Tuesday 25 October 2016

My Happy Place: Blogger Maria O' Donnell on her 'source of happiness and calm'


Maria O' Donnell

Published 18/11/2015 | 14:25

Blogger Maria O' Donnell of 'The MOD's Blog' writes about her happy place for Independent.ie as part of the 'Mind yourself' campaign, together with the Irish Independent.

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When I write I am completely at ease, it's a source of happiness and calm. For their “Mind Yourself” campaign, Independent.ie have asked me to discuss my happy place.

Oxford Dictionaries defines a happy place as a place which a person associates with happiness, visualised as a means of reducing stress, calming down etc. (hence) a happy state of mind. So by this definition, such a happy place would exist with the formula:

Happiness + reduction in stress + calm state = your happy place

My obstacle in the search for my happy place was always two fold. One, I struggled in the attempt to have all elements of this formula in place at a given time. I could be happy, but was probably stressed in conjunction, or I could be calm but didn't feel happy. Two, I didn't know that I hadn't a defined happy place. I was young and was always busy, I never let myself think that deeply.  

The day I began my blog was the day I found my happy place. I had something that I created, that I nurtured and I could watch grow. What started off just being a past time became something other people enjoyed, I couldn't believe it. In essence my blog became my baby and when people gave me positive feedback I couldn't help but beam with pride and feel driven to work even harder.

My happy place is not a physical location, rather a place in my mind that I can drive, no one else. Sure there are external factors but essentially I am responsible. I spent a lot of my life believing that other people were responsible for that, now I know different. As well as this, I know I can be transported to my happy place anywhere, anytime. All I need is my notebook (or even just a scrap of paper) and a pen, a hazelnut Americano is an optional extra and a Spotify playlist puts the icing on the cake for me.

My blog was born during a challenging time in my life and despite how difficult it was at the time I can only be thankful for it now. I learnt to take a rather adverse and gloomy energy and channel it into something positive. I don’t doubt that as I age my interpretation of a happy place will shift and alter and possibly be entirely different, but for now blogging and writing is my ultimate happy place and I hope that others can benefit too by enjoying my writing endeavours.

You can read more from Maria here and follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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