Happy Marks The Spot

Every now and again, we are bound to go through times that make us question everything we know to be and everything we know we are.  They may be the result of a major-life change.  They may be due to a tragic loss.  They could exist during stressful moments.  They could be caused by a hormone imbalance.  Regardless, no matter how dark the days seem, there is bound to be light at the end of the tunnel.

In order to endure through these difficult and often depressing periods, one must hold tight to a very special thing: a happy place.

According to Urban Dictionary, a happy place is “The mental state achieved when one wants to avoid the unpleasant or uncomfortable. Everyone’s happy place is different, and usually consists of the things that make them joyous.”  It’s what gives us the “warm fuzzies” when we are feeling blue.

Do you know where yours is?

Even with a compass and map, your happy place can be hard to find.

Even with a compass and map, your happy place can be hard to find.

A happy place shouldn’t be too hard to find.  Everyone knows what makes them happy, right?  Well, that’s your happy place.  For me, it’s hanging out with my niece and nephews, dance parties in my apartment, getting the excited, tail-wagging welcome from Jake when I come to visit, watching It’s Complicated (no matter how many times I see it, it still cracks me up), or indulging in a nice bottle glass of wine.  Your happy place is like a tropical vacation while you’re sitting in your cubicle.  It’s your own private oasis.

Unfortunately, it can be pretty easily lost too.  There was a time when I couldn’t find my happy place and my whole world was turned upside down.

Last year, I suffered what I consider my own personal breakdown.  Right around my 27th birthday, I became irrationally sad and negative about everything.  I was crying at the drop of a hat, the smallest things upset me, and I had to take a day off of work to “collect myself” after I spent my entire birthday rushing back and forth to the restrooms to avoid crying at my desk.  I was a complete mess and felt like I would never laugh again.  The worst part of my inconsolable despair, I knew I was being completely ridiculous and there wasn’t anything anyone could say to help me.  I was fully aware that my emotions were all over the place, but I felt weak because of my inability to control them.

Luckily, it was determined by my doctor only a week later that my hormones were to blame.  She changed my medication and I was back to feeling like my ol’ cheerful self in no time flat.  I was once again dancing and cracking jokes.  The world did not seem like it was against me and shrouded in dark clouds.  I had found my way back to my happy place.

And you can too!

And you can too!

Now I know finding one’s happy place is not always as easy as changing a prescription, but there are things you can do in the event that you find yourself in place of misery.

  • Watch hilarious videos online.
  • Talk it out.
  • Eat your favorite comfort food.
  • Tap into your memory bank of good times.
  • Exercise to get the serotonin pumping.
  • Dance like Tom Jones.
  • Drink copious amounts of alcoholic beverages.

Okay, I’m just kidding about that last one, but you get the picture.  Dark days are normal and sometimes it’s hard to snap out of the funk.  Don’t beat yourself up over them.  You can force yourself back to your happy place with silliness and laughter or you can take your time.  It can be beneficial to ride out the misery like a wave in the ocean.

Eventually it’ll break and you’ll find that happy place once again.

19 thoughts on “Happy Marks The Spot

  1. Brigitte says:

    Jessica, so glad you found your happy place. Sometimes taking a walk on a beautiful day among your favorite surroundings can take you “there” too. Happy 2013 and here’s to us all staying more in that happy place than the other.

  2. Audrey says:

    This is a great reminder! And you have some excellent happy places. 🙂
    Some of my happy places are favorite hiking spots, being welcomed home by my wee puppy, cracking jokes to make my boyfriend laugh, and I’m right there with you on the wine!

    • Jessica says:

      Making people laugh is such a fantastic happy place, Audrey. It is completely impossible to feel unhappy when you see the crinkle of a nose and hear the hearty chuckles of a good laugh, especially when you know you are the one responsible for it. I raise my glass of wine to you!

  3. filbio says:

    Even us guys need something to uplift us now and then. For me its going out for some fun with my girl and our friends, going to the gym to help clear my head, and yes as you mentioned – drinking!

    But I can’t dance like Tom Jones. 🙂

  4. K says:

    Thanks for this post. 🙂 I’m working on getting back to my happy place after a bit of trauma this week…and trying to enjoy the journey back.

    • Jessica says:

      I’m so glad you could find some comfort in this post, Karin. Enjoy the ride back to your happy place and remember: Without pain, we would never know joy. Hang in there!

  5. wordsurfer says:

    I find that being outside helps as well. Going for a long walk in the vineyards or the forest or cycling along a river and watching the trees and meadows… Something about being out and about in nature makes me connect with my happy place again, no matter how sad I am. The problem is to find the energy to get up and go when I’m really down.

    • Jessica says:

      I wish I had a vineyard to walk through. Talk about a happy place! Wordsurfer, you are absolutely right about lack of energy when you’re feeling down. I guess the best thing to do is just force yourself to get out there. It’s like with exercise. I will never be one of those people who love to exercise, but if I put the workout clothes on, I’ll do the work and I always feel so much better once I’m done. We all just need a little push to get there sometimes.

      • wordsurfer says:

        True. I don’t like to work out much myself, even though I know I will feel better afterwards. I’ll take your tip and put the clothes where I can see them first thing after waking up. Maybe that’ll help. 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      Chocolate milk brings reminders of childhood happiness, doesn’t it? There is just something so comforting in the sweet, filling liquid as it runs down your throat. Especially if you have one of those cool white straws with the red stripes. 🙂

  6. Trying to be Conscious says:

    What a nice reflection, Jessica. I also went through difficult times a few years ago. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just the hormones but something more destructive that took several weeks to be overcome. Finding a happy place and leaving plenty of room for fun in my life generally works pretty well for me as well 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

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