Do you designate a special place as your happy place?
Being content, at ease, and happy is supremely important. Many people carve out a special happy place in their homes where they can relax and de-stress. It might be a room, or a chair, or a sunny window seat. For others a happy place is the home they knew as a child or a favourite vacation haunt. A happy place might be a place for solitude or a place that is shared with people dear to you.
In a recent podcast, I heard about a woman in the UK who regarded 10 minutes per day for showering as wasted time. She began to think about her shower stall as a ‘happy booth’. She decided to use the daily 10 minutes spent showering under the warm water as a place for thinking and gratitude. Her shower stall became her happy place.
The podcast made me think about my happy place. Actually, I decided that I had several happy places. Some are at home and some are at our cottage.
My den chair is one of my best-loved happy places. It’s a comfy wing back chair with a hassock to put up my feet. I watch neighbours walk children to the school bus; some walk ‘designer’ dogs dressed up in colourful doggie coats with matching doggie neck scarves. Determined joggers huff past the window getting their exercise. People hurry to the corner bus stop. All the while, I’m curled up with a warm cup of morning coffee. In the afternoon, sunshine lights up the space around my chair. It’s a nice spot to read or doze.
The pool at my gym is another happy place. The warm water of the pool soothes muscles and nerves. When the aqua fit instructor inspires a class with rock music selections, my heart pumps and I’m pushed to exert myself as I exercise with water dumb bells and pool noodles. I never leave the pool without a smile on my face.
Our cottage is, overall, a happy place.
Whether I’m there alone, with family, or with guests, the cottage brings all kinds of pleasures — bird songs, sunsets, fresh air, and relaxed living. My happy place at the cottage is the front deck where I can sit in the sun or move to the shady porch on hot days. I’ve made many friends as people who walk past on their way to the beach stop for a chat. The deck is also the place to eat meals al fresco whenever the weather is mild. Watching the sunset over Lake Huron always brings a happy feeling.
Many people identify their happy place as their garden. At one time this was true for me. I loved my asparagus patch, my raspberry bushes, my herb garden, my roses, and my vegetable plot. I planted and cared for several fruit trees — apple, pear, peach, and plum. This suburban garden produced more fruit and veggies than could be used in a small household so I regularly walked up and down our street with bags of produce to share. I met all the neighbours as I shared the abundance of my garden. In addition, I had produce for jams, jellies and pickles. It was a wonderful phase of life but I no longer want to do the physical work of gardening nor spend precious time making preserves. Now it’s off to a farmer’s market when I need a fix of fresh vegetables or fruit!
During my career, when I worked long hours, my happy place was my bed. Aside from a place to sleep, my side of our king bed became a place to write, read, watch television, and, sometimes, write emails on my laptop. A good bed side lamp, smooth sheets, soft pillows, and a warm duvet provided the ambience for relaxation before sleep. In the morning the bed was my spot for drinking that wake-up cup of coffee before rushing to the office.
Sometimes my happy place is a state of mind. It’s a feeling that comes when sharing laughter, eating a special meal, or seeing our grand daughter’s big beautiful eyes fill with success as she achieves another developmental milestone.
In addition to my happy places, I have a gratitude place. My gratitude place is my stove! I’ll bet most readers didn’t anticipate that a stove would evoke feelings of gratitude. I have a beautiful 5 burner gas cooktop that works like a charm even though I never cook enough things at one time to use all 5 burners. Whenever I stir a pot of something delicious for dinner, I say a silent word of thanks — thanks that I have food, a stove, a kitchen, and a husband who loves any offering that comes from my hands to our table. This is a blessing that brings meaning to my life!
Pleasure and happiness is subjective. Happy places help us relax. Happy places contribute to mental and spiritual health. I try to make a mental note of the times when I feel I’m in a happy place as a result of the vibes of the people or the environment. Sometimes when lying on my yoga mat before a class, I close my eyes, breathe, and imagine a happy place. This simple technique lowers stress and re-creates the pleasure of a happy place.
I hope this post inspires readers to think about their happy places. Perhaps, like the woman in the UK, it’s a shower stall, or a spot on a nature trail, a cozy room for hobbies, or a yoga mat. Please take a moment to tell us about your happy places with a comment.
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