A former President of the Association of Psychiatrists of Nigeria, Prof. Taiwo Sheikh, has urged Nigerians to embrace happiness to enhance their optimal mental well-being.
Sheikh, of the Psychiatric Department, College of Medical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Lagos.
He urged people to always share their thoughts with positive-minded people to boost their happiness and mental health.
The medical expert said that engaging in positive activities that give happiness while avoiding anger would help in promoting optimal mental well-being and prevent depression.
According to him, there is huge nexus between happiness and mental well-being.
He said that anger would produce ‘a physiological crash’, adding that the angrier one got, the more depressed one would become.
Sheikh said, ”Anger elevates blood pressure, increases the threat of stroke, heart diseases, cancer, depression, anxiety, and generally depresses the immune system.”
The psychiatrist, who noted that there could be no physical health without mental health, advised people to get themselves surrounded by positive-minded people in the interest of their mental well-being.
”Constantly surrounding yourself with positive people will help manage stress/depression. Buying expensive clothes or jewellery will not bring permanent happiness.
”If one is in a happy state, it means less trouble, stress, and better well-being. If one is unhappy, there will be depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and stress disorder,” he said.
According to him, depression is a significant problem that affects some youths and makes them become drug addicts.
”Drug addiction is being experienced due to the poor state of mental health and seeking temporary pleasure and satisfaction,” he said.
The psychiatrist also said that being happy had serious impacts on one’s level of productivity, adding that happiness could also impact relationships.
”We need to create time for relaxation and look beyond the economic situation of the country. We should also be positive in every bad situation,” he said.