Perusing the internet and social media in search of positive inspiration can often uncover clap-trap and empty words, but I’ve stumbled across The Happiness Experiment – 3 Good Things . The Happiness Project (T.H.E) is great largely because of it’s simplicity and sense of community… and it was started by a KIWI! ”
Tamara Waugh, the driving force behind T.H.E, was challenged to share “3 good things” each day with friends on Facebook, and within a month was bombarded with friends and friends of friends following her lead… and all of them tagging her in their first post. From there the Facebook page was born, Tamara realised that people really wanted a platform to share their 3 good things on.
From a Facebook page sprung more and more opportunities and ventures. Tamara’s enthusiasm for positive change, and ability to form practical mental health tools that consciously create happiness has allowed her to reach and impact the lives of almost 5,000 Facebook followers. She has now runs workshops in schools and other places around emotion regulation, resilience and the power of gratitude.
T.H.E has developed a mobile app for kids to help increase their social & emotional resilience, and are fundraising to further develop the app and to make it more accessible (create android version) and engaging for more kids. If you’re feeling generous and would like to Give A Little towards helping T.H.E build their app, click here
I’m beyond thrilled to share with you a quick Q&A with Tamara the woman behind The Happiness Experiment (T.H.E)
Name: Tamara Waugh
Day job: Entrepreneur
The lady behind: The Happiness Project
The nitty gritty…
Explain in brief what The Happiness Experiment is for those who don’t know.
“T.H.E is a gratitude practice of writing down #3GoodThings that have happened in your day, every day, for at least 21 days. Although for the biggest benefit I’d suggest 100 days”
How did the T.H.E come about?
“I was in a deep dark hole after making the decision not to take anymore medication for my depression. I was reaching out for help, and a dear friend challenged me to 100 days of #3GoodThings and 13 minutes per day of meditation. Within two weeks my whole world had changed, and I’ve never looked back. Such an incredible shift from such a simple task.
To keep myself accountable I posted my #3GoodThings to Facebook every evening. After a month of posting my #3GoodThings, I had so many other people following suit and tagging me in their posts. So many that if you looked at ‘photos of me’ it was just a stream of other peoples #3GoodThings.
Why is The Happiness Experiment important?
“It does AMAZING things for emotional resilience, compassion and your overall happiness in your everyday life. Scientifically it shifts our perspective to noticing the positive things in our every moment in every day, so that when we step out into each day we automatically see the GOOD in things”
Since starting The Happiness Experiment in 2012 what’s been the biggest lesson or learning for you?
“The biggest lesson so far has been that gratitude is a lifelong practice. It’s not something you do once for 100 days, or every now and then. Gratitude is a fundamental part of my being, and like most things when you stop practicing it, you forget it. If you practice long enough and take notice enough, the lessons are endless, insightful and humbling.”
What’s been your proudest The Happiness Experiment moment?
“There have been SO MANY proud moments in the last two and half years! Ummm… it was pretty cool to fundraise for 5 months allowing me to get to a conference in San Fran called Wisdom 2.0! I’ve taken so much away from that five days and the learns are something I will continually draw knowledge, experience and wisdom from. Since The Happiness Experience, I now have PAGES AND PAGES of notes, tons videos and photos as well as business cards that I am constantly looking back on, and new friends I’ve met from all over the world that I still skype and am constantly learning from.”
If could achieve just one thing through The Happiness Experiment what would you choose?
“Well, I’m working on something pretty big at the moment… So keep checking in on the Facebook page and you’ll see it happening”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“There are many great little nuggets of advice through doing Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Dialectical Behavioural Therapy that I repeatedly use in my daily life. And there are the big profound words of those that have lived before us that will be staple quotes to remember.
The one that makes me feel the best is: ‘Hold on tightly, let go lightly’ It is a wonderful reminder that feelings of desire, need and want are not always beneficial, but mostly superficial. It’s not until you’ve let go sometimes that you find your learning’s’ from a situation or challenge.”
Have you always been into this sort of thing? Are you just a naturally positive person?
“I’ve always been seen as a bubbly, warm person, but in actual fact I have suffered years of mental illness, with suicide close at my side for a lot of my life. Understanding how my brain works, deciding to never take medication again and becoming a mother were all imperative to me finding an alternative tool to keep me stable and ‘up’, out of those struggle bubble moments.”
What do you feel are the key components of happiness?
“Happiness can be found in gratitude, living your truth consciously and mindfully and tapping into your compassion at every moment that calls for it. Not comparing yourself to others. Doing all of these things and living with integrity is how I feel we create happiness in our lives!”
Mindfulness seems to be increasing in popularity – how long have you been practising mindfulness and how are you ‘mindful’?
“Mindfulness is most definitely becoming more widely known! With our new generation growing up in such a digital space it is so important to teach our youth how to STOP and be present. I have been learning and practicing mindfulness for about two years, so not long, and I still have so much more to learn! It’s one of those things where the more you practice the more you SEE. As the great Einstein once said (one of my staple quotes) ‘Awareness is 90% of the solution’ sometimes it’s a challenge and sometimes it’s like taking a glorious break’
What’s your daughters take on mindfulness?
“Millie started #3GoodThings when she was 3yrs old, she then got the *sigh* ‘do I have to mummy’ bug. There is a noticeable awareness, compassion and positive outlook that she has though that was learnt so early that it is now just who she is. #3GoodThings is an interactive mindfulness practice, it brings about the awareness to be mindful if you know what I mean.
What’s one thing that gives you great joy?
“ONLY ONE??!!! Seeing other people hit a tipping point of insight and revelation, enabling them to be the best person they can be. SO powerful!”
Who is someone you admire? And why?
“My world is FULL of people I admire! Every week I put my mind to thinking about someone, how awesome they are and what they add to my life. Admiration breeds inspiration.”
And finally… 3 Good Things
It’s only 1:30pm and hundreds come to mind, but here we go:
- Waking up at 5:15am, stepping outside to hear waves lapping against the rocks less than 3 metres from where I was standing.
- Feeling of sweat dripping from all over my body, chasing my thoughts of giving up away and smashing on through to complete the gruelling class with everything I had this morning.
- Coming back to my Mum’s house to collect Millie, everyone still being asleep, so taking the opportunity to go for a quick swim by myself. An absolutely BLISSful morning!
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What are YOUR #3GoodThings for today??