Could you do 100 Happy Days? This internet challenge suggests we notice, photograph and share one happy moment every day for 100 consecutive days. Interestingly, the website reveals that although many people begin the challenge, 71% fall by the wayside and quote lack of time as the main reason! Does this mean that we don’t have time to be happy, they ask?
It is suggested that we are so driven by the tasks that we need to complete each day that we simply don’t take time off the treadmill to enjoy the moment that we are in. The happy moments don’t have to be big events, it’s just about noticing, recording and sharing the simple things that make you happy. Things like taking a hot shower, or having coffee with a friend are intrinsically enjoyable, but do we find time to do them let alone make the most of them?
Participants in addition allegedly:
- Start noticing what makes them happy every day
- Find they are in a better mood every day
- Start receiving more compliments
- Realise how lucky they are to live the life they have
- Become more optimistic
- And… fall in love during the challenge!
The challenge does have some tricky clauses, and the first of these is that you are supposed to upload a picture of what made you happy onto some social networking site such as Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram or Twitter, and there’s also a privacy option. For a start there are the technical difficulties. Some people find this stuff easy. Others may find they are spending longer uploading the photos than ‘being in the moment’ itself!
And then there are the abstract moments which cannot be photographed. How do you photograph something as intangible as ‘the nice feeling of being at home after a hard day’ or even harder ‘a favour you did to a stranger’ ?
But despite the odd problem, the challenge is a great motivator. From day one you soon start to spot the happy moments in each day and realise that you had been failing to notice them. It’s only one step further along to start trying to create more of them and naturally involving other people at the same time.
All the experts agree this is a Good Thing. According to social scientist Daniel Goleman, one of the keys to keeping up your own levels of happiness is to consciously focus on the good bits in life. We all have a caveman tendency to focus on the problems, even if we are looking at them in a positive light and looking for ways to resolve them. It’s a survival thing.
But going back to the photos, what part do they play apart from proving that you have achieved some fleeting moment of satisfaction in an otherwise normal day? I’m glad you asked that. Though taking and sharing photos may be time consuming, it does have a major advantage – people start looking at them, liking them, commenting, and spreading the vibe. Two early examples – I shared a photo of a French seaside town called St Jean de Luz and immediately a friend reported that it was one of her favourite places in the world and just seeing my photos had made her happy.
The next day I shared a photo of my Mum who is 84 this year, and my nephew commented that her hair looked great. Another friend joined in and said she looked beautiful! Of course I phoned her and although she has never heard of Facebook, she knows what a compliment is and she loves them!