Pamela Gail Johnson is the Founder of The Society of Happy People (SOHP) and creator of Happiness Happens Month (August) and Happiness Happens Day (August 8th). Yet, here in the cold and dark days of January, during the third week of the month is a little happy week that Johnson calls, Hunt for Happiness Week. This week is a hunt for the small and mundane actions of life and learning to celebrate the little joys. It’s a time for not being happy all the time but being happy when you can. On her website, Johnson says, “Some people see the glass as half full. Some people see the glass as half empty. But I believe if you have a glass, you have a reason to grin.” With the celebratory week coming up January 21-27 this year, let us join the hunt!

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are expert in hunting for things. They say the emphasis on a successful hunt has several key factors, including thorough investigation, collaboration with other agencies, use of advanced technology, public cooperation, and effective communication. Therefore, if we take the FBI’s advice and mix it with Johnson that person could be the happiest in the world. Perhaps we have a treasure map of success right at our disposal. Now, let’s get hunting!

Investigation: what is happiness to you? Is it found in the weather? In music? Art? Friends and Family? Does food make you happy? Moving your body? Reading a great book or finishing a puzzle? What do you imagine happiness to look, feel, and sound like? What does something happy taste or smell like? Can you remember things or even just one thing that made you feel happy before?

Collaboration: who or what can you partner with on your hunt for happiness? Can you bring your partner, children, friends, or siblings along? It’s just one week! Can you ask someone to join you in one week or seek happiness in all things, big and small?

Technology: Will you use your phone to take photos or record all the things this week that you find happiness in? Will you use a computer to list your notes on what you found? Will you use the phone to call your collaborators to see what they found on their hunt? How can technology draw you in towards happiness or…should you perhaps put it away for a bit? Would your phone distract you; would that laptop be less genuine than writing in a journal and perhaps instead of a phone call, you meet with your collaborators in person, or send a letter?

Public Cooperation: Communities offer a chance to breed a contagious effort. As you hunt for happiness, let those around you know, ask them to cooperate, and maybe help with the hunt. If everyone is seeking parts and moments of happiness, it’s surely a chance little will be missed. While you may not find happiness in the falling snow, your neighbor may share it from a perspective that you can find brings you a sense of joy too, while your coworkers may find happiness if playing the same song every day, you may not love the song, but you can appreciate seeing them seek their bliss.

Effective Communication: Everyone knows the second you say what you are looking for, you almost always find it! Think you lost your keys? Tell someone! Then the keys somehow magically appear, right? Tell people about the hunt, and maybe they want to talk about it, maybe not, but you can let them know that you are looking for happy things in the week ahead. Perhaps communicate clearly that while they may have opinions or negative things to say, you aren’t in the place to receive them. It’s a happiness hunt, it moves forward towards glee, and it doesn’t get stuck in the cynical ruts.

Can you hunt for happiness for one week? Look around and just say, “What do I like right now? What brings me joy, peace, calm, hope, bliss, pleasure, and makes me just SMILE!” There’s so much happiness hiding! It’s hiding in new conversations with new people, it’s hiding in the walk you promised to take, it’s hiding in lying down and looking up at the sky, it’s hiding in the hug that lasts a moment longer and the kind acts we see when we look for them. Happiness is hiding, you should go find it! The hunt is starting, so join the hunt!

Mary Hoadley

Director Of The Wellness Center