Happiness can be elusive given the negative news of political and economic hardships as well as the pressures of living in today’s world, but at the Happiness Center, run by the Indian entrepreneur and healthy lifestyle expert , Akshay Jain, Sense of Peace and Harmony Can Be Achieved Through Alternative Medicine and Meditation, Reports Vanessa Obioha
At the end of 2021, Akshay Jain, an Indian entrepreneur who taught happiness and who is associated with the Art of Living Foundation, set up a health and well-being center: Happiness Centre.
The centre’s name often evoked activities associated with the state of happiness, such as getting gifts or playing games with friends, but the facility in a quiet area of Victoria Island, Lagos, offers therapies and techniques that can facilitate mental relaxation.
According to Jain, Managing Director of the centre, these therapies, if fully embraced, will help Nigerians adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Having lived in Lagos for over a decade, Jain is no stranger to the bustle of the city. Therefore, the Happiness Center is designed in such a way as to give everyone a state of peace and harmony. Its environment is surrounded by trees and plants to make room for interactions with nature.
Happiness means different things to people, but it’s basically about having a positive mindset.
“Happiness is a state of mind. It’s the nature of the mind,” Jain said during a recent encounter. “When the mind is stressed, it shrinks your awareness, but when you are happy, it widens. Stress is therefore one of the main culprits here. It takes you out of your nature and then all the negative emotions like anxiety and anger affect you now.
Indeed, in today’s world, happiness can be elusive given the negative news of political and economic difficulties as well as the pressures of life. Although there are many ways to achieve short-term happiness, such as drinking and smoking, Jain believes that one can regain a state of happiness if one intentionally practices relaxation of the mind. This, he says, is the objective of the Center du Bonheur.
“Everyone knows that drinking and smoking are bad for your health, but people indulge in it because of the short-term relief it provides. It is a form of escape from this stressed world. Happiness, however, connects you to your inner self to give you peace.
“The organization behind this center, Art of Living, has achieved great success around the world in spreading peace and happiness. The mission of the organization is to bring peace to eradicate violence and bring smiles to all the world.
Elaborating more on short-term happiness, Jain said that anything external or material can bring happiness, but since it is short-lived, it leads to a new pursuit of happiness.
“So we tend to live our lives in search of happiness. You do something for a day or two or anytime, and then you look for something else. So your happiness is somewhere in the future. But if you realize your nature is happiness, you can be happy and achieve whatever you want.
Contrary to popular belief that religion plays a vital role in happiness, Jain argued that it can be achieved through one’s mental state and lifestyle. Yoga, he says, is a way to have a positive mindset.
“Yoga is a way of life. It means the union of mind, body and spirit. It is reached by the certain knowledge of life. It is done through physical postures, breathing techniques and meditation. A combination of these elements helps us relax and focus positively, because when the mind relaxes, it is the beginning of experiencing positivity.
As Jain sees it, we experience negative emotions when our mind and nerves are over-stretched and the training effect makes our body stiff. Therefore, at the Center du Bonheur, one learns first techniques to relax the mind and then emotional control.
There are suitable courses and programs to achieve this. For example, the level one program is called the Happiness program where breathing techniques and relaxation of the mind are taught. Jain emphasized that the program is time tested and taught with the new knowledge researched and validated.
Jain and his team of professionals also help people adopt a healthy lifestyle through alternative medicine known as Ayurveda. Ayurveda, which means “science of life”, is a system of alternative medicine that has existed for over 5,000 years and originated in India. It is recognized as one of the best systems of traditional medicine in India. It is widely practiced in India and Nepal.
Relatively new to Nigeria, Jain said the practice is now formalized with universities in India teaching aspiring doctors Ayurvedic medicine. At the center there is an Ayurvedic doctor who takes care of patients suffering from different conditions such as those suffering from diabetes or arthritis.
Jain, however, ignored critics who question the credibility of Ayurvedic medicine. Having been introduced to alternative medicine in 2004 and seeing its benefits, as far as it is concerned, western medicine is constantly searching for solutions to problems. Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, he noted that research is continually being conducted to find the best vaccine to deal with the capricious coronavirus.
“I’m not saying Western medicine is bad. He has his own twist. If you fall, if you break your hand, you have to go for surgery. But there are certain kinds of diseases or lifestyle disorders, which can be solved by natural needs and Ayurvedic products and are much healthier.
He pointed out that there has been evidence at the center of people being treated via Ayurveda.
“We have seen so many cases of diabetes reversed. Very simple lifestyle changes. You start exercising and you have the right kind of food and at the right time, you sleep well. You see how deeply impacted the product is.
He continued, “There’s a reason to satisfy the logical mind with evidence, but human beings are such a complex structure that you don’t have all the answers today. We should be open to the traditions that have been passed down to us. The good thing is that it has no adverse effects.
Committed to spreading the gospel of happiness in Nigeria, for the first time, the Happiness Center marked the United Nations International Day of Happiness in Nigeria. The event was attended by Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed and representatives from the Office of the First Lady of Lagos State as well as Professor of Political Economy Pat Utomi who sits on the board of directors of the center.
“It was a good opportunity to create awareness, to inform on how we can have a better life with the knowledge of meditation and breathing techniques that affect daily life and lengthen your life. And second, to understand and live a healthy life through Ayurveda,” he concluded.
Estimate“Having lived over a decade in Lagos, Jain is no stranger to the hustle and bustle of the city. Therefore, the Happiness Center is designed in such a way as to give everyone a state of peace and harmony. Its environment is surrounded by trees and plants to make room for interactions with nature”