World Happiness Day: Expert Harps on Benefits of Spreading Happiness


Rebecca Ejifoma

It was to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people across the world that the United Nations set aside March 20th of every year as International Day of Happiness.

According to the UN, happiness habits and positive psychology practices have been associated with healthier minds and bodies, fewer strokes and heart attacks, better weight management.

It also attributed happiness to lower sugar levels, greater self-efficacy, immune function and cognitive capacity, reduced pain, anxiety and depression, better wound healing, and reduced inflammation among others.

It was to champion this cause that the Founder, Brookfield Centre for Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Ifeoma Monye challenged Nigerians to celebrate an entire day in happiness.

She told THISDAY: “Choose to be happy. Happiness is a choice. Make yourself happy. Do something for your own happiness. If you are not happy how can you make another happy?”

To further help Nigerians achieve this, the medical expert stressed on the need to listen to one’s favourite music; dance to it, even if no one is watching; and learn something new.

“Spread this happiness around. Deliberately make someone happy. Check up on someone; send a text; give a smile; be a solution,” says the expert.

While urging everyone to bask in his or her happiness, Monye charged Nigerians to celebrate others’ happiness, too.

With this year’s theme, ‘Happiness for All, Forever’, Monye noted that the practice of gratitude, writing down three things one is grateful for every day.

Monye, who is also the President Society of Lifestyle Medicine of Nigeria, enjoined Nigerians to adopt the seven daily happiness pills.

“Majestic Monday: appreciate the awesomeness of nature around you. Tuesday together: be intentional about connecting with people.

“Wonderful Wednesday: You are wonderful. Own your brilliance. Turnaround Thursday: Honour hope. Be determined to bounce back, don’t quit.”

Others she listed are Fabulous Friday: You are fabulous, believe in you and stay grateful; Sensational Saturday: enjoy the thrill of being alive, life is amazing; and Superlative Sunday: every day is the best day of your life, enjoy it to the full.

In her words, “Make time for self-care. Pamper you. Eat healthily with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits; make sure you get plenty of sleep, rest, relax and stay active. Connect with loved ones and appreciate the good things around you.”

Monye, however, pointed out that happiness is not attributable to the number of cars one has or the size of house one lives in or the expensive gadgets one possesses.

She defines: “Happiness represents feelings of joy, contentment, satisfaction and fulfilment. Happiness is found within. Our world is facing unprecedented challenges.”