After a long day at school or work, unwinding can be difficult amidst daily stresses. Many therapists and counselors encourage patients to engage their happy place — a place to relax and unwind if we close our eyes and breathe deeply. Some people may choose their happy place to be based on a public spot like a coffee shop or favorite store, whereas others choose a quiet place like nature trails or local parks.
But how does someone determine what their happy place is?
First, think about what you prefer. Everyone has a general idea of what kind of place they prefer most, populated or not, indoors or out. If your first thought at the phrase “happy place” was of some place that’s not in your home, then it’s time for the best part: travel.
Outdoor happy places
If outdoors or public settings are more your style, consider checking out your local nature trails and parks. These locations usually have benches and pavilions where you can sit and do homework or think about life.
National parks can also offer many natural, beautiful scenes such as waterfalls and different species of animals.
Sportsman Lake Park in Cullman, Alabama, offers many peaceful settings including opportunities for fishing, hiking, putt putt golf, paddle boating and stationary fitness equipment in several different areas of the park, all centered around the lake. Spending a day exploring the park can lead to the perfect getaway in your head on a stressful day.
Florence, Alabama, also offers many parks, including McFarland Park where people can hang hammocks in between the conveniently placed trees and relax in the shade. Across the river, closer to Wilson Dam, TVA trails and the Rockpile offer waterfall views, the sound of water crashing against the riverbank and an abundance of birds chirping.
If you like the outdoors and being around nature, chances are you can easily find your happy place at your local park or outdoor nature area.
Indoor happy places
If indoor spots are a more soothing spot for you, the possibilities are endless.
In Cullman, stop by Karma’s Coffee House and get a sandwich and cup of joe. Local Matt Mansour recommends the Yin Mocha or Yang Mocha, and the shop is perfect for relaxing and doing homework.
In Florence, stop by Turbo Coffee or Rivertown Coffee Co. and chill out for a bit. These places have a comfy vibe with music and the low chatter of customers is just enough to feel comfortable. Blank Coffee • Comics • Records, nestled into Seven Points, also has relaxing seating areas in the lobby, coffee area and outdoor patio.
“It’s more than just a place to stop and get coffee,” said local Hollie Carr. “It’s like walking into an old friend’s home. You’ll want to sit down, check out some records and comics, and talk with the owner.”
Home: Happy Place Extraordinaire
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with your happy place just being your home. Maybe there’s a certain room in your house that has a calming effect, or maybe for college kids your best place to relax is in your dorm room; it’s where you can go each night to unwind and do what makes you happy.
Sometimes at the end of the day, the best way to achieve your happy state of mind is to curl up with a good book or Netflix and escape life for a bit. Other times it can even help to unplug and disconnect from social media and phones for a bit to fully achieve a relaxed state of mind.
Happy places differ from person to person, but everyone can find that certain spot that beats all others and allows them to reach a peaceful, happy state of mind.