood in a matter of a few minutes. Thinking of your happy place – whether it is an actual place, thing, memory, or sound – can increase your serotonin and dopamine which can cause an immediate reaction of happiness and calm.
Finding your happy place might take some time, practice, and patience but once you have that place ready, you can find your calm and help your mind find a way to relax completely – even if it is only for a while.
If this technique isn’t helping and you feel your stress increasing, consult your therapist or a primary care doctor immediately.
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” – Joseph Campbell
Be well, think positive, and keep feeling happy!