The United Nations (UN) World Happiness Day is a day observed and recognized annually on the 20th of March. The United Nations celebrates the International Day of Happiness as a way of recognising the essence and importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world; which seem to elude a large number of persons living in the world today due to the seeming hardship experienced by people.
In a bid to promote overall Happiness of people around the world and to ensure the general wellbeing of individuals, the United Nations came up with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals which seek to end poverty, reduce inequality and protect our planet which are major factors that lead to well-being and happiness.
The theme for 2019 world happiness day is: “1Happier together, focusing on what we have in common, rather than what divides us”.
This seeks to accentuate the fact that everyone wants to be happy and people are happier when persons are together and it also seeks to emphasise on what brings people together as humans rather than on what divide us.
In commemoration of the world happiness day 2019, NOIPolls reflects on findings from its Personal Wellbeing Index – PWBI Q4 2018, which highlighted the level of satisfaction of Nigerians on various aspects of their lives. Overall there was a marginal decline in the PWBI of Nigerians to stand at 61.5-points from 62.89-points in Q3 of 2018. Nevertheless, it is worthy of note that amidst the low satisfaction of Nigerians on their economic situation and standard of living, some of the key factors which are pivotal in determining the level of happiness continue to remain above average as revealed by the poll. These key components include Religion (88.37-points), Social Interaction (75.9-points), Physical Health (73.5-points) and Personal security (57.9-points). Thus, Nigerians have continued to be happy people despite the seeming economic, security and other social challenges they experience on a day to day basis.
Furthermore, social interaction which provides an overall feeling of connectivity to society is one of the indices that Nigerians keep averaging high points in the PWBI findings. This contributes to the happiness of Nigerians alongside their personal health; without which isolation, decreased self-esteem and shorter lifespan may be prevalent.
The findings on PWBI can be further corroborated by the World happiness index which ranks Nigeria 91 in 2018 moving four steps up from the previous ranking of 95 in 2017, in their global happiness ranking. 2 The global body uses factors like GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption in order to rank countries.
Finally, happiness is critical for optimum performance of the individual in every walk of life. Thus, to further improve the wellbeing of Nigerians which then translates to happiness, it is pertinent for the government to focus its efforts in providing basic amenities like road, power, hospitals etc which is evidently lacking in the Nigerian societies. This can then translate into overall economic and political gains for the country as well as an improved PWBI of Nigerians.