On bad days, sometimes it’s natural to want to just stay in bed and bask in your misery, while distracting yourself with equally miserable forms of entertainment that mirror your inner anguish. (A round of “Charlie St. Cloud”, anyone? How about a dose of “Bridge To Terabithia” while we’re at it? And a side of “All By Myself” on repeat in the shower?) But on days when we don’t have the luxury of cocooning in bed for fifteen hours with only our favourite tubs of ice-cream for company, the best way to get back on track is to go to your happy place.
“What is a happy place and how may I find mine?” you ask.
The simplest definition of a “happy place” is literally a place that you can go to that makes you happy. It can be a physical venue such as your favourite cafe, Disneyland, the cinema or a bench in the park with the best view. But more commonly, the term refers to a virtual place in your mind that you can go to whenever faced with an unpleasant or uncomfortable situation, which is where your imagination comes in. Good news for everyone who has a tendency of “zoning out”; this is your time to shine.
Needless to say everyone has their own version of a happy place; what puts my mind at ease won’t necessarily do the same for yours.
Sometimes it’s a memory of an amazing vacation that you took a while ago on a faraway island, other times it’s a fantasy of a world that you’ve created from books that you’ve read or movies that you’ve watched. Often it can even be an action that you’re familiar with, one that puts your mind in auto mode and doesn’t require much thought or effort, yet soothes the soul and alleviates stress (adult colouring books, anyone?). It doesn’t matter if it’s embarrassing or lame or if your happy place is simply in knitting a sweater, the best thing about these blissful nooks is that it can be anything you want it to be. The most important thing is that it transports you easily and quickly from one place to another, where the grass is infinite times greener.
Stuck in a snaking queue where you’re jostling cheek to cheek and back to front with dozens of other impatient people trying to get to one place? Getting grilled by your boss in a meeting room with tension so thick you could cut it with a knife? Trapped in a boring conversation with someone who hasn’t stopped talking for the past twenty minutes?
Breathe in. Breathe out. And go to your happy place. Go to that cafe in Paris you went to one summer three years ago and recreate that amazing view in your head, but even better. Think about your favourite Wes Anderson movie and imagine yourself as a starring character living in that world. Flip through your favourite magazine and take in all the glitz and glamour oozing off the pages. In your head, you’re allowed to fantasize about living in a world where everything is literally cupcakes, unicorns and rainbows if you want it to be.
So, what do you see when you think of your happy place?