100 Happy Days

It starts with a simple question: can you be happy for 100 days in a row?

That is what the “100 Happy Days” Challenge is—a picture a day, captioned #100HappyDays. It is the hashtag that has begun to go viral. I can’t scroll through my Instagram feed without seeing it, but I am not complaining. The pictures are the best part of this challenge. They are not a bunch of heavily-filtered smiling-faced selfies—the challenge goes deeper than that. The photos submitted are meant to be snapshots of the everyday moments that make life a little better. It could be the fact that you finally figured out the perfect ingredients combo for your Mixed Greens salad or a screenshot of that text from your Grandma who went a little overboard with the emojis.

The challenge has participants from all over. I know at least seven people in the State College area alone who are taking part. Paisley Beh, Penn State Junior, is one of these people. When asked what her motivation for doing the challenge was, Beh says, “Every day you should be happy. It’s not that hard to find one thing that makes you smiles. 100 Happy Days is a subtle reminder that there’s always a silver lining.”

The happiness goes beyond Happy Valley. Gemma Styles, sister of One Direction member Harry Styles, contributes pictures of her tea from London. And it only can keep growing from here. The website comes in 20 different languages.

100 Happy Days is so contagious because the point of it is not in-your-face happiness. No one is showing off or trying to one-up each other. It is just a chronicling of days, and what little things make them.

The website sites several reasons of why you should partake. Aside from noticing what improves their mood, people who completed the challenge claimed to:

  • “Start receiving more compliments from other people” And who doesn’t like compliments?
  • “Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have.” Take a minute to stop and smell the roses.
  • “Become more optimistic.” And who couldn’t use a little more of glass-half-full philosophy in their lives? Especially with finals around the corner.
  • “Fall in love during the challenge.” Could this challenge really turn State College into Date College? Eh, I’ll believe it when I see it.

It is harder than it sounds. According to the website, 71% haven’t made the full hundred days due to lack of time. Being actively happy takes work, so try to Instagram by these words of wisdom.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
Dalai Lama XIV

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Abraham Lincoln

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.” —William James, psychologist

“Happiness is only real when shared.”  (on Instagram. Just kidding.)
Jon Krakauer, author of Into the Wild

So, can you be happy for 100 days in a row?

Photo by Ashley Zucker