Tuesday, January 7, 2014

#100happydays or 100 days of Snap-happiness!

Earlier this week, a friend mentioned that she was entering the challenge of sharing 100 happy days on Instagram.

Another friend had made a new year commitment on her blog to count something as well as to write for 20 minutes per day.  "If you count something interesting to you, I tell you: you will find something interesting."

Both of these were good reminders to me. Research into positive psychology shows that appreciating things and events around you improves not only your attitude towards happiness, but also your resilience. Given the impact of the persistent and pervasive negative news with which we're constantly bombarded, I suspect many of us need an antidote!

The good news is that happiness is a skill which can be cultivated. It's important to clarify, the happiness we're speaking of isn't the vacuous rah rah, everything is fine and everything will be fine, saccharine sweet emptiness that makes one want to gag.
"Happiness is about living a full, rich and meaningful life - the kind of life we'd all like our children to live. But happiness levels fluctuate considerably," said Dr Grant.  
Happiness is made up of psychological wellbeing, such as how much meaning and engagement you have in your life and subjective wellbeing, which is about how you think about the world and how you feel about yourself. " 
We have a significant amount of influence on how happy we are - the choices we make on a daily basis determine our happiness," explained Dr Grant
Dr Russ Harris (who along with Dr Anthony Grant was involved with the ABC TV show called Making Australia Happy), also says that living a rich full and meaningful life includes embracing your demons, not avoiding, fighting or denying them! There's far more in The Happiness Trap including free resources.

Dr Anthony Grant, together with Alison Leigh, have shared their Eight top tips for living a more meaningful and fulfilling life. Step 5 is most relevant for the 100 day photo happiness challenge.
Practise gratitude
When we take the time to feel grateful, to appreciate things and to express that feeling of appreciation in some way, life seems to be better. Appreciating something involves taking the time to notice it and then acknowledging its value and meaning, as well as feeling a positive emotional connection to it. 
But back to the #100happydays challenge!  Counting something sounds a little odd at first, but ... I'm going to count to 100, and for the next 100 days I aim to post a photo on Instagram of something I appreciate or which makes me happy - username traverselife_au using the hashtags #100happydays and #onegoodthing and I invite anyone reading this to join me and share what it is that you're grateful for or which makes you happy.

Feel free to share the username and hashtag/s you'll use in the comment section :-)

Finally, it's important to remember that if you aim to improve your happiness, that lack of sleep, poor diet and lack of exercise will play a significant role in your wellbeing. It is "hard to feel energised or happy on minimal sleep or a diet of cola and pizza!" (here)

Happiness is ... a puppy with a bone ;-)