We have all heard that happiness is the best medicine but what exactly does that mean? There are simply times when it is so difficult to be happy: there is loss, pain and so many other things that this world throws at us and yet we are being told that happiness is the best medicine.
How can that be? Even in the scriptures, Proverbs 17:22,it says,” A joyful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.”. So there must be something there to it. Everyone can not be saying the same thing and I am not seeing.
“Happiness is a choice. You are the only person who can make you happy. You are as happy as you choose to be.”Rick Warren
Especially in this time of Covid-19, there is a need for joy or happiness because life as we know it has changed and we need to adapt to the the new ‘normal’.
Long gone are the days of interacting with friends and family over a glass of lemon mojito at Cafe Javas- my absolute favorite or meeting up at the local ‘kafunda’ aka dive for the most sumptuous stick of Pork with ebigenderako- basically everything: salsa, steamed cassava, roasted plantains, chili or we are off to acacia mall for a movie where truth be told, I am there for the after party which includes a lemon mint sorbet at Cafesserie- that thing is righteous!! Nope, times have changed and I have to change with it and I have to choose to be happy or joyful.
Happy Or Not?
What is being happy or joyful? You would not believe it but it is not as clear cut as we think. Happy is a state of being happy. Hahahaha!! That made me happy because I did not get it.
But according to psychology, Being happy comes from an external source and is short term and usually related to oneself, for example having just watched Chris Pine in Star Trek-hey, no judging !! while Joyful is an emotion of great happiness * uuuhh ,an expression of bewilderment* but let’s go on, joy comes from the inside. It is internal and is long term and is selfless and non materialistic for example graduating from my digital marketing class at The Innovation Village.
I’ll go on the edge and just say that both are needed. We need to be happy and joyful. It’s all about the short term and long term effects so what are those things that we can do to attain this right now? I don’t know about other people but Africans are a unique people. It doesn’t matter what has happened, be it death, loss- we will laugh about it, sing about it and dance about it.
I used to wonder why but I have now realized it is just our way of coping. Take for example I am sure you have seen the memes and videos that have gone out about the Ghanaian funeral dancers. In a time like this, that should not be funny but for some reason, it’s hilarious and to be honest, it’s makes one forget! Then the challenges that have come up- uuuhh social media!!! Don’t rush challenge, Utawaneza challenge, Shoes and clothes challenge.
I wonder what is coming next but when you think about it, it has taken our minds off the dire situation that the whole world has found itself in. And it has given us, well at least me, a glimpse of hope for our future- And Psychology today even confirms that happiness, joy, laughter even increases our immunity and we all know we need our immunity up in this time. So let’s be happy.
“Because I’m happy. Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof. Because I’m happy. Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth Because I’m happy. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you Because I’m happy. Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.”Happy~ Pharrell Williams
Happiness is different for each of us. For one, it could be cooking and eating a great meal, another it could be relaxing with a loved one and another, being alone in a quiet place, probably looking at the stars. We owe it to ourselves especially in this time to know what happiness is to us and to actively pursue it.
We owe it to ourselves to be happy. It’s not self-ish. It’s self-love and then we are able to spread it to those around us. So let’s choose to be happy. It’s the best medicine after all. And that’s who we are. This is me!