I think I can safely say that most people struggle to maintain happiness. We get pushed and pulled by expectations and circumstances that move us away from our Happy Place. I refer to the condition this process causes as adult-onset doldrums.

Everyone, regardless of circumstances, has had a moment when they felt free, perfect, and peaceful. Each one of us has felt connected and akin with something magnificent. Maybe it was triggered by looking at the night sky, or into the eyes of a child or beloved pet, or looking out over the vast ocean, or doing something you love.

Those are moments when the fog of the dominant reality clears to reveal an alternate way of being that is your Happy Place. It is real, and it is an emotional state of being big and free. It’s those moments when you gain a greater sense of awareness, knowing, and clarity — when existence is beautiful, meaningful, hopeful, and open-ended with wonder. It is when you are aware that you are a seamless part of something amazing!

The Happy Place: We all know it’s real; we have all experienced it.

How do we get more of that, you ask? How do we return to that state, you ask? You will be glad to know that the Happy Place is permanent; it does not move, and it is always available to you. We can, however, disconnect from it. Still, hope again springs eternal because the path back to the Happy Place is not controlled by an external force; it is within you!

The way back is a homecoming to your real self. It is to rejoin with the real version of you, not the one who works for approval. Recall the moments you felt really happy and realize that this happiness was likely due to you being connected with someone or something. Connected.

There are ways you can knit a path back to the Happy Place, but because the path is internal, you will need do activities that reconnect you with the real you.

1. The art of play: Did you know that psychologists consider play to be a pure version of love? Play, when done for pure joy without purpose or need, is a portal to personal freedom through acceptance of one’s real self! During real play, you will feel potential, creativity, awareness, hope, and joy. Through play, you will sample bits of your real self — those satisfying bits that you always hoped to be, if only it weren’t for your current reality.

Ironically, about 60% of adults that I interact with find the concept of raw play difficult, and some get downright angry. I am confounded when an adult dismisses the power of play or relegates it as appropriate for children only.

I think it means we’re on to something!

Play will open us up to alternative ways of being in this world, so adults who are play-averse may be that way because they don’t want to rock their current sense of stability. Others may not want to be disappointed by seemingly silly hope, or rejected again. Play can not only be an access point to the Happy Place, it can also be deeply healing.

2. Sharing joyful, uplifting expressions with yourself and others: The images and messages we receive are just as important to our health as food. It is a dimension of nutrition that requires equal attention and intention.

Positive messages and images will relieve stress and increase joy and emotional resilience. I think we are innately good. That’s why expressing positive messages improves self-esteem and feels good to us! Sharing positive expressions completes an energetic cycle and uplifts others, which is why doing so brings personal fulfillment.

A way to up-level your fulfillment is to share deeply meaningful expressions, regardless of whether they are handwritten, on social media, or through video. Heart-felt positive social expression is healthy for you and others.

Together, we can hold space for good messages and images, squatting on the current field of negativity so that people have healthy options to tap into.

Join the movement by becoming a Good Messenger! Positively connect with yourself and others, and help grow the occupancy of the Happy Place.

3. Storytelling — a powerful form of social expression: The more others connect with a story, the more truths it must contain. Good storytelling is about creatively offering a level of personal truth. It also requires intentional listening by the receiver for the cycle to be complete.

Storytelling as a vehicle for truth and connection is also magnetic. That’s why it is being used more now as a way to cut through social noise and communicate messages. As a personal tool, it is an opportunity to increase the value of your own voice and more meaningfully connect with others. Sharing your personal story is a way to strengthen your relationships with yourself and those in your world.

Doing these activities in your personal life reconnects you with your Happy Place. When you are living in that space, your magnetism increases and you become uniquely distinguishable; you are heard! By default, this also puts you in a position to be a social leader — a Pied Piper capable of leading others to their Happy Place.

The more you free yourself to reconnect with your Happy Place, the better able you are to invite others to come along, play, and tap back into their inner joyfulness, too.

Author's Bio: 

Veronica Vargas is the founder of Shaboo Prints, a boutique lifestyle brand designing positive products that will reawaken your joy. Veronica uses “imaginovation,” inventing ground-breaking products by combining reality with imagination to provoke awe and wonder. She is a social expressionist and entrepreneur on a mission to return millions of adults back to a wondrous world full of potential, play, and a knowing that expressing their real self is the whole point — i.e., finding their happy place! Visit www.ShabooPrints.com.