“Don’t worry; be happy… when you worry, you make it double, so don’t worry; be happy”
Worrying is probably one of the biggest causes of health problems. Worrying worsens; Happiness heals. Doctors tell this all of the time to patients with almost every form of illness. If laughter is indeed the best medicine, then worrying is the worst malady. Worrying destroys the mind, body and soul. Worrying is a misuse of the human power of imagination. It is the pre-empting of a problem before it even arrives, so we suffer first in our thoughts, then again in reality.
From the placebo effect of the human mind, we witness the ability of our very thoughts to affect our immune system and body. You see, the human mind and its resultant thoughts are extremely powerful, much more powerful than most of us realize. Your very thoughts could heal you or kill you. We may hold the power of life or death for others in our tongue, but it is certain we hold the power of life or death for ourselves in our thoughts. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” Whatever occupies our thoughts, our body and soul tends to attract. This is the reason why people who obsess over a little problem get more problems, and those who are grateful for a little solution, get more solutions. The human mind is a rich, fertile soil and whatever seeds of thoughts we plant is bound to germinate and bear fruits. Bad thoughts bear bad fruits, and good thoughts bear good fruits.
But how can we not worry? The human mind is more prone naturally to observe threats and problems. It is so easy to worry; everything all around you is designed to inflict bouts of worries, from your television, to your social media platforms, to your workspace, to your family and everyday life. It is so easy in this day and age to cultivate the seeds of worry and fear in our hearts, that our lives soon become a bed of worries. Parents worry about their children; children worry about their parents. We worry about our jobs, our status, our health, about what others think of us, about death. Most of us wake up with worries, and go to bed worrying. We constantly deprive our mind, body and soul of peace.
What then is the solution? Sadly, there is no fix-all solution for worrying. It is extremely difficult to consciously direct one’s thoughts. The more you try, the harder it often seems. It takes discipline to master and tame the mind. For most of us though, our mind is an unruly beast that just roams and devours us from inside out. One solution though, might be to learn from those who truly seem easily happy and unbothered: toddlers.
Children tend to “mind their busyness”. They easily let go of the past and live fully in the gift of the present. Hence they are less filled with anxiety about the future, or depression about the past. Children make better user of their imagination in making themselves happy than for worrying. The older we get, the more attached we are to a view of how our lives is suppose to lead. Life becomes a chore, a task, an examination to worry and be anxious about. Children mind their busyness; they keep their minds busy with activities that bring them fun and happiness. We too must all “mind our busyness”. We must keep our minds busy with the activities we are passionate about. This is the remedy to worrying. But this is easier said than done.
Our society is more depressed more than ever; the statistics show us so. Suicide which used to be an abominable act, has become more common in recent years. A substantial amount of our society have become addicted to depressant and stimulants as coping mechanisms for their depression. Today, medicines like codeine, morphine, tramadol, rophynol, marijuana have become grossly abused by teenagers, undergraduates and young adults. And this reveals a lot about the mental health of our present society; we are severely depressed. Why shouldn’t we be? Unemployment in Nigeria is unlike anything the world has seen before. Our standard of living is unimaginably impoverished. The cost of living has kept on rising at an unprecedented rate. Social media doesn’t help matters; most of us spend our daily hours looking for things to depress us, instead of those that would impress us.
According to some studies, Nigerians were the happiest people on Earth before we became the poverty capital of the planet. As with most depressed people, we leave the roots of the problem and dwell in things that are supposed to bring us instant happiness; drugs and comedy. It is said by psychologists that people who laugh the most, at seemingly unfunny things, are the most depressed. Comedy have become some sort of a coping mechanism for us. Look at the Nigerian internet space; there are skits upon skits everywhere. Everyone is now an internet comedian. We are all trying to hide our sorrows underneath the laughs we feign. We all dey laugh laugh wey no dey reach belle. Again, this reveals a lot about the mental health of our general population.
We have become a broken, loveless society of competitors instead of contributors. Most of us are surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances, yet we are lonely. We have no means to express our true selves, so we individuals become depressed from carrying the weight of their problems alone. Most of us put on a mask with a fake smile while we are drowning in miles of heartache, because showing genuine sadness has become a crime unto our society.
So my child, you must make it your life’s mission to find the things and people you are passionate about, and when you do, you must mind your busyness. You must make better use of your imagination. You must show gratitude for the gift of the present. You must find your soul tribe that would see and appreciate the expressions and art from your heart. It is no crime to be sad, just don’t dwell on your sadness so as not to plant bad seeds of worry in your fertile mind. Remember, whatever we sow, we shall reap it fruits.
But nonetheless, whatever you do, whatever it is, “Don’t worry; be happy… cos when you worry, you make it double. Don’t worry; be happy.”