Simple Joys: A 31-Day Challenge for Happiness Happens Month

7:34 PM

31 Day Challenge for Happiness Happens Month

A 31-Day Challenge for Happiness Happens MonthHappiness does not depend on outward things but on the way we see them. 
- Leo Tolstoy

Finding happiness in the ordinary, the small, and the seemingly mundane can make life extraordinarily joyful. What if there was a way to focus on these moments more deliberately, to truly soak in the happiness they offer? Well, there is! And it takes place in the sun-soaked span of August, a month declared Happiness Happens Month.

Imagine that. A month dedicated to observing and celebrating instances of happiness, and you'll have a picture of what Happiness Happens Month is all about. 

It's an opportunity to cherish the joy in simple things and learn that happiness isn't always about the grand events but often about the precious moments we experience daily.

And so, in the spirit of this particular month, the idea of a 31-Day Challenge was born in my ever-restless, chaotic, colorful, introverted brain. 

A daily activity designed to help us spot and truly engage with these simple joys, the small moments that create a ripple effect of happiness.

The Importance of Celebrating Small Joys

Those fleeting instances of joy, like a heartfelt laugh with a friend or the peaceful tranquility of a morning cup of coffee, add up, forming the rich tapestry of our life's happiness.

It's crucial to acknowledge these moments to celebrate them. This act of recognition has a profound effect on our well-being.

Psychologists tell us that we anchor ourselves in the present moment by focusing on these simple joys.

This mindfulness can lead to a cascade of positive effects.

Benefits of celebrating simple joys:

  • It reduces stress.
  • It improves our mood and increases our overall sense of happiness.
  • It contributes to our resilience, our ability to bounce back from adversity.
  • It helps cultivate a positive mindset, a kind of happiness bank we can draw from in more challenging times.
  • It's like having a lens that filters out the mundane and zooms in on the delightful.

Celebrating simple joys equips us with a mental toolkit, enabling us to navigate our ups and downs with a joyful spirit and a resilient heart. 

so happy gif

Recognizing and Avoiding Toxic Positivity

It's essential to distinguish the pursuit of happiness from the trap of toxic positivity. Toxic positivity refers to the excessive and ineffective overgeneralization of a happy, optimistic state across all situations. It dismisses authentic human emotional experience and forces a "positive" outlook even when it's not practical or healthy.

Avoiding this trap is critical in any happiness journey. Here are some pointers to guide you:

  • Feel Your Feelings. It's okay to have days when you're not feeling 100%. Acknowledge your feelings: sadness, anger, frustration, or anything else. All emotions are valid and deserve to be felt and processed.
  • Authenticity Over Forced Positivity. Being true to your feelings is far more essential than projecting an image of constant positivity. Authenticity breeds happiness, not the other way around.
  • Active Listening. When someone shares their struggles or pain, listen to them without trying to paint a silver lining around their cloud. Sometimes, people just need to be heard and validated, not cheered.
  • Practice Self-Compassion. Don't blame yourself for feeling low or not being "positive enough." Instead, treat yourself with the kindness you would offer a friend in a similar situation.

    cartoon hugging her reflection in the mirror

  • Reframe, Don't Repress. Instead of suppressing your feelings, try to reframe them. For example, acknowledge it if you're feeling anxious and consider what your anxiety might be trying to tell you. Reframing isn't about changing the emotion; it's about understanding its source and learning from it.
  • Bouncing Back. Remember, resilience isn't about never falling but about how you bounce back when you do. Even on your worst days, remember that they are just moments that will pass. You can and will bounce back.

Happiness Happens Month: The 31-Day Challenge.

Embracing the spirit of Happiness Happens Month, the 31-Day Challenge is designed to help you seek, recognize, and celebrate the simple joys in everyday life.

Each day in August is a unique task, meant to shine a light on those tiny, sometimes mundane, activities that could surprisingly spark joy.


Here are 31 Admit Your Happy Month activities to get you through August – and beyond.

Day 1: Morning Serenity. Start your day positively by spending 5 minutes in silent contemplation as you sip your morning beverage. Feel the cup's warmth, inhale the aroma, and let this tranquil moment set a joyful tone for the day.

Morning Serenity

Day 2: Nature Walk. Take a short walk at a nearby park or around your neighborhood. Notice the trees, the sounds of the birds, and the wind on your skin. Let the connection with nature fill you with joy.

Or Visualize Nature. If you can't make it outdoors create peace by visualizing a serene natural setting. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and imagine yourself in a calming place - maybe a tranquil forest, a sun-drenched beach, or a lush green meadow. 

There are playlists online that feature the sound of nature, which you can play to help you get in the moment. Feel the joy that this mental escape brings you.

Day 3: Random Act of Kindness. Doing small acts of kindness can have a significant impact. You can let someone go ahead of you in line or leave a supportive note for a coworker. Feel the happiness ripple from your act of kindness.

Day 4: Play Your Anthem. Listen to your favorite song, let the rhythm move you, and don't be afraid to dance a little! Music has a profound way of lifting our spirits; let it lift yours today. I included my personal favorites in the Gratitude Affirmation Cards. Download it HERE.

Day 5: Savory Moment. Savor your favorite meal today. Instead of rushing through it, take time to appreciate every bite. Recognize how this simple nourishment can be a source of great joy for your mind and body.

Day 6: Reach Out. August 6th is Friendship Day. Send a message to a friend you haven't talked to. Reconnecting with old friends can spark joy and warmth in your heart.

happy phone call gif

Day 7: Share a Smile. The 2nd week of August is National Smile Week. Make it a point to share a genuine smile with people you interact with throughout the day. Smiling not only lifts your mood but can also make someone else's day brighter, bringing joy to both parties.

Day 8: Photo Walk. August 8th is National Happiness Happens Day. Grab your phone or a camera and take a walk to capture the beauty around you. The act of seeking beauty in everyday scenes will bring a sense of joy and appreciation.

Day 9: Indulge in a Book. It's Book Lover's Day! Dedicate some time to reading. Whether it's a novel, a self-help book, or a comic, allow the joy of an excellent read to wash over you.

Day 10: Unplug and Unwind. Take a digital detox for an hour. Switch off your gadgets, disconnect from the digital world, and enjoy the serenity. Read a book, play with your pet, walk, write down your thoughts, or enjoy the view outside. You'd be surprised by the peace and joy this little break can bring.

Day 11: Meditate. Carve out 10 minutes for a meditation session. Focus on your breath and let go of any stressful thoughts. Experience the joy of tranquility.

Day 12: Share Your Wisdom. Share advice or a life lesson with someone who might benefit from it. The act of sharing wisdom can bring a sense of fulfillment and joy.

Day 13: Hydration Happiness. Turn the act of hydration into a joyful moment. Add a slice of fruit or a dash of herbs to your water and savor each refreshing sip.

lemon water

Day 14: Home Sweet Home. Tidy up a small corner of your home. Cleaning and organizing can be surprisingly therapeutic, creating a cozy space that brings you joy.

Day 15: Rediscover a Hobby. Dedicate some time to a hobby you love but have neglected lately. Whether painting, reading, playing an instrument, or gardening, immersing yourself in a hobby is an excellent way to tap into happiness.

Day 16: Family Connection. Spend quality time with your family, whether playing a board game or preparing dinner together. Family time is a source of profound joy with shared laughs and warmth. Remember that family doesn't always mean blood. You can connect with people you consider as a family or your pets, who are the most loyal creatures you could ask for.

Day 17: Treat Yourself. Buy yourself a small treat, like a favorite snack or a flower for your desk.

Day 18: Cook a Meal. Make a favorite dish for yourself or your loved ones. Find joy in the cooking process and the satisfaction of a well-made meal.

Day 19: Laughter Therapy. Watch a comedy or read some funny jokes. The act of laughing releases endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals, promoting an overall sense of well-being and joy.

Day 20: Positive Affirmations. Start your day with positive affirmations. Statements like "I allow myself to slow down and enjoy life" or "I can handle whatever comes my way" can set a positive tone for your day and bring happiness. Need more affirmations and daily inspiration? Download the FREE Gratitude Affirmation Cards.

Day 21: Dance it Out. Put on your favorite music and have a dance break. Dancing is a great stress reliever; it releases endorphins, creating joy.

Dance it Out

Day 22: Compliment Someone. Give a genuine compliment to a coworker, family, or stranger. This simple act of kindness can bring joy not just to them but to you as well.

Day 23: Learn Something New. Learn something new today - a new word, recipe, or yoga pose. This act of self-improvement can bring a sense of accomplishment and joy.

Day 24: Gratitude Journaling. Dedicate a few minutes to write down three things you're grateful for today. It could be anything from the air conditioner to a good book or remember a fond memory.

Day 25: Digital Detox. Spend a few hours without any digital devices. The break from constant notifications can bring relief and happiness. This is not a repeat. It is that important to filter what you feed your mind.

Day 26: Express Your Feelings. Write a letter expressing your feelings to someone. You don't have to send it. Just the act of expressing yourself can bring relief and joy.

Day 27: Walk Down Memory Lane. Revisit a fond memory from your childhood or early adult years. Nostalgia can bring warmth and joy.

Day 28: Quiet Time. Spend some time in silence. Just sit with your thoughts, observing them without judgment. When you talk to yourself, act like you're speaking with a close friend.

Day 29: Draw or Doodle. Even if you don't consider yourself an artist, try doodling or sketching something. This process can be calming, therapeutic, and joyful, allowing your creativity to flow freely.

Day 30: Self-Reflection. Think about what you've learned this month and how it's brought you joy.

Day 31: Celebrate Yourself. Celebrate your completion of this challenge. Recognize the happiness you've cultivated through these simple daily activities and commit to continue finding joy in small things. 

Celebrate Yourself

Tips for Engaging with the Challenge

Savoring the journey of our Happiness Happens challenge can become even more rewarding with the right approach. Here are some tips to amplify the joy in this journey:

  1. Keep a Happiness Journal. The pen is indeed mightier than the sword when battling the blues. Jotting down your thoughts and feelings associated with each daily activity helps you savor those moments of joy. Remember to note what made you smile or feel good each day. Download the FREE printable journal that came with the Gratitude Affirmation Card.
  2. Get Social. Sharing is caring; in this case, it can also be a source of happiness. Feel free to share your experiences with the challenge on social media using the hashtag #HappinessHappensMonth. Seeing others participate and share their moments of joy can enhance your own.
  3. Involve Loved Ones. Happiness doubles when shared. Involve your family and friends in this challenge. Engaging in activities together can add another layer of joy.
  4. Embrace Patience and Open-mindedness. Not every day might seem joyous, and that's perfectly okay. Embrace the process with patience and keep an open mind. This challenge is about finding happiness in unexpected places, so allow yourself to be surprised.
  5. Remember to Be Mindful. As you go through each task, focus on the present moment. Savor it. Pay attention to how it makes you feel, what you observe, and what you learn about yourself.
  6. Celebrate Your Journey. Each step in this challenge is a step towards a happier you. Celebrate that fact. Be proud of your progress, no matter how small it seems.

Celebrate Your Journey

Make Happiness Happen for You 

It's incredible how our individual sparks of joy can collectively brighten the world. Here's how you can make happiness happen: Download the challenge. I'd be thrilled if you downloaded the Happiness Happens 31-Day Challenge pdf and joined.

[Mobile users or those having an issue viewing the form, please send your request HERE.]


Share the Joy

If this challenge resonates with you, feel free to share this article with others so we can create a ripple effect of happiness. Shared joy is double joy.

Feed Your Brain

  • Read How Happiness Happens: Finding Lasting Joy in a World of Comparison, Disappointment, and Unmet Expectations by bestselling author Max Lucado. Write down the nuggets of wisdom you'll learn and call it your How Happiness Happens Journal.

  • Watch this TEDTalk video of psychologist Katarina Blom about creating happiness.

Mark your calendar

Don't forget to celebrate on these dates:

  • August 6th – Friendship Day
  • August 8th – Admit You're Happy Day or Happiness Happens Day
  • World of Happiness Day is on March 20th. 

Admit You're Happy

August, fondly known as the Admit You're Happy Month, where Happiness Happens Day occurs, provides an excellent opportunity to invite more joy into your life. It's a chance to intentionally focus on happiness and incorporate more of it into your day-to-day activities. 

However, this shouldn't feel like a chore or an added stressor; instead, let it be an enlightening journey into simple pleasures.

The Simple Joys: 31-Day Challenge for Happiness Happens Month is a path towards recognizing that happiness is not always about the grand gestures and significant milestones but often about the little moments that fill our days. 

Whether it's a mindful sip of coffee in the morning, a moment of laughter shared with a friend, or a quiet evening with your thoughts, these are all seeds of joy that can enrich our lives immensely.

For this August, I invite you to open up to these moments and fully embrace them. But remember, this doesn't end when the calendar flips to September. Let this challenge set a precedent for the rest of your year and beyond. As the saying goes, "Don't be sad it's over, be happy it happened."

Question for You

When you're feeling down, what do you do to boost your mood and make you feel happier?

Wait! I've got more stories for you...


Trouble posting your comment in the box below? Please comment here instead.

  1. Happiness happens. Ain't that the truth. Especially when we look for it, create it, rejoice in it.

  2. I love the Danes' practice of "hygee—taking everyday and the mundane and making it beautiful and joyful.
    Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.

  3. You sound like a thankful person. Nel started a gratitude journal, and since then, she's been so thankful for the simple things in every day life. I read one time that grateful people are the happiest people, and I believe that's true. We need more people like you who appreciate the small joys of life.