Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Your Happy Place

It seems to me that people revert to their happy place when they are stressed or overstimulated. There seem to be two kinds of happy places. 

One is that reactive, fearful "crawl under the bed and suck your thumb" happy place that is the human equivalent of hiding in your turtle shell. When I see people do this, I recall that amusing childhood tendency of covering your own eyes and saying "you can't see me!"  The behaviors associated with this happy place tend to support a "flee" or "avoidance" response. They include spending hours on the things you can control, whether they be minutiae of work or budding eating disorders. They include indulging in guilty pleasures, which can mentally divert from the problem at hand. Typically, folks in these happy places, when pried away from their binky and their dark closet, come out worse for the wear and  even more fearful.

On the other hand, there is another happy place. The happy place described frequently by Gretchen Rubin on her Happiness Blog. This is a place of comfort, peace, and joy. To each person, it is unique. For some, it is a nice warm nap. For me, it's an hour in the kitchen, cooking up something yummy or baking cookies. It also is a gym break. Today, I was all wrapped around the axle until I could take an hour to work out all the kinks. 

To ensure I go to the better of the two happy places, I try to make it always available to me. It's hard. But, like Child's Pose in some scary yoga class, you can always just separate from the problem at hand and escape to a happy place that, when you return, has you happier, relaxed, and feeling like you truly indulged in something that was beneficial to your mental and physical health. 

What's your happy place? How do you make that your default go-to-escape... instead of that box of girl scout cookies?

1 comment:

Priya said...

running. a lot a lot a lot of running.