100 Happy Days: An Experiment In Gratitude And Repurposing Life

Exactly two weeks ago today, I began an experiment. I found out about it because a friend of mine on Facebook had posted several photos to which I had noticed an attached hashtag. I asked her about it, and didn’t get a response, so my curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to do some research.

The hashtag was #100happydays. It was started by a man named Dmitry Golubnichy, in 2013. He had gotten to the point in his life where he realized that he was ‘unhappy’, and that his criteria for determining that was a list of material things that he felt was lacking – his current set of said things were not good enough. After meeting with some old friends, who were happy, still living in the same small town they had grown up in and with far fewer of the material things than even Dmitry had, he made up his mind that if they could be happy, then so could he.

He started posting to social media, using the hashtag mentioned above, to take personal notice of at least one small happy thing, every day, for one hundred days. About two weeks in, his friends noticed what he was doing and asked to join. Soon, more and more people joined, and began the challenge with him. At this point in time, about 1.5 million people have signed up for the challenge through a website Dmitry created.

On the website’s main page, Dmitry shares that 71% of the participants failed to complete the challenge, saying that they didn’t have enough time.

After I went to his website, and joined the challenge, I experienced some mixed feelings – on the one hand, I was excited; on the other, I was a little concerned that my newfound dedication to finding something to be happy about every day, no matter what kind of day it was, would fizzle out.

I have made it my own personal tradition: every evening (or really early morning, as has happened a few times) before I go to bed, I open up my Facebook account and post a photo, with a brief verbal reflection, related to or showing the thing that made me happy that day. I make an effort not to recycle the same sentiments, because I feel like a large part of the point of the experiment is to get more mentally involved in the daily appreciation one has for life. If one states the same thing, over and over, for one hundred days, though it isn’t like a rule has necessarily been broken, it seems more an expression of going through the motions than it is of active participation.

Of course, these are just my thoughts on the whole thing. Maybe it is beneficial even to just consciously take the time to post a photo that helps to explain a reason to be happy, even if the subject of the happiness is always the same. There’s got to be some form of mindfulness in there, too.

So far, after just two weeks of dedicating time to noticing something that made me happy, every single day, I feel a lot more gratitude and happiness for the things I have, and I pine less for the things I don’t. I am able to see difficult situations as what they are, and though I still feel the angst of the moment, but I am much more aware that they will pass, that things will change, and, if nothing else, I have the end of the day, and my happy time, to look forward to. So far, I haven’t had to simply fall back on that, but it’s there, and it makes me happy!

With every post that I make, I smile. During my day, I notice those things that make me happy, and, guess what? I drink them in. I relish them more than I did before. I take the time to be present in those moments – I put down the phone, the homework, the hobbies, the cleaning. I postpone the shower, I laugh at the applesauce all over my shirt, at the hand in the poop; I don’t silently curse out my husband for forgetting something for the umpteenth time. I am quicker to solve problems because they don’t irritate me the same way. And this is not to say that I am Penny Perfect or Nora Nevermad, but those moments happen less, and they last less time.

Remember, I still have eighty-six more days to go! Imagine all that I will accomplish in that time! I can’t wait, and yet I am happy to.

Because, I really am happy, and I have a lot of reasons to be happy. And taking the time, every day, to notice those things, has done nothing but improve my life, so on I go.

For further reading, or to join the challenge, check out Dmitry’s website here.

Do you take the time to appreciate the happiness in your life every day? If you do, how does it improve your life overall, and if you don’t, would you consider starting? How much better a world do you think we would live in if everyone made a conscious decision to focus on what is wonderful in their lives? Please leave a comment in the space below; we would love to hear what you think about it!

 

Encouraging Empowered Mamis Everywhere To Do What They Do

Mami

Mami is an artist, aspiring entrepreneur, and first-time, full-time mother. She enjoys long walks with Mr. Sweetie, good food and cooking, her family and dear friends, writing, arting and crafting. She doesn't know everything, but wants to learn, and loves to do research and share what she finds. She thinks life is like a box of puzzle pieces: you keep trying until it fits, because every piece has its place. She owns and operates whatever she sets her mind to, and knows that the sky is only the limit if you haven't left the ground yet.

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