As most of you know, I have just finished the #100happydays challenge. I started seeing this challenge on Instagram a few months ago. When one of my favorite blogs made a post about it, I decided to check out what it was all about. For those who don't know, this challenge wants you to post, via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, about something that made you happy that day. It is supposed to help you see all the things in your life that you have and should be thankful for. I decided, after reading up on the challenge that it would be a fun and easy thing for me do to. I consider myself a generally happy person, so I thought it would be super easy to take a picture of something each day that had made me happy. Below are some of my realizations after completing this challenge.
100 days is a long time! When I first started the challenge I don't think I really processed how long I would be doing this. Maybe I am just really bad at math (truth), but it wasn't until about 1 month into the challenge that I realized that I wasn't even halfway through! I feel like when people give up partway through the challenge, it's not due to happiness lacking in their lives, it's simply that this challenge takes so long to complete! I assume many people just decide partway through that they don't care enough to keep going.
Being a "happy" person is hard to define. There were some days when getting my picture for the day was about the hardest thing to do. When I think about myself in general terms I say I am a happy person. I tend to gloss over the days when I am far from happy. I want to always paint myself in a positive light so I ignore the days when I am not happy. This challenge really made me confront myself and how I handle my shifting moods. On the days when I just laid in bed, eating chocolate, and feeling bad about myself, I knew I still had to take my picture that day. These days really challenged me to find something about my life that, even though at that moment I could only think about how sad I was, made me happy in the bigger picture of my life. At the same time, taking a picture on these days really helped me understand my emotions. I don't consider being sad a bad thing. I like to let my emotions run their course, and some days this means I just let myself wallow in sadness and self pity. However, doing this challenge really helped me keep perspective on these days. While I let myself be upset, I also knew in the more logical part of my brain, that things were not as bad as I was making them. I have realized that saying a person is "happy" or "sad" is pretty inaccurate. Yes, most of the time I am content with my life. Nevertheless, my mood shifts almost every day. Some days I am ecstatic beyond reason and 2 days later I might be super melancholy. I don't think we can say that a person has 1 mood that defines them at all points. Emotions are always shifting, and instead of being annoyed at a person for their shifting moods we should accept it and help them deal with however they are feeling that day.
Sometimes happiness isn't a tangible item. The other times that taking my picture for the day was really hard was when my happiness couldn't be symbolized by an object. Some days I wasn't overly happy, I was simply content. I was content with my life in Japan and I felt like everything was working out for me. However, it was really hard for me to find a picture that would show that. How do you take a picture of a feeling? My contentedness was not contained in a box of chocolate or a sunny day or a delicious lunch. I know for the people who followed me doing this challenge, some of my days seemed happier than others. Some of my pictures seemed lame, like I hadn't tried that day. However, sometimes it was not so easy to define why I was happy, I just was.
So there you have it! My ramblings about the #100happydays challenge.
For anyone who is thinking about doing this challenge, I would highly recommend it. I don't think it makes you happier with your life, but I do think it helps you see the beauty that is in your life. Sometimes it helps to look for the good things in your life, because you cannot always see them on your own.
P.S. The tea of the day is jasmine tea ^_^
P.P.S. Since I am coming to the end of my time here in Japan, if there is anything you are curious about or would like me to write about, leave a comment and I will try to blog about them!