My therapist is always throwing websites at me. Sometimes they bounce off (I’m looking at you, O*NET), but occasionally they stick and I get to surprise her. It seems like the sites that stick have a common theme: taking small steps toward increased happiness.
First there was #100happydays. I have posted 77 photos with this tag on Instagram. I started 129 days ago. So you could say that I have completely failed at this task. Or you could take into consideration that I’ve had many days when I was completely without access to the internet, and many more days in which I spent nearly all my waking hours in a place where electronic devices are forbidden. You could acknowledge that I keep plugging away at this task, despite the interruptions. Personally, when I reach 100 photos I’m going to consider this accomplished.
The other website that stuck is Happify. The main focus of Happify is choosing a track and completing a few activities per day toward that track. Completing a certain number of activities will earn you silver or gold medals for each level. So far I’ve completed the Cope Better with Stress and Conquer Your Negative Thoughts tracks, with gold medals on every level. I’ve just started the Find Your Calling track.
Activities also give you points toward leveling up in 5 different skill areas: Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give, and Empathize. Some areas are easier to level up than others, based on the types of activities that are offered in the tracks. If you pay for a Plus membership, you can do any of your unlocked activities at any time, outside of your chosen track.
Plus membership also unlocks many additional tracks, and a strengths assessment. My five signature strengths are: Humor, Love of Learning, Creativity, Curiosity, and Kindness. If anyone has a great idea for a job that requires those strengths and does not require a college degree, I’m taking suggestions.
I’ve been doing Happify for 5 weeks. I’ve been on the site every day, with the exception of a couple of days I spent in the inpatient unit and was without internet access. Sometimes the activities don’t have their intended effect (I get irritated by what I’m asked to do, like meditation, rather than it improving my happiness), but for the most part I am much more appreciative of the good things in my life since starting this journey.