Experts say happiness has direct relationship with well-being

Nigeria's first Commissioner for Happiness, Mrs. Ogechi Ololo

As the world celebrates the annual March 20 UN International Day of Happiness, health practitioners advise patients to make conscious effort toward their healing, saying there is huge relationship between happiness and general well-being.

Conceptualised and founded by philanthropist, activist, statesman and prominent UN Special adviser Jayme Illien, the day is celebrated to inspire, mobilise and advance global happiness movement.

In 2011 when Illien brought the idea of creating new global day of awareness to senior UN officials, he successfully campaigned to unite global coalition of UN member states and secured the endorsement of then Secretary-General, Ban Ki moon.

Consequently, March 20 became a UN observance day known as International Day of Happiness.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who interviewed some stakeholders on the day’s celebration in Abuja on Tuesday reports that health workers, including psychologists, say love, peace and joy are essential for general well-being.

A social psychologist, Dr. Ruben Okpai, said happiness was mental or emotional state of well-being, which could be defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

He told NAN that “the inner joy that comes as happiness has healing power to the body.

“It is a thing of joy when it was reported recently that Nigeria is the sixth happiest country in the world.

“It shows that whatever our challenges are, it does not affect our joy and happiness.”

According to him, a joyful person is capable of making quality decisions and also avoid falling sick.

He explained that if someone was generally happy, it would show in whatever endeavour he or she embarked upon and likely to make less mistakes.

Okpai, who runs a centre for people with disabilities, says the physical body and the spirit
work together.

He advised that people should desire to be happy always to be able to relate with others.

A social health worker, Dr Philip Obi, says happiness is the totality of the body, it shows the level of functionality.

According to him, a joyful person is capable of doing great things and impacting knowledge in others.

He advised people to visit places that make them happy and avoid things that make them unhappy.

“For your health sake, happiness has the power to heal sicknesses and prevent falling sick," he said.

Dr. Racheal Ogidun, a family physician, says happiness supports cognitive reasoning and coordination.

She added that many illnesses could be treated through inner happiness, saying “for instance, women expecting to be pregnant are advised to think less, think positive and be happy.” (NAN)

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