How to Find Your Happy Place

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Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

We’re often bombarded with hectic work and home schedules, to-do lists, emails, social interactions, and other demands. While some of us thrive amid the non-stop chaos, it’s necessary to retreat to your happy place when life begins to feel overwhelming.

A happy place is somewhere you can mentally or physically visit where you feel safe and relaxed. Wherever you consider it to be, it should offer a calm respite to rest and recharge.

Of course, some areas of our lives, including behaviors and habits, prevent us from reaching those safe zones. Thankfully, there are a few self-care rituals you can try to find your happy place again.

Tips to find your happy place

1.  Unplug

happy place

Social media makes keeping in touch with loved ones more accessible than ever. It also offers a place for receiving attention and instant gratification from others – but you’re unlikely to stumble upon your happy place in the depths of your Facebook feed.

Despite the benefits of social media, your connections likely portray their lives as perfect, which can induce feelings of inadequacy about your own life. However, research shows that limiting social media use to 30 minutes daily improves your well-being and reduces feelings of depression and loneliness.

Unplugging can also help improve sleep quality. Another study found that 20.8% of social media users who spent most of their time on social media were more likely to struggle to fall asleep or go back to sleep after waking up in the middle of the night.

Step away from your devices and take a walk outside instead. Removing yourself from online chatter and focusing more on meaningful in-person interactions or alone time is the best path toward happiness.

2.  Make Time for Hobbies

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Our passions and interests allow us to escape from daily obligations and stress. When seeking space to recharge, consider diving into your favorite hobbies or find a new hobby to try. Painting, drawing, writing, and gardening can all effectively calm the mind and build our concentration.

When we participate in hobbies, we draw our awareness toward joyful activities that positively stimulate our senses and regulate our emotional state. Many people even describe their hobbies as being within “their element” or happy place.

3.  Change Your Scenery

Sometimes your happy place is elsewhere, requiring you to pack your bags and get away for a while. Taking a break from the demands and challenges of everyday life can have therapeutic effects on you.

Find solitude in a quiet coastal community or seek outdoor adventures and exciting nightlife to pull you out of your funk. You might even change your scenery right where you live by working remotely from your favorite coffee shop or eating at your favorite restaurant.

4.  Become Body-Positive

Our happiness often derives from how we feel about ourselves physically and emotionally.

According to a recent YouGov survey, 51% of Americans feel pressured to look a certain way, 60% of which are women compared to 42% of men. Approximately 76% of respondents think women are under more pressure than men to have a particular body type.

In another survey by the suicide prevention group, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), 58% of men reported worsening body image due to the pandemic, negatively impacting their mental health.

It’s essential to pause and take notice of your body, bringing awareness to it through deep breathing exercises and the wiggling of fingers and toes. Self-care through healthy, mindful eating and exercise will also help you better connect with your body, having less to do with reaching a certain weight and more with feeling good about yourself.

5.  Take a Trip Down Memory Lane

Aging has the potential to alter our sense of identity and self-esteem. Yet, your experiences are brimming with life lessons and funny moments worth sharing with others.

Of course, you don’t need to be older to tap into your favorite pastimes. If you carry a special childhood memory or tradition or find rehashing treasured moments with friends and family always brings a smile to your face, then take a trip down memory lane more often.

Finding your happy place might entail sitting around the kitchen table with your parents or siblings, going through old family photos, and laughing about that one year when your aunt left a spoon in the Christmas jello mold. The most meaningful moments are the ones you’ll feel the happiest revisiting.

6.  Practice Self-Compassion

Self-compassion can be defined as showing yourself grace and forgiveness when facing troubles or failure.

Studies show that those who practice self-compassion have a more balanced mindset and fewer negative emotions during difficult circumstances. They also have enhanced coping skills and a greater sense of psychological resilience that protects their mental health.

Another study found that self-compassion helps develop self-worth and personal identity, with men reporting having slightly higher self-compassion than women.

Practicing self-compassion requires toning down your inner critic and meeting your negative emotions with kindness and empathy. Although you might still devise ways to live a happier and healthier life, it’ll be less driven by beating yourself up because you want to thrive.

Your Happy Place Is What You Make It

happy place

You don’t have to go far to find your happy place – more than likely, adopting new self-care habits will reveal it’s right in front of you. You have the power to create your happy place however you choose, but it should induce a state of calm, joy, and meaning within the chaos.

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