Get Happier in 2016 by Following This Instagram Account
We could all use that one friend who’s perennially happy, couldn’t we? The one with seemingly boundless energy, who’s always smiling and ready to find the positive in any situation.
That would be Kelli Davis, founder of The Happsters, “a happiness blog dedicated to making other people happy and letting others know when they make us happy.”
As she explains on her blog, Kelli’s always been a huge fan of happiness, and even completed a 10-week “Science of Happiness” course through UC Berkeley. Expert on happiness? Yes and please!
In addition to the awesome Instagram community she's cultivated, Kelli’s also spreading the cheer offline. She believes in the power of random acts of happiness, and at one point, was getting her readers involved by sending them happy notes to hand out to other peeps. Gratis gratitude. Genius.
I wanted to get into the mind of a happiness-wired individual and see what we could learn from her so that we may all become just a little bit happier this year. Here’s what she told me.
What did you set out to create when you started The Happsters?
When I moved back to San Diego after I graduated from college, I wanted to connect with likeminded people and didn't know where to look. I thought it would be fun to create a group where we went around and spread happiness around our neighborhood, so I started a blog to do just that. I soon realized that the happiness movement could be so much bigger than my little town. Within days, I was designing little business-card-sized "happy notes" and mailing them to anyone who signed up as a way to brighten their day. From there, I became fascinated with studying happiness, learning what makes people more joyful and sharing my findings on my blog. I'm always on the hunt for more happiness inspiration!
When did you know you were really onto something?
I knew that I'd hit on a topic that many people could relate to when I started getting hundreds of comments on my blog asking for more tips about how to live a happier life. It was so much fun to connect with people from all over the world and give them little nuggets of information and inspiration that they could use in their everyday lives to be happier and feel more fulfilled. I also started an Instagram account and saw that people liked the ease of connecting there more than on the blog, so I transitioned to posting daily on Instagram and made that my main platform.
What has been the biggest personal challenge you encountered as you developed your platform? How are you working through it?
The biggest personal challenge has been adding more of myself into the brand. I really don't like to be the center of attention! When I first started, I didn't include very much personal information, but I've come to realize that I want to connect on a more individual basis with people and in order to do that, I need to share more about myself. Now I am sharing more photos from my life and adding more personal captions to my photos. I also recently started sending out a monthly newsletter, where I share my happy favorites of the month (favorite meditation, favorite happiness fact, favorite podcast, etc.). I look forward to sharing even more about myself as time goes on!
What's one easy way to find the happy during challenging times?
If you're going through challenging times, it's really important to acknowledge your feelings about the situation and not ignore them. Journaling is a great way to get everything out of your head and onto paper. Oftentimes, you might not even fully know how you feel about a situation until you write it down. Once you work through those feelings, turn to gratitude. It may sound cliché, but there is always something to be thankful for. Maybe it's the bed you sleep in, the delicious lunch you had or feeling connected to a loved one. Thinking about 3 things I'm grateful for always changes my perspective on my current situation and makes me focus on all of the positives in my life.
How was your 2015?
2015 was the best year I've ever had! I think I grew more this year than any other year in my life. I learned a lot of personal lessons that made me become a happier, healthier person. 2015 was also the year that my fiancé proposed, so that made it extra amazing!
Coffee, tea or green juice?
I don't eat or drink caffeine, so I make myself a delicious green smoothie every morning for breakfast. I also meditate for 10-15 minutes and read or take a walk before getting ready for the day instead of getting right into checking e-mails. It's amazing how a good morning routine can transform your whole day.
Single and loving it, reveling in a relationship or Tindering?
I am happily engaged and planning my wedding this September. :)
The book I'm currently reading is…