Happiness depends on our ourselves…Aristotle
Merry Christmas! I thought it would be appropriate to share my thoughts on the 100 Happy Days Challenge today. The last time I was home my mother suggested I start the 100 Happy Day Challenge. The challenge consists of observing and expressing daily gratitude I have always been a fan of gratitude practice, and have kept a journal off and on for years. I chose Instagram as my social media of choice to begin sharing my collection of random items that were contributing to my happiness.
100 Happy Days Challenge Review
The challenge was easy at first. For the first few weeks it was easy to share what was catching my eye and making me happy. Off the top of my head there was a hair cut, some fun times in Austin with Scott, and even trips to Whole Foods. Then I began to feel a little uninspired. Many of my days were uneventful or even not so awesome. I remember texting my sister that I was not sure how I was going to keep this practice up for almost two more months!
Social media has the potential to be very positive, and hold us accountable for what we say we are going to do. We have promised people – so we are going to deliver. So for me there was a little bit of guilt associated with a drop off. It worked well for me because it helped me stay the course and finish all 100 days. Not one was missed!
So why did I keep up the challenge even when I was uninspired? The beginning is the easy part of anything – am I right? How often do we hit a road block a few months after the road to healthy or even after a few months of a relationship? I found from doing the daily practice I was grateful for the same things quite often. My goal was to reframe it. Perhaps it was not a great day or nothing special happened. However, I enjoyed my morning coffee as usual so maybe that is what I featured that day. No shame in repetition or sharing gratitude for something that is not ground breaking. You do this for you.
The beauty in the challenge is doing it every day. Gratitude is like a muscle and simply changing our thoughts to be positive ones have a huge effect on the way we think. We do not always have the power to affect what is happening in the world, but we do have the ability to alter our mental perspective. Maybe it was a bad day and the comfort of your bed or a phone call were tiny saviors that day that prevented a downward spiral towards more negative thoughts.
I felt I ended the challenge in a better place. I also felt that it began to extend to other areas of my life.
Scott and I have a gratitude practice when we eat dinner together at night. We share what we are “grateful”about each other in that day. It is often little things, but we all know that those small acts such as making the bed, can often go unnoticed. A “thank you” goes a long way in any of our relationships. Do not expect anything and say thank you to everyone who is special to you. It is universal that it makes us all feel good. When we feel good we want to do more. More good feelings lead to happiness.
Happiness is a choice. I felt the challenge helped to contribute to a daily feeling of gratitude because it brought more awareness to being positive. The lens that we use to see the world is everything.
Today is Christmas and it is a powerful day that can either leave us elated or sad. Even at our church service on Sunday it was acknowledged that the holidays can be a very challenging time of year. It can highlight an issue you have not resolved or perhaps a loss that you have not mourned yet. In short, it is not always a season of cheer.
I would recommend the challenge to anyone…whether you are having the time of your life or need a boost to get you out of a slump. The power in our thoughts is like a magnet. By focusing on happiness and making it a habit great things can happen.
Linking up with Amanda to share my thoughts today.
Question of the Day: What are you grateful for today? Big or small 🙂
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