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Finding Your Happy Place

Somewhere to Escape Your Mind, Within Your Mind

I once did an exercise in my performing arts class. It was a small class, only about twenty people. We were instructed to lay down on our backs, on any part of the stage we could find—separate from one another. We had to close our eyes, breathe deep, and focus on our minds.

Our director then began to describe a place, but nothing was very specific. We were supposed to create our own vision, whatever we wanted. Our own world.

We were asked to create a scene. Perhaps a forest, a beach, a cabin in the woods. We were asked what the sky looked like, what color it was, if there were clouds or not. Where was the sun? Was it setting? Just rising?

We were walked through a forest, and into a garden. We were guided through a castle to become new royalty.

Creating your own world can often be a great way to take away your thoughts for a bit, to store them elsewhere.

My own happy place is in a warm winter cabin. I’m alone, with a few books, the room has a blue glow due to the snow outside.

What does yours look like?

Try to picture it as you read,

Where are you? Where’s your happy place? Your bedroom? A beach? A certain coffee shop, perhaps? It can be anything you’d like.

What are you doing? Are you sitting and enjoying the quiet, or are you occupied?

What’s the weather like? Cloudy? Sunny? Rainy? Does it match your mood?

Are you alone? Or with a loved one? A pet?

Picture every little detail. What your surroundings look like. Furniture for an indoor space, scenery for an outdoor.

Picture what kinds of colors you’re seeing. The tone, warm or cold?

Is your place quiet? Or is there music?

Maybe your favorite song.

If you work hard enough on creating this safe haven for yourself, you can eventually begin to feel it. It becomes somewhere you can leave everything behind, even just for a little while. It’ll create a sense of peace, and bring you back into center. It becomes a bit too easy to get overwhelmed, corrupted.

I’ve been told it can be just as easy, to turn your mind around in the other direction. Think positively, stay in the moment instead of thinking “what if?”

I, myself, am a huge over-thinker. I spend a lot of time worried about my future, versus making a plan for right now. Like, what if my marriage goes downhill? I’m only eighteen, what if I don’t do well in college? I’m taking mostly art classes, what if I don’t make it? I’m going to be a canonically stable military spouse. These intrusive thoughts that can cause anxiety towards, something you have no control over just yet, is normal. But it’s also best to find ways to either stop or turn them around.

Easier said than done.

I like to paint when I’m anxious. Finding a simple, or even a complex reference—or maybe even doing something abstract from my head. Either way, I’m only focused on my art and nothing more. Or I write like I’m doing right now. Finding something that both fits you and takes your mind away for a bit does a lot of good with practice and patience.

And again, there’s always your happy place  

It helps to find a photo, similar to this place you’ve created. Keep it as a screensaver. Or maybe just in your camera roll, as a reminder. Maybe your happy place can become a reality one day.

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