It's a natural occurrence to strive for comfort and resort to doing things that calm you whenever a bad day hits, or you feel like everything is collapsing around you. Almost everyone has something they hold close enough to their heart that helps in hard times. Some refer to this notion as a blanket from their childhood or place, a happy place. After venting to a friend about how long my week was, she suggested I take a moment to myself and visit my happy place. This led me towards exploring what builds someone's happy place. I asked local students about their happy place and whether or not it was an actual location or a state of mind and many revealed that theirs was either real location, something imaginary, a memory, or even the shower.
My happy place is not a real location or scenario but it is where my comfort-music takes me. A specific song I always resort to has been Hotel California by The Eagles. The smallest tug of responsibility and commitment can make me want to run and start a new life somewhere. Although I'm still unaware if this is an attribute brought from one of life's lessons or a part of my personality, I know listening to this song can help me feel detached enough to be comforted. In general, my parents are not a fan of music, however, this is the one song they adore and always put on. I grew up with this song always being around during good moments and as a kid, I stored a lot of love in listening to it. From when I was a kid, up to now, my imagination has been very vivid and a prominent aspect of my life. Because I've never been able to find comfort in reality, as well as any person or any place, this song is a perfect distraction.
In the same manner, VCU student, Kerry Akers, explained how her happy place was a vivid lagoon full of her favorite colors. She explained how imagining herself sitting aside a calm body of water with deep purple and green views allows her to take a mental break. Sometimes being this far away from reality could be exactly what someone needs. The girl who disclosed that a memory was her happy place said that this was because of the charm and happiness that resides within it. Her memory was about walking her dog. She explained how it was like walking with your best friend: "there was an orange sunset, it was the summertime, fresh cut grass, and you can smell the rain coming." Going back to that memory made her realize that things at some point were good and could be that way again. I asked whether or not thinking about this would adversely impact her state of mind, because it can be seen as living in the past. However, she supported her answer by explaining how she aware, of that how "it's almost an imaginary place at this point, so, it's just a matter me trying to reach the state of mind I was in."
Aside from imagining the perfect scenario, a student, Matt, revealed that his happy place was in the shower. When I asked why, he said that it was because as a person he prefers to feel physically away from everything troubling. Taking a long shower can have the same impact as hiding under the covers, it manipulates one's sensation of being a part of reality. Matt went on to explain that, "you can focus on yourself. Its easier to paint a world for yourself and imagine scenarios you want to or would rather be in." That's exactly what a happy place is for.