What is a happy place? Where the fuck is it and how do I get there? Well…my happy place is somewhere so peaceful and calming, sat on lush green grass at the peak of a hill where I watch the sunset on the horizon. I look down the valley and see the horses grazing in the fields and I can hear the birds chirping in the trees. I take a deep breath and a long exhale then I just feel all the stresses get blown off me, damn it feels good.
A happy place is somewhere you can mentally visit whenever and wherever you want or need to. It a place tailored to you, created by you and for you. I created my happy place when I was starting my therapy. My counsellor recommended that I create a happy place for me to go to after our sessions and at home. In order for me to process the traumas I had to close my eyes and I go back to the trauma and experience it again whilst focusing on every emotion, thought, smell, sound, sense of touch and even taste. We’d do this a few times each session and I would be so exhausted afterwards that going to my happy place was pretty easy. For someone who at the time didn’t have much (if any) mental peace, it was surprising I was able to successfully go to my happy place and benefit from it.
There are 4 key ingredients to creating your happy place.
- Senses. This is a very important one. Don’t think about what you can just see, but what can you feel? What can you hear or smell? Adding details like this will help you focus more whilst in your happy place which will increase the benefits! Think about what your senses love in real life and try and incorporate that into your happy place.
- Emotions. Another important one. How do you feel when you’re in your happy place? Are you happy? Drained? Or calm? Do you feel emotional or at peace? Consider including details that bring you happiness or peace in real life.
- Surroundings. Your happy place should be somewhere you can go to when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the real world. Think about being somewhere that makes you feel at peace, brings you calamity or happiness. It could be somewhere you have been, somewhere you want to go or somewhere you have just created. Your happy place is a chance for you to get some alone time in your own private place.
- Creativity. Get creative if you want to! You have the opportunity to create somewhere that is specifically for you. Consider everything from your hobbies, your passions, what makes you happy and your likes.
- Intuition. I know it may sound like there is a lot of planning that goes into creating your happy place but don’t overthink it. Trust what comes into your head first and go with the flow.
When I was creating my happy place I started off with the simplest detail…location. I’m an outdoor cat, I’d much rather be outside than cooped up inside so I knew my happy place needed to be out somewhere open. I personally think some of the best views are from the top of hills or mountains and as I’m someone who loves an adventure and often when I venture out solo I usually venture up as I think that is where the best view will be. Quite a few of my happy places in real life are at the peaks of hills/mountains which can make them the perfect place to watch the sunset. Dusk is my favourite time of the day so obviously this was a big detail that needed to be included in my happy place.
Next I got my senses involved. You might find that one of your senses needs/wants more involvement than the others. Touch is my sense that is mostly included in my happy place. I touch of the grass that I’m sat on, rips pieces of it up out of the ground or I can feel the breeze on my skin along with the last bit of warmth from the sun before it sets. I can hear the birds chirping in the trees around me and the sound of the leaves rustling in the breeze. I hear the horses munching on the grass and the occasional neigh then I just watch them. Sometimes I have my dog next to me and sometimes I have my dog and my dad next to me. We speak, we hug, laugh, sometimes cry and we just sit there, watching the sunset.
You can create as many happy places as you want and write them all down if you want to. I have a couple of other ones where I’m riding a horse on a beach/through the fields, watching the sunset whilst on a beach and one where I am sat on my cabin porch, on the top of this mountain in the middle of nowhere just being still, just being in that moment.
I like to visit my happy place before falling asleep, when I’m stressed or need a break from the real world. It gives me that mental escape, even if it’s just for a minute.
Your happy place is somewhere that is designed specifically for you; it is free of charge, free from destruction and can offer you so many benefits!