#HappyPlace was trending on social media back in November 2020, triggered by the TV show, ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’. Radio DJ, Jordan North, repeated his “Happy place-happy place” mantra in an effort to divert his extreme fear when locked into a coffin-like box of snakes! It made highly entertaining TV and in turn put Jordan’s happy place of Burnley’s football ground, Turf Moor, firmly on the map.
If you have ever tried Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) you may be familiar with the Anchoring Technique. By recalling a good emotion, focusing on the sights, sounds and smells from that place or situation and holding the picture in your mind, this will help you to overcome challenging circumstances, fear or anxiety. In NLP the positive memory is paired with a trigger device involving touch, such as pressing the thumb and forefinger together. With practice this happy place technique can create feelings of calm and ease.
At the time of writing the country and indeed the whole world is in a decidedly unhappy place. The Coronavirus pandemic rages stronger than ever with new cases rising alarmingly due to a more transmissive strain of the virus. More restrictions to our lives are imposed almost daily as we wait for the all too slow roll-out of a vaccine. To get us through we need an almighty collective cry of “Happy place-happy place!”
My happy place is ‘The Cloud’, Congleton’s mini mountain. I love the walk upwards through the woods of scots pine, especially after rain releases a stronger pine scent. Once above the trees out on the (almost always) breezy heather moorland there is a 360° view of my world - I have lived my life to date in towns under the benevolent gaze of The Cloud. For its modest height of 1,125ft (343m), the views are far-reaching across the Cheshire plain to the Snowdon range in North Wales, the Wrekin in Shropshire, Liverpool Cathedral tower (on a clear day), Winter Hill in Lancashire and neighbouring hills of the Peak District. Sitting on the rocks on the summit brings me calm and peace away from life’s turmoil playing out far below. Whenever I need, I close my eyes and recall the patchwork landscape spreading to distant hills, feel the updraught of wind at the cliff face, hear buzzard and kestrel calling above and smell the bloom of heather and pine.
Take a moment to tap into your spring of happiness. It may be a tropical beach from a holiday, a moment of family fun, a piece of music or even a relaxing reflexology session. We need our sanctuary like never before. An escape; even for a moment is precious.
All together now…. “Happy place-happy place!”