It has become a frequently used phrase - “Going to my happy place”. It’s that place where you can go in your mind where cares are gone, life is peaceful, beautiful and there are no demands on you.
It might be the beach, the woods, safe in someone’s arms, in the ocean or in a vat of chocolate (ok, maybe that’s mine, lol).
Some of you have actual real places that do this for you - your boat, a cottage, up in a treehouse or hopefully, a place in your home.
As Bill and I build The Cedars (TheCedarsRanch.com) we have had so many contractors and visitors comment on how peaceful it is. We love that because a big part of our vision is creating a place where people can grow, heal, de-stress, etc. Also love it, of course, because it is where we are living (full-time as of May 31, 2016!).
Life doesn’t allow any of us the luxury of just staying in our ‘happy place’ all the time. The real world calls all too frequently.
So the question is, how can we bring our happy place with us more. Simply put, how can we be happier even if our lives are full of stress, grief and anxiety?
I love pointing you to great resources I’ve found. Shawn Achor is one of the funniest speakers I have ever heard. I love his style. His talk here is entitled “The Happy Secret to Better Work” but truly is a fantastic commentary on how to be happy in general.
Some of the principles to happiness include:
Focus Forward. What you focus on and give time and energy to, trains your brain to be in that space more and more of the day. It goes forward with you. So, a day started with gratefulness activities, for instance, can give you a mindset of finding things to be grateful for as the day goes by.
Reframes Really Rock. How we look at situations has a significant impact in determining how happy we feel. (If you listen to Shawn’s talk, this is like suggesting the option of unicorn to his sister.) It’s about knowing there is a silver lining and looking for it. It’s about considering that your negative assumptions could be wrong and there may be a different way of looking at a situation. Reframes can include seeing what growth you can achieve in a difficult situation and being grateful for it.
Stop and Smell the Non-Genetically Modified Roses. It is one of my husband Bill’s pet peeves. Roses don’t smell anymore. Most of them anyway. The principle remains. There is beauty all around you every day. The beauty of a small child skipping. The beauty of puffy clouds, a raindrop on a flower, a friend being vulnerable, a friend’s smile. If we can train ourselves to see beauty in many many places throughout our day our brain will get the message over and over that we are surrounded by amazing beautiful things (which we are). This impacts how we feel.
I’m not suggesting we minimize the pain or tough stuff in our lives. In fact, if you know me at all you know that I believe in the opposite.
I’m suggesting that we feed ourselves lots of the positive because life offers us plenty of stress and we need to keep reminding our brain that our lives also have beauty, love and possibility!
Today, I am writing from The Cedars, definitely one of my "happy place" locations!
Until next week,
Posted on Thu, May 19, 2016
by Marilyn Orr filed under