Viewing happiness as a Nigerian
I did some surveys on twitter to understand how most Nigerians view happiness. I came to a few conclusions.
Nigerians mostly view happiness as social status, reaching a certain place in life, having a lot of money if not more, being able to afford anything and the list keeps ongoing.
A few questions people had difficulty or inconclusive answers to were as follows:
Can you be happy all the time?
Let’s say you attain the social status you craved, now what?
Can money buy happiness?
What does happiness mean to you?
Before we go into the details explaining what happiness is, let look at what isn’t happiness for a better understanding.
“Happiness is like butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder”Henry david thoreau
Happy isn’t a state of mind
It’s believed that every individual has a level of happiness. Psychologists refer to it as a set-point theory of happiness. It varies for each individual based on the environment that they grew up and the life experiences they have had so far in life.
Most at times when you receive a salary alert/twitter giveaway alert, news of your loved one putting to bed, gift and so on, you would feel a level of increase in your current state of happiness. After some period of time, it returns back to it’s set point.
Equally the same when you received news of losing a loved one, your level of happiness decreased, creating a sad feeling. After a certain period, it returns back to it’s set point.
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Does more money mean happiness?
“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”Franklin D. Roosevelt
During my survey on twitter, most Nigerians if not all agreed that money is their source of happiness. A lot of Nigerian live below the poverty line which makes it hard to be happy.
For freelancers and entrepreneurs, the process of earning money gives them happiness rather than the money itself.
According to thriveglobal.com, researchers found that having more money directly increases life satisfaction. Nevertheless, after a certain period of time, the impact it has on happiness diminishes. And those with little money felt happier with increased earning.
Yet, money is needed to maintain the level of happiness(set point theory of happiness) or to keep it afloat.
What does happiness mean to you?
“Happiness is being contented with what you have, living in freedom and liberty, having a good family life, and good friends.”Divyanka Tripathi
In Nigeria, people live with lots of expectations, either from people or themselves. Life isn’t a destination but rather a day to day journey.
Carrying a lot in the heart weights down your happiness and can disrupt chemical imbalance which could lead to depression.
Happiness is the ability to overcome negative emotions, seeing positive in the worst scenario. The ability to connect and affect others positively. A sense of well-being, joy, or contentment.
Your happiness simply means how contented you are with your life, how you interact with your family and friends. How you allow your day to day affects you.