I don’t know about you, but some days it’s harder than others for me to find my “happy place.” Everyone has had times in their lives when they feel overwhelmed, over-extended–over it all. And, when times are tough, we all need a little boost to help us find that place within ourselves that brings us back to center. That’s what prompted me to write a post awhile back, aptly titled How to Find Your Happy Place…Even When Life Sucks. Because sometimes, it can really feel like life, well, sucks.
But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, you get to decide how your life is going to be, and it all starts in your own head.
Recently, I decided to take a poll of my Facebook friends. I asked them a simple question: What makes you happy?
The responses were well-varied–I got some funny ones as well as some serious ones. But ultimately, everyone was able to identify something that brought them joy. And today, I’m going to share them with you, so that the next time you are struggling to find your happy place, to find something for which to be grateful, you can gain a little inspiration from my friends.
You know how the old song goes, right?
“I get by with a little help from my friends.” Well, this time, you’ll get by with a little help from my friends. And so, without further ado, here are some of the things that bring my friends to their happy places.
“My son.” ~Danielle
“The little things in life…a smile, a simple thank you, a kind word and a hug, and I love you just because. Bigger things: my family and believing some day I will find a sense of peace in this life of madness sometimes.” ~Terri
“Music, more specifically classical music.” ~Carrie
“Seeing my kids happy.” ~Karen
“Being read to. I was told by a college professor that I would appreciate being read to one day. I didn’t believe him until I started working full time in a cubicle. Thank God we are allowed headphones. And thank God we organize our libraries to share audio books retrieved from the library.” ~Kristopher
“My husband, and going to church. Also, memories of my mother and my Aunt June, who are both now gone.” ~Jeanne
“My husband and kids when we are not fighting, my dog when he is not pooping in the house (or getting sprayed by a skunk), coffee, baking and eating, cooking with my husband, rocking my grandson to sleep, playing with my grandson, making crafts, giving a handmade gift to someone and seeing their appreciation, sex, flowers, chocolate, sunshine, rain showers, snow, quiet times, times full of noise and laughter, reading a good book, reading quotes and appreciating someone else’s wisdom, a smiling face, music, artwork, my house when it’s clean, my car when it’s clean, going out dancing with the girls, going out to the movies with the girls, holding hands with someone, dessert, hugs, talking to people, sharing my passions, listening to people and being excited for their passions, signs of spring after winter, signs of fall after summer, a freshly laundered and made bed, cute shoes, clothes that flatter my figure, when my husband tells me how well something flatters my figure, learning new things, humming birds at the feeder, deer walking through camp in the evening, counting my blessings and feeling content.” ~Jen
“Laughing gas, hard to come by unless with whipped cream or dental work.” ~Neil
“The little things (that really are big things) that pop out of your children’s mouths that surprise you! Like…”I love you, Dad,” or “Dad, where is God now?” A campfire on a chilly frosty night…I love it when you turn your backside toward the flames and you look up at the stars! Seeing a plant or flower finally bloom that you planted! Seeing or feeling my wife’s hand in mine. (that one really makes me happy) passing a test I was certain I would flunk! Sun on your face early in the morning when you wake up during the cool of the morning. Doing something new and adventurous. Intimacy…the kind when you are with someone who is just real, no fake-ness and you are completely comfortable with them as a person because you feel no judgment just understanding and acceptance. Writing…” ~John
“Walking both my dogs along the river.” ~Ginger
“Good health and the prospect of a villa in Tuscany.” ~Sylvia
“My grandchildren, good health, and no bills to pay.” ~Monica
“The smile on my children’s faces, my puppies and not fighting with my ex-husband for at least one day out of the week. Times are good.” ~Nicole
“Living, laughing and loving. All three make me happy!” ~Pascha
“A good nights’ sleep. Without a hot flash. I am a simple person.” ~Pam
“Seeing old friends and remembering really fun times! Watching my daughters grow up…playing ball and watching my oldest girl get that devious little smile on her face when she throws the ball hard! Sitting in my ice shanty and hearing the ice crack really loud! It’s scary but I love it! Seeing my wife in a pair of waders and a fly rod in her hand! I really love that.” ~John
So how about you? What makes YOU happy? Tell me in the comments!
Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in the negative things, especially when you forget be intentional. This is especially true when you’re faced with situations that trigger negative emotions like sadness, anger or fear.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m dealing with certain stressful situations, I sometimes let myself feel the pressure. This of course affects my mood, which in turn affects my entire vibration–and then causes me to think and feel negatively, thus attracting negativity into my life.
I know I’m not alone here–everyone has, at one time or another, found themselves feeling a negative emotion, and everyone understands the mental and physical effects doing so can have on a person.
We understand that by the universal law of attraction, we are drawing toward us what we are “putting out there,” but in our grief or anger or fear, we can’t bring ourselves to pull out of that negative place.
Why Do We Do This?
We do this because we want to do it. Some part of us wants to feel sad or angry or scared, and so we accept and embrace those feelings. Maybe we feel like we need to feel negative emotions, or that we’re supposed to feel negative emotions in certain situations. Or maybe some part of us likes to feel that way.
But even though it sometimes feels like our emotions are in control of us, rather than the other way around, the truth is that we have a choice. We can decide how we want to feel, and we can intentionally change the vibration we’re sending out into the universe from a negative one to a positive one.
How Do We Do THAT?
Awareness and Intentional Thought First, we must become aware of our thoughts and of the words we speak, and we must mentally ‘cancel’ any negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. This process feels a little artificial when you first begin it, but after a little practice, it becomes second nature.
So, if you’re in a stressful situation and find yourself feeling negative emotions, STOP. Say to yourself, “I now cancel that thought and replace it with this affirmation of my true desire.” And then say what you really want. You can do this out loud or in your head.
A little tip from me to you: If you’re not alone, you might want to stick to saying it in your head. Wouldn’t want anyone thinking you’re crazy, now would you? 😉
But seriously, even though it may feel forced at first, you can still use this technique to your advantage. Sometimes all you need is a mental interruption to change the flow of thoughts–and this works perfectly in that respect. And once it becomes second nature, you’ll find it working on a whole new level.
Find Your Happy Place
Get happy by focusing on or thinking about things that can make you feel happiness and love. For example, parents might snuggle with their children or look at old photos of them. Artists might paint or sculpt, and writers might write. Just about anyone could benefit from getting a little exercise or otherwise changing the scene. Or maybe a certain movie or book or song always cheers you up.
You might come up with a whole list of thoughts, people and things that always make you feel happy, loved, satisfied or simply amazing. Do it however it feels right for you, but definitely do it.
But What If We Don’t Know What Makes Us Happy?
What Works for Me
When I am feeling negatively, I have a few different go-to happy places. Number one is simply spending time with my kids. They are all three such sources of joy for me, and I consider being their mother an honor and a privilege.
I can also reach out to my husband and my friends, as well as some supportive extended family members.
And, as you probably know, I’m a writer, and I feel absolutely grateful that I am able to make a living doing what I love. That’s why sometimes, all I need to do to find my happy place is to simply focus on my work for awhile. Because I love what I do, if I can bring myself to focus on it, I always have a reason to smile, and often find myself doing so unconsciously while I’m working.
What Works for You?
Maybe for you, it’s not about your work or your relationships, but it’s about your hobbies or outside interests. If that’s the case, then that’s what you need to focus on when you’re feeling negatively.
So, if you love to play Wii Tennis, get to playing. And if you enjoy sewing or hiking or meditation or watching reruns of True Blood–get to doing some of that. It doesn’t much matter what brings you to happy as long as you know how to get there.
Where’s your happy place? Do you know how to get there? Tell me in the comments!