By Jacinta Nwachukwu,
Philosophers argue that authentic happiness is sometimes felt by persons and if you are fortunate enough to be happy, you should be glad no matter the level of the happiness.
They note that a person can experience happiness if he or she is freed from anger, depression, anxiety and stress that may result from worries.
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Such worries, they add, may be induced by factors such as lack of money or employment, job-related matters, health, body weight concerns as well as confidence or self-esteem issues.
Given the importance of happiness in a person’s life, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly has designated March 20 every year as the International Day of Happiness.
“The Day recognises the relevance of happiness and wellbeing as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings.
“Happiness is a fundamental human goal and calls upon countries to approach public policies as a way of improving the people’s wellbeing,’’ says Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia.
Additionally, the UN acknowledges that in order to attain global happiness, economic development must be accompanied by social and environmental wellbeing.
According to Merriam Webster online Dictionary, happiness is a mental or emotional state of wellbeing, characterised by positive or pleasant emotions, ranging from contentment to intense joy.
It also says happiness is a fuzzy concept and it can mean many things to many people.
As a way of boosting the happiness of Nigerians, Mr Adedotun Ajiboye, a clinical psychologist, urges all the stakeholders, including the government, legislators, religious leaders and individuals, to make pragmatic efforts to restore the security of the country.
Ajiboye, who works with Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, says happiness exists wherever security is assured.
He reiterates that if there is peace in an environment, the people would be happy, adding: “When things are going the way they should go, when there are no killings here and there; automatically, happiness will be sustained.”
Ajiboye says that happiness is an expression of positive emotion or feeling; adding that a person is happy primarily because of the good things happening around him or her.
“But when things are not going the way they are supposed to go, there is every possibility that one’s happiness will nosedive.
“When the environment is not giving you what you expect, it will naturally affect your mood and when your mood is affected, it can lead to depression of the mind.
“This happens when somebody begins to have regular unhappiness and this may be due to environmental stress, insecurity, family stress and work stress, among others,” he adds.
Ajiboye claims that sustained depression or regular unhappiness can lead to some problems like depression and health problems like high blood pressure, particularly if such condition is allowed to persist for a long time.
“When one begins to replay a sad event in the mind, it will affect one’s happiness,” he says.
The psychologist stresses that if somebody does not have the ability to cope in the face of the current security challenges facing the country, he or she may not be happy.
Ajiboye, nonetheless, underscores the need for people to devise positive strategies of coping with the harrowing situation brought about by the current security challenges facing the country.
“Somebody should be able to think positively, no matter the situation, believing that things will become better and that no condition is permanent,’’ he says.
Besides, Dr Jacob Nwachukwu, the President, Blood Pressure Control Foundation Nigeria, advises Nigerians to cultivate the habit of being happy always, saying that such attitude will help in normalising the blood pressure despite the stark challenges of life.
He insists that happiness should be an everyday thing and not once in a while, urging the people to cultivate the habit of doing positive things that will make them and others happy.
“Being angry, quarrelsome will trigger some level of stress and even increase one’s blood pressure; as hypertension is the most common stress-related ailment which affects many people silently.
“But being over-happy cannot trigger blood pressure; instead, it will normalise the system,’’ he adds.
Nwachukwu particularly highlights the need for people to share their problems with their closest friends, instead of concealing them.
All the same, Mrs Ifeoma Maduabuchi, a widow, who notes that widows experience myriad of problems in their various localities, insists that happiness only exists where there is peace of mind.
“Some women, particularly widows, are suffering because they have no means of livelihood; hence they cannot afford hospital bills whenever their children fall sick.
“One day, I visited one of my sisters and I was overwhelmed by her situation; her baby was sick and there was no money to buy the prescribed drugs in the hospital; the baby died as a result of paucity of funds.
“Such things happen to widows because of their lack of money; most of them have nobody to cater for them and their families but if they have money, their standards of life will be a lot better,” she says.
Maduabuchi moans that majority of the widows cannot finance their children’s schooling, adding that some of them, out sheer desperation, allowed their female children to work as house helps.
She, therefore, appeals to the government and affluent Nigerians to support widows by empowering them effectively so as to enable them to take care of their families without much difficulty.
Maduabuchi says that the happiness of the hapless members of the society, including widows, will be considerably restored if the government can support and empower them.
All in all, analysts insist that happiness brings about good health and stress-free life in people, stressing that pragmatic efforts should always be made to be happy and make others happy. (NANFeatures)