Breathe in… Breathe out… Ahhhhh… Now go to your happy place. Everyone has a happy place. A memory or two or three they muster up to remind them of happier times, to give themselves hope, or to comfort themselves. Sometimes it is a fantasy-all unicorns and rainbows. It is a way to mentally escape while your being has to continue to trudge through some dreadful time. What is your happy place?
I have a few happy places. I use these exercises at different times for different reasons. I have a different destination for different situations. Stressed, overwhelmed, severely uncomfortable, shy, gloomy, and my favorite-trying to fall asleep.
Dealing with Stress: Work sucks, you don’t know where you’re going in life, you have too much on your plate… I go to my “daily life” happy place. When I was a kid, we had a semi-routine where Friday nights we could come home from school, not worry about homework, play with our friends, have pizza, and stay up to watch TV. It is not necessarily reverting to childhood for me as it is trying to conjure up that blissful relaxation. My inner eye sees a setting sun, I feel a peaceful and relaxed knowing that if all else fails, I still have friends and family to rely on. And I’m sure they would let me stay up to watch some Friday night TV. This just gives me the breather I need to regroup and take on whatever is challenging me.
Overwhelmed: I imagine myself skiing. I love skiing. I love skiing almost more than my husband. That’s a lot. If everything is just getting too crazy, I just picture the mountains around me, a good snow, and no one else. The hills are mine. The snow is mine. The sun is mine. The world is mine. I am also an amazing skier in my happy place. I am a great skier in real life, but my happy place skier doesn’t get tired or trip up on anything and has perfect form. This also gives me a break to relax and regroup to tackle my obstacles.
Severely uncomfortable: There have been a few instances in my life so far that I have really reverted to this. There have been a few times where I couldn’t get to where I wanted to go and it was completely out of my control. Being somewhat of a control freak, I have a hard time with this. I picture my grandparent’s house. My Nana passes away [almost] two years ago but her house was always so comfortable. She had comfy furniture and was always happy and always tried to feed you and make you comfortable and happy too. This is my favorite happy place. This gets me out of the moment so I can be a little more comfortable for the time being.
Shy: I always find myself in situations where I have to do some sort of public speaking, take on some sort of leadership role, or just be poised and professional. This happy place is easy. I just imagine the large number of woman who have come before me and grew a set and moved on. The women of the Suffrage Movement, the women of the Depression, Rosie the Riveter, Joan of Arc. Stuff like that. It’s more of a mental exercise to get my panties out of a bunch than an actual happy place but it works. This makes me stand up taller, lift my chin up, square my shoulders, and take on the world.
Gloomy: Sting. Sting and his Fields of Gold. First of all, let me tell you that I am absolutely in love with Sting. IN LOVE. So him singing this lovely story about fields of gold and all the prettiness, I can’t get enough. When I’m gloomy, I think of watching my future children frolic in golden fields of barley as the sun sets with my sweet mansion [Sting buys for me!] behind me. Oh yes, it’s lovely. This just makes me so. incredibly. happy.
Can’t Sleep: I try a number of different little scenes for this one. I love those Lunesta commercials. For some reason, seeing other people all cozy and sleeping makes me want to sleep. If those don’t work, I think of a beautiful tropical paradise where the water isn’t water but cool, silky chocolate milk. And there are pretty birds chirping and… zzzzzz…. Oh yes, this works great. The Lunesta commercials are FANTASTIC though.
So there you have it. My mental tricks to help me do something or to escape for that quick second so that I can get a mental “nap” in to refresh and regroup for whatever is needing to get done. Try it.