Updated December 2016
This version of the 30-Day Happiness Challenge is no longer freestanding. It will live again in my new Facebook group. The #1 topic I am asked to talk about is Inspiration/Motivation … #2 is hair (yeah girl I was shocked too). In response, I started a Facebook Group named 🌱 CELEBRATE NEW GROWTH 🌱 where the entire purpose is supporting an expanded life in all areas. If you want to be part of a positive, supportive group of women intent on living bigger, being better, and taking things higher then join us! — bit.ly/CelebrateNewGrowth. See you there! 🌱💚
Lately everyone’s been rocking out to the mega hit song Happy by Pharrell Williams & I understand why. The beat is catchy, the video is fun to watch, and the lyrics are positive and uplifting:
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof!
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth!
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you!
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do!
Here come bad news talking this and that
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold back
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Because I’m happy!
But what if you feel like your room definitely has a roof or worse yet your room is a windowless spot in the basement?
As much as love that song and its message, I haven’t been feeling too happy lately. I’ve dealt with depression for years and, it seems to be really trying to keep me down these past few weeks. I tend to want to fight depression (in the face lol) so, I’m here sharing a journey I plan on embarking on in the month of April (a.k.a. “fighting depression in the face”).
Inspired by this incredible TED Talk by psychologist Shawn Achor where he discusses the science of happiness, I’ve decided to do my own 30 Day Happiness Challenge and invite anyone that wants to participate to do so.
First I strongly suggest you watch the video:
“If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage, which is your brain at positive performs significantly better than it does at negative, neutral or stressed. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise.
If we can find a way of becoming positive in the present, then our brains work even more successfully as we’re able to work harder, faster and more intelligently.
[W]e can actually rewire your brain, allowing your brain to actually work more optimistically and more successfully.”
– Shawn Achor
BOOM! That is what I have based my entire challenge on. This also reminds me of the concepts I read about in Retraining the Brain: A 45-Day Plan to Conquer Stress and Anxiety by Dr. Frank Lawlis.
Sooo here’s the jist of my
Each day in April I will:
- Write down 3 new things that I am grateful for
- Journal about one positive experience I’ve had over the past 24 hours
- Meditate using the relaxation audios located in the Depression CBT application*
- Drink 64 ounces of water
- Go to bed before midnight
and at least twice a week I will:
- Send 1 positive message to someone in my social support network praising or thanking them
According to Achor by the end of the month I should expect my brain to:
- start retaining a pattern of scanning the world for the positive before the negative
- relive positive experiences
- get over the cultural ADHD created by trying to do multiple tasks at once and focus on the task at hand
- be more hydrated and therefore function better**
- be more rested and therefore function better**
- be more conscious of kindness and
- understand that behavior matters
By doing these activities I hope to train my braid and create ripples of positivity that affect other areas of my life in the months to come. If I’m successful, I foresee continuing some of these things after the challenge is completed. I hope to document my journey in a FaceBook group so that others can participate, we can share our experiences, and remain accountable. I will also post weekly summary updates here on my blog during the month of April.
If you are interested in participating please let me know below and I will add you to the 30 Day Happiness Challenge Facebook group (Update: Now the CELEBRATE NEW GROWTH Facebook group).
* or do something that makes me happy
** These were not mentioned by Achor, I added them because I need to do them point blank and believe they will make me feel better