People often talk about happy places, they come up in guided meditations, and I even found them in articles on how to manage stress, anxiety and depression.
This happy place concept during guided meditations often brings up a dilemma for me. I have more than one, which one do I choose? Some would say just use the first one that comes up, but sometimes there are more than one there too. It distracts me from the actual meditation and gets me going on a little side trip. Before I know it the meditation is over and I have absolutely no clue what it was about. Happens to me over and over.
On my hike today I was pondering my happy places, trying to define them, to sort them, to put them into a top ten list. I was unable to do so. They shift and change and morph constantly depending on the day, time, and mood I am in. A happy place today might not be a happy place tomorrow. I realized that my happy places are happening in the here and now. They have a life of their own. I have to actually live them, just conjuring one up during meditation doesn’t work for me.
Let’s take today for instance, a Winter Sunday morning. We took our sweet time getting up this morning and just hung out in bed talking and laughing and cuddling the pooches between us. It was nice and cozy and warm, a true happy place. Would it have been a Summer Sunday morning, it would have probably been drinking our coffee outside in the yard, listening to the birds and watching the dogs bask in the sun.
After finally getting up, I had my coffee and a light breakfast, we watched some funny videos and then I took the dogs for a nice long hike in the woods, exploring some new trails and despite it being cold and gray enjoying the outdoors. The peace and quiet I felt was yet another very happy place. In a little bit I will make some tea, and settle in on the couch with a good book, one of the dogs in my lap and just relax. Again, a very happy place.
What’s my point of this post? You can find happy places everywhere, you don’t need an imaginary one that you can go to when you feel stressed. Happy places are all around, sometimes they only last for a few minutes, but they still are happy. Next time you feel stressed take time to notice those fleeting moments in your day that you feel happy. And I can guarantee you that you will find at least one, even on your worst day. And if you don’t find it, then create it. Maybe it is watching a funny animal video for a few minutes. Looking out the window on your coffee break. Relaxing your tense shoulders when you take a shower. Listening to a loved one hum or sing along to a song. Anything and anywhere can be a happy place. It took me a long time to realize that and it just recently finally clicked in me.
With that said, I am going to find me another one right now, and yes, it must be at least my third or fourth today!
Happy hunting and noticing!