Happy place. I taste the words. A place where I feel happy. Where I go to let go of stress and frustrations. And worries. A place where I can laugh or cry. And where my soul can rest.
There are many such places, I realize. For different uses. But all my happy places have one thing in common. Water. On the water. Near the water.
There are everyday happy places right here at home. Like standing barefoot in the shallow water watching the sun dive into the Gulf. Or a catamaran sail into the sunset.
Or sitting on “my” bench next to the deep water at the salt marsh, listening to Mockingbird’s song and watching Mama Osprey enjoy her garden.
These are everyday happy places. Places to run to whenever I feel in need of soothing stillness surrounded by nature.
And then there are special happy places. Treats of complete happiness not enjoyed every day. Like an afternoon on a small island inhabited only by birds and dolphins. Or a day spent on the water with family.
Or hikes on old, unspoiled islands. Diving into happiness as it used to be long before my time. Special treats of happy.
And then there are forever happy places. Places with traces of my short history here on earth. Places that remember me. From the time my tiny feet felt the cool water for the first time. Where I return to find peace. Sitting on a rock alone with the moon. Enveloped in warmth on a summer night.
I wish you all a happy week. Wherever your happy place might be. You can find other responses to this challenge here.
I’m always interested in new research findings and recently came across an intriguing research study that I thought I would share with you. This research into emotions, and where we experience them in the body, was conducted by Aalto University in five separate experiments with over 700 participants from two very different cultures. The results were recently published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (US).
This picture presents the bodily topography of basic and more complex emotions associated with words. The body maps show regions whose activation increased (warm colors) or decreased (cool colors) when feeling each emotion.
The study concluded that emotional feelings are associated with discrete, but partially overlapping (maps of) bodily sensations, which could be at the core of the emotional experience. Unraveling of the subjective bodily sensations associated with human emotions may help us to better understand emotional processing, including emotional disorders.
Definitely interesting findings. You can read the entire report of the study here (the pdf takes a while to load).