Years ago, there were some TV advertisements which showed the benefits of having a ‘happy place’ to either conjure up, or go to, when life was less than happy. Images of palm trees swaying gently in the warm breeze on a tropical island at sunset, can do it for many of us too! Whether we physically get there or not, the mere thought of a place where our troubles, hassles, cares and fears are removed or even just kept at bay for a while, can seem mighty alluring. So, do you have a happy place? (If you already live or holiday there regularly now, well planned, and happy, you!)
Along with so many other aspects of midlife, my own criterion for a happy place has changed. In my earlier flat-out corporate days, it used to be somewhere, anywhere that had lots to do and see for physical and mental stimulation. Slowing down wasn’t really my idea of happy, unless getting to breaking point forced me there. Even then, a few days of rest was usually enough and then I’d be champing at the bit to learn, or explore, or go do something!
These days, the requirements for my happy place are much more holistic with all aspects of wellbeing, including the need for introvert-y moments, being taken in to account, regardless of whether the visit is temporary or permanent.
I suspect we land on what constitutes a happy place intuitively, but in the interests of finding a formula to easily move towards, or away from, anywhere that might be on your radar, here are some aspects for your consideration:
What do I need by way of stimulation, or absence thereof?
For example: movie theatre, people to converse with or watch, Wi-Fi, art gallery, book store, library, gardens, interesting architecture, history, sculpture walk, friendly discussion groups, concerts or speakers
What do I need to flourish?
For example: ideal temperature and humidity, gentle walks or nature hikes, yoga studio, gym, sailing, sun or forest bathing, sea or snow, city or rural, availability of healthy food, spa facilities, fresh air at night, delicious scents
What will nurture my soul and enable joy?
For example: peaceful surroundings, endless sunshine, meditation studio, beloveds, birdsong, a view of nature, gelato nearby, sense of community, a place to worship, luxurious bedding, silence or sounds
Overlaying the needs and wants of your mind, body and soul, are the particular circumstances that make you want to find, or go to, your happy place.
For example: Will it be a holiday with others? Do you crave some introvert-y time? Have a creative project to complete? Need to feel the sun on your back or wind in your hair? Want to get out of your comfort zone? Research places to retire? Immerse yourself in nature? Follow a dream?
Why, when and how you choose to find your happy place will be as varied as we all are. Of more importance is that you have one, and know what and where your happy place is.
Where does instant happiness show up for you, in your real or imaginary life?