Taking the happiness journal challenge: Jennifer Orr.

A few years ago, I was complaining to a friend about the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day I was having. My friend listened patiently, and then said something that has stuck with me ever since:

“You know, your body only feels anger for something like 60-seconds. After that, you’re choosing to be angry.”

Every day, we choose how to frame and react to our experiences. The goal of the Happiness Journal Challenge Ruby hosts each year is to make choosing happiness easier by forming a habit—21 consecutive days of reflecting on the positive aspects of each day. And while those 21 days are critical, it’s what happens on day 22 that is the most important.

A Continuing Commitment To Happiness

Jennifer Orr is a first-time participant in the Happiness Journal Challenge. While Jennifer found the 21-day challenge a great way to shift her thinking, she recognized she would need to keep working every day to reach all her happiness goals. Here’s her story:

Dear Ruby,

I have really enjoyed the 21-day Happiness Journal exercise. I enjoyed it so much, I made copies so I can continue to use the prompts in my every day journal writing.

I found it took me 21 days to get in the habit of thinking of three things that made me happy. Like someone else said on your staff, there is so much noise in our lives; this was a great way to pull out the three things I most appreciated. And, I too, found it was mostly personal. For example, no matter how bad a day I might have had at work, I always could appreciate the simple act of having dinner with my family.

What I need more time for is the gratitude portion of the exercise. I figure it will take me another 21 days to get in the habit of looking for opportunities to thank the staff that works for me, or the patient who shares an important story, or when my kids clean up after themselves. I look forward to making that change. I truly believe it will be a life-changing habit!

I also loved having the reminder to exercise and meditate. I do try to do those on a regular basis, but I liked seeing the link between my happiness and the amount I exercised and meditated.

Thank you so much for providing me the journal and getting me started on a life time of more happiness!

—Jennifer Orr, Office Manager

Congratulations Jennifer on completing the challenge, and best of luck on your journey of continued growth!

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