20 days ago I came across the 100 Happy Days Challenge. I had seen my friends posting about it on Facebook and Instagram; at face value, it seemed like a fun project to remind people that every day, no matter how shitty life may seem, you can still find something to be celebrated.
I joined in and started posting pictures of things that made me happy that day. It didn’t take long for me to realize that posting these pictures wasn’t making me more happy; instead it seemed as if having to remember to post something that made me happy in effect made me less happy. It became more of a chore for me. I wasn’t posting anything that I wouldn’t normally—after all, I was just adding an extra hashtag. But the more I thought about it, the more forced it felt. Surely, this defeats the whole purpose of the challenge.
After more thought, the challenge further rubbed me the wrong way. And my mind started to wander. How is #100happydays any better than the #thankful posts that pop up in November which make us all want to vom? Or, worse yet, the #blessed posts that I relentlessly make fun of (why yes, I have my bags packed and ticket to Hell booked)? Is it all some passive aggressive form of bragging?
Emotions should be felt wholeheartedly, unapologetically, and most important—naturally. That’s the beauty of our emotions. Everyone has unique experiences that contribute to how we think, feel, and act. Often, we can’t control our emotions no matter how hard we try. I see happiness as a sign of contentment; you’re at peace with where you are in life (good or bad) and can see past that to enjoy the best that life has to offer. Happiness is spontaneous, uncomplicated, and shows cognitive toughness. You can’t force these things just for a stupid hashtag; they have to come from a stable mind, a willing heart, and from deep introspective awareness.
I understand that some people appreciate having a reminder that every day holds happiness. There’s accountability in pausing your day to reflect on something positive that happened. I get it. I love clicking through my friends’ posts and seeing what makes them happy. In fact, that is one of the things that makes me happy every day.
It’s totally a “me” thing. I’m an open book—I share these things anyway. If I’m happy, my friends and followers will know it. If I’m pissed, people will hear about it even more. No hashtags needed.
Many friends and fellow Instagrammers have jumped on the #100happydays train. I guarantee that this will rub some people the wrong way. Momentarily disrupt their “happy.” I’d love to hear your opinions—what do you think about the challenge? Are you participating? Is it helping you? Do you think it feels forced?