20 March 2019

Nigeria: World Happiness Day - Sadness Causes Premature Ageing - Psychologist

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Happy Nigerians - happy child.

Adedotun Ajiboye, a Principal Clinical Psychologist with Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, says happiness prolong life while sadness could lead to premature ageing.

Ajiboye said this in an interview in Abuja to commemorate the International Day of Happiness.

This year's theme is: "Happier Together: Focusing on what we have in common, rather than what divides us".

He said from a mental health perspective, happiness could be classified as positive or healthy emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.

"An individual will experience good mental and emotional wellbeing when happiness or joy is given a chance consistently.

"Many studies have linked positive emotions like happiness with better health, longer life and better quality of life.

"On the other hand, negative emotions such as chronic anger, worry, and hostility increase the risk of developing heart disease, as people react to these feelings with raised blood pressure and stiffening of blood vessels," Ajiboye said.

He said it was highly necessary for all individuals to priorities happiness above sadness or any negative or unhealthy emotions.

Ajiboye however advised Nigerians to cultivate a life full of joy, adding that one should start every day with positive intention.

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"Choose to be joyous despite all odds. Joy is a function of yourself not your environment.

"Foster healthy living practices. Don't eat or do or drink what will negatively impact on your health. When you are not healthy you become sad.

"Live a purpose driven life. Determine your character strength and explore ways to use them to help others," he said.

Ajiboye also said individuals should ventilate their feelings, saying one should get rid of what make you sad and share burden with someone that could help.

"Develop healthy financial activities. When you lack money, naturally happiness may leave you. Be creative and use your God given potential to make money.

"Create and maintain strong and supportive relationships in your home, school, workplace, religious settings and community, among others.

"Be connected to God, the real source of joy," he said.

NAN reports that International Happiness Day is celebrated worldwide every March 20 and conceptualised and founded by UN Special Advisor, Jayme Illien, to inspire, mobilise and advance the global happiness movement. (NAN)

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