The what. Your happy place is a place you can go anytime you need to be comforted or reminded of people, places and experiences that bring you happiness.
The where. Well, technically it’s inside you already, although I have a few ways to make it more accessible if you find recalling memories challenging.
Let’s look for it together.
Ok, first let’s take a deep breath.
The first place I look is my memories. You can start with the most recent memory or you may like to begin with the people, places and pleasures that are most precious to you.
Some questions that might help . . .
- Who inspires feelings of love and kindness when you think of them?
- When you imagine yourself escaping from everyday life, where would you go?
- What is the first memory that comes to mind that gave you pleasure, happiness, joy, created feelings of peace and reminded you of the value of kindness?
Hopefully, you are starting to not only come up with one memory, but they are starting to snowball and you can’t keep up!
Finding your focus. Learning the beautiful and rewarding art of concentration can allow you to carry them around with you wherever you go in your memory palace. Practising how to focus enables you to create space for you to observe rather than react. Although that can be challenging if you want to access your memories when you are feeling anxious or upset (which is usually when you need them the most!). So here are some other ideas.
Make it visual. Something else I find helps me, is to keep a visual reminder of my happy place on a Pinterest board that I call My Happy Place. That way I can access prompts for those happy memories and bring myself back to the feeling of the memory wherever I am. Just looking at the image and taking a deep breath gives me the opportunity to connect with myself and how I am feeling and access the associated memory with more ease.
Make it tactile. Another more tactile option which can also be reassuring when you are stressed or anxious is to use images or words from magazines, pictures, postcards, meaningful letters or tokens to create your own happy place on a vision board. That way you can keep it somewhere you see every day as a visual reminder. This is especially helpful if you have a vision for where you want to be in the future and you want to be reminded regularly to keep you focused. You might even like to keep your precious reminders in a treasure chest for safekeeping.
Make it audible. Songs have a way of transporting us to another place and time in an instant. Are there songs that remind you of happy times in your life or that you have on loop when you are feeling down? Keep them ready to go in a playlist to give you that much-needed boost when you need it most.
Make it smell-able. Freshly baked bread, cut grass, the ocean, your favourite flower. Do you have a scent that reminds you of a holiday or a perfume that you wore the first time you met your partner? Having perfumes, oils or taking yourself to an environment where you can enjoy those smells for real (baking is my favourite) can bring you back to that moment and make memories easier to recall.
Hopefully, you have a few ideas to work with and help to build the foundations of your happy place.
How are you going to create your happy place?