When experiencing mental health problems, particularly anxiety, certain spaces can become sites of stress. My own personal experiences with anxiety, particularly during university, led me to associate certain spaces with distressing emotions and physical sensations. Lecture theatres and classrooms provoked the most acute response, however my experiences of anxiety were not just limited to academic environments, instead spanning a wide variety of scenarios. The levels of anxiety that I felt in these spaces sometimes made life feel overwhelming, and functioning normally and productively was not always easy. The levels of stress I experienced took a toll on me, both mentally and physically.
In order to cope I found it was important to find spaces that helped me to relax. My happy place in which I could feel safe, secure and anxiety free. This place could act as a retreat for me, and provide an escape from my anxiety fuelled thoughts and feelings. This place came in the shape of natural landscapes, particularly the mountains and lakes of the Lake District. Going to these places to run or walk restored a sense of calm within me, and helped me to cope with my experiences.
Your happy place might take a very different shape to mine, it could be your home, bedroom, garden or another space entirely. However, I would encourage anyone experiencing anxiety to invest time into finding this therapeutic space. During times of anxiety, even just thinking about your happy place can help to ease your mind. This place is key to providing you with a retreat when things become overwhelming.