Happiness is rolling down a hill of green grass. This is my happy place and where I mentally escape at times of stress or hardship. Perhaps it’s a harken back to my childhood days when I was stress-free and could in fact roll down a hill without worrying about getting a grass stain or getting hurt…
I didn’t realize I had a happy place until my brilliant boyfriend stopped me in the middle of my ranting on one particularly tough day. “Stop…close your eyes…and take yourself to a place where there is no stress.”
At the time I was peeved because all I wanted to do was vent, but I begrudgingly closed my eyes. I saw nothing…I saw blackness…
“What am I supposed to see?” I said with a mild attitude. “I don’t see anything.”
His response, “Well maybe you’re not letting yourself see anything.”
He was right. I was so focused on what was wrong, and skeptical that a mental exercise could help, that I refused to provide myself with that mental reprieve.
I went to bed that night thinking about what my happy place should be. A beach with a Corona? Drinking hot cocoa in a lodge? I had visions of TV commercials swirling through my head. Should Corona really be telling me what my happy place is? Probably not.
This practice of finding a happy place didn’t come easy for me. Actually it took a solid week for me to “figure it out” but in fact what I didn’t realize was that I already knew where my happy place was…it’s just that when you don’t visit a place for so long you forget how to get there.
Perhaps you have a happy place, or you’d like to find one. Or maybe there are other actions you can take to ensure you’re not succumbing to stress triggers. I’m a big fan of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project, and writes that there are little things to do to boost your mood instantly.
For me…this year…I’m going to find happiness more often by regularly visiting my happy place. I’m not going to lose sight of this or become so stressed that my happy place is blacked out by feelings of anxiety or insecurities. It will take practice, but after a while it will become natural.
Happiness is a choice. I can choose to sulk in a situation or I change my attitude or my mindset. In 2013 I’m choosing to be happier. That’s my new year’s resolution.