Today you get to meet the fabulous Jessica Johansen! She’s a blogger, online marketing specialist and fitness enthusiast residing in Paris. By day, she lends her digital expertise to Sarenza, fabulous online shoe shop extraordinaire; by night, she think up creative new days to live a happy, healthy life on a crazily hectic schedule and a relatively tight budget, all the while loving herself fiercely – and then she blogs about it over at Fierceinthecity.com!
Hello! When Kristen asked me to write about my experience with the #100happydays challenge, I jumped at the opportunity. After all, for those of you lovely people who don’t know me, gratitude and positivity are something that I strive for on a daily basis, and this little challenge combines both in a brilliant, easy to commit to (and follow through with!) package. While I’ve already written about #100happydays at length on my blog, I am always more than happy to wax lyrical about what it involves and why I dig it so much. You see, although I’m only just over two-thirds through this journey of mine, I can already tell it has brought about some pretty big changes in the way I choose to see the world – and I love it!
The simplicity of it all is pretty thrilling: all you need to do is take a photo of something that made you happy that day, and either send it to the official website by email, or post it to your social media platforms, every day for one hundred days. Easy, right? What I love about it, is that it’s something that anyone can do; no matter how busy you are, no matter how overwhelmed you may feel, I can almost guarantee that you have the time to pause and smell the roses (and snap a shot of said roses!) before carrying on with your day. It blows the “oh, but it’s too time-consuming to keep a gratitude journal” right out of the water, doesn’t it?
I’m also a big fan of the social aspect of #100happydays, not just because I love love love social media as a whole, but also – and I think this is important in these types of challenges – because of the accountability factor. While no one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to post those photos, there’s no denying that committing to something like this (publicly, no less) tends to give you that extra little nudge to actually follow through with it, no matter how much of a pain it might be some days. Plus, I don’t know about you but “numbered” projects like these always push me to finish, because imagine just stopping at Day 44? Argh, the frustration! Woe, the unfinished business!! It would drive me bloody nuts!
Beyond all this, though, I really, really love that the #100happydays challenge is democratising the practice of gratitude. It’s making it super accessible, which is brilliant because as I’ve said in my article on gratitude journals, I truly believe that giving thanks for the things that make your heart soar is a surefire way to becoming happier in the long run! Some gratitude purists have questioned the validity of the #100happydays photos as a gratitude practice, saying that 1) forcing yourself to take a snapshot of your happy moment instead of just “absorbing” it prevents you from fully enjoying it, and 2) that sharing them on social media takes away from the authenticity of it all… But I disagree (surprise, surprise)! If expressing gratitude is a gateway to happiness, as I believe it is, shouldn’t everyone be given a chance to have a go at it, no matter what shape or form their practice may take? The way I see it, going through my happy photos of the day feels preeeetty similar to rifling through my memories to jot down my thankful thoughts in my gratitude journal, and I LOVE checking the #100happydays tag on Instagram from time to time – so many happy moments, it’s amazing!
With all that said, here’s why I think you should give the #100happydays challenge a go!
- It’s an awesome way to get you started on your gratitude/self-love journey. Like I said, this little challenge is super accessible, making it the ideal gateway to building a gratitude habit! I’ve already waxed poetic on the benefits of gratitude on my blog and this is the perfect way to get used to doing it on a regular basis. Even though the challenge is only a hundred days long, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll want to keep some form of gratitude practice up afterwards. After all, they say it takes a month to build a habit; imagine what a hundred days can do!
- You’ll be part of a brilliant community. Think about it: right now, there are thousands upon thousands of people taking part in this little challenge; people who, like you, want to take their first step into expressing gratitude and choosing happiness, instead of spouting negative drivel on social media, as we are often wont to do. Doesn’t it feel good to know that you’re be part of a movement aiming to change how people perceive the world? YOU are making a difference, baby! Here’s another little thing to think about: just as you may browse the photos bearing the #100happydays hashtag, someone else is probably doing the same with yours, becoming more and more inspired and uplifted with every happy moment of yours. You’re inspiring someone and contributing to their happiness, simply by expressing your happiness. I don’t know about you, but that blows my mind!
- You’ll feel GOOD. Trust me on this: when you flick through your photos of the day to pick the one that best represents your very happiest moment, you won’t be able to stop yourself from smiling. Whenever I do it, a warm, fuzzy feeling spreads through my belly; multiply that by one hundred (the length of the challenge) and you’ve got a very happy bunny! This little ritual is something I really look forward to and so will you. Expressing gratitude and choosing positivity have made a huge difference in my life, and this little challenge, innocuous though it may seem, has definitely helped anchor both practices in my everyday routine. Give it a go!
Are you ready to hop on the #100happydays challenge train? Give it a try, I promise you won’t look back!
- Have you ever documented anything (blessings/pictures/happiness) daily?
- Tell me what you’re thankful for!