100 days of happiness


Right now I am ferociously tired. New level, literally nothing helps, bone aching exhaustion.

So imagine my joy to see Facebook positively overflowing with smug photographs of various friends grinning ludicrously over something they’ve enjoyed that day, coupled with the hashtag ‘100 happy days’. Yeah, great, just what I need to see when my fatigue congested eyeballs are literally steaming in their sockets and the most exciting thing I’ve done that day is inch my way to the end of my bed. Excuse me while I chew off my arm in despair.

However curiosity got the better of me and I found myself googling away only to land on the homepage of a pretty interesting campaign – the 100 happy days project. Essentially the idea is to submit a picture – either just to the site or on a social network of your choice – of something that made you happy that day. Forcibly carving out a little time slot to focus on a joyful moment that’s taken place in our increasingly hectic and fast paced world. It’s actually quite sweet.

I’ve always thought practicing gratitude is a great mechanism for honing in on the positive things in our lives and thereby increasing everyday happiness and well-being. Living in the moment is such a foreign concept in our ridiculous breakfast meeting, 24/7 email checking society that it’s just far too easy for a weary mind to zone in on all the negative aspects of the day. A happiness log is such a simple, effective thing you can do to refresh a gloomy perspective – but I’ve yet to really put this into practice in a regular, documented way.

I’m not really one for stuffing my social network feeds full of personal details about my life. I’ll happily post the occasional photo of my brother’s dog rolling in deer shit, or a Boris-Johnson-superimposed-onto-a-fruitbat meme, but I’d definitely shy away from doing this every single day. However if I want to spotlight some of the sunnier shades of my daily existence as the 100 days project advocates, I don’t see why jotting them down in a private journal couldn’t have the same effect.

And so begins my first attempt at a gratitude diary. My endeavour to write down just one thing that’s infused me with a warm, fuzzy inner glow every day begins now. And if I really can’t think of one single joyful moment I’ve experienced, then just any small act of kindness I’ve witnessed will do. Although to be honest, I think the beauty of an exercise like this generally lies in the realisation that there is always some small thing that’s managed to make you smile at least once in any given day. Even the darkest, most depressing of days usually encompass a small sliver of light at some point, if only for a split second, that will briefly penetrate what feels like a never ending fog. Sometimes it’s the small act of remembering these moments that keeps us going.

I’ll let you know how I get on.