Finding An Escape
Have you ever heard the expression "find your happy place"? Well the theories behind the use of that phrase actually means a lot more than just picturing somewhere beautiful that you wish to be in that moment. The truth is, having an escape, or a happy place, means having a place that we feel we belong. A place that makes us the happiest and brings up a sense of gratitude. See where I'm going with this yet? No? Keep reading!!
What is a happy place?
Is there somewhere in the world that you regularly envision being sometime in your life? Is it a place where you could see yourself living out your days, even though you've never actually visited it?
Maybe you've grown up only visiting a beach one time but you have this burning desire to reside on a sandy beach one day. You wonder how only one visit could make you feel like any beach will transport you into a complete state of happiness. It's almost as if you know that place is calling your name and any time you are in that environment, its as if all your problems have disappeared.
No matter where it is or what sparked that initial happy feeling, you know that when your mind escapes to this place, you feel at ease, at peace and calm! But did you know that having a happy place actually has neurological impacts on us! Yep, you read that right! Being that happiness is a state of mind that we are in control of, it only seems right that our happy place influences our state of mind.
Now don't get this confused with meditation. Although, meditation is a great practice to incorporate visiting your happy place to be in the moment, rest assured all my little impatient friends out there, you do not need to meditate to fully utilize the benefits of your happy place!
The definition of happiness can be argued, simply because this concept varies in different cultures and people! Happiness for some could include material things while for another, freedom. There is no right or wrong way to perceive happiness.
You might be thinking, what does this have to do with my happy place?
Well as you might be surprised to know, The 2016 Harris Poll Index has estimated that only 31% of Americans would consider themselves to be "very happy." The simple answer to this, they have managed to create a place that they can escape to that allows them to essentially be more present in the moment as well as open themselves up to gratitude.
Although our happy place could be centered around a place that we've visited, the place you imagine doesn't have to actually be real.
Maybe your one time visit to the beach has allowed you to paint a picture of a beautiful beach home located on one of the WHITEST sandy beaches there ever was. You may have never encountered such a beach, but you know that when you paint that picture in your mind, you instantly feel lifted and grounded at the same time. A way to enhance this in reality is to plan trips centered around this type of setting. Hit the beach for a short weekend just to get rejuvenated and allow your mind to really stay present in the moment.
How to find your Happy Place
If you don't have a happy place or maybe you'd like to revisit how to really create one, it's actually pretty simple. Think of it as a list of dreams or goals you have in your life. As your pen hits the paper, see if any goals around weather, geographic location, or landmarks comes up. Maybe you have a goal of living on a mountain top so you can go skiing anytime you want. That's a great start! You can now see that that setting is what makes you happy! From there, you can simply let your imagination get to work on creating the picture perfect place based off that one simple dream.
After that, you won't be able to get away from those, almost intoxicating, feelings that your happy place brings you. This stress-free place that you created, that can, and should be, your reminder that happiness is a choice. Look at pictures of beautiful mountains to keep you inspired. Never let the escape to your happy place be far away because you never know just when you might need a reminder that happiness comes from within.
If you aren't convinced yet that a happy place is one heck of a good reason to use as an escape, well then you should read this article again! Nothing on the outside will bring you happiness if you cannot find it on the inside first.
When we are young, sometimes we are told to stop having our heads in the clouds and to be more realistic sometimes. Well, here is your adult hall pass to skip class and find that happy place NOW! Start by writing it down then allow your mind to do the rest. Create a habit that allows you to escape to that place at least once a week and see just how much better you feel! I can't guarantee it'll happen right away, but if you have faith and you believe that you deserve it, you will get it! Nothing comes easy, but we can help ourselves along the way if we just put in a little work!