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Life > Experiences

StoLife: What I Learned from the 100 Happy Days Challenge

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St Olaf chapter.

I’m usually not a fan of social media trends. Personally, I do not gain anything from posting or viewing hundreds of Ice Bucket/Cold Water Challenges, #stopdropselfies or Harlem Shake videos. One movement that did catch my attention was the “100 Happy Days Challenge.” The website, 100happydays.com, asks readers: Can you be happy for 100 days in a row? It sounds easy, but the website further reveals that 71% of people tried to complete this challenge, but failed, quoting “lack of time” as the main reason. These people simply did not have time to be happy. 

Upon reading this, I wanted to make time for happiness. Due to my natural tendency to avoid social media, I decided to participate in this challenge more personally. Every day, for 100 days, I saved a picture to a “Happiness” album on my phone. Many of my closest friends knew about it, and I set a daily reminder on my phone to save a happy moment into the album. From my 100 happy days, I have compiled a list of takeaways and points of growth that I realized and experienced.

1. Happiness is everywhere.

In my 100 happy days, I found happiness in little things like 15 extra minutes of sleep, a really good breakfast or my favorite pair of cat socks. While some people think we shouldn’t gain happiness from such little material things, I think it helped me focus on the good rather than the bad parts of my day.  

2.  Bad days happen.

On some days, my “100 Happy Days Challenge!” daily reminder would go off, and I would realize it’s 10 p.m., I’m in bed, my day sucked and I took zero photos.  This made me have to really think about what I’m grateful for, regardless of how awful this specific day was.  It sounds cheesy, but on bad days, I now find myself seeking out people I love, making gratitude lists or appreciating easily forgotten joys.  

3.  One picture can really take you back.

With our busy schedules, it’s so easy to forget happy moments, become absorbed in media and disconnected from friends and focused on your stressful to-do list. When I look back at my “Happiness” album, I can remember a number of memorable events, laughs and moments that I otherwise may have disregarded. What I don’t remember from the photos is how stressed I was that day, what I studied for that night or which day was considered a bad one. 

While some people see this challenge as a waste of time, a failure to appreciate the bigger picture or a menial task that requires you to take out your phone during every memorable moment, I disagree! So does the 100 Happy Days Foundation. They quote on their website that people successfully completing the challenge claimed to:

  • start noticing what makes them happy every day
  • be in a better mood every day
  • start receiving more compliments from other people
  • realize how lucky they are to have the life they have
  • become more optimistic 
  • fall in love during the challenge.

All in all, don’t be too busy for happiness. You deserve it! 

Can you be happy for 100 Days? , Guitar,  Enjoy the little Things Ice Cream