Not a lot of people know that there’s a distinct difference between the two. And though both joy and happiness are two positive feelings which describe almost the same thing; what makes them so different is also what makes one more desirable than the other. They both pertain to gratification and blissful feelings, but the biggest difference actually lies in how long we get to cherish each emotion as well as what caused them.
What is Joy?
Joy may be described as the “long-term happy feeling” that everyone longs for. This is mainly what human nature craves for in the long run. It’s why we work, why we build a family, why we make plans for the future and so on. A joyous feeling would be heartfelt, calm, content and would be genuine from the most deepest parts of a person’s subconscious.
Joy isn’t triggered by objects, favors, gifts or material things. It is mainly brought by self-fulfillment, gratitude, love for others, love for one’s self or being loved in return, thankfulness and peace of mind. If one would take a closer look, these aren’t objects but instead, it’s almost like a state of being. Joy can’t be borrowed, stolen or purchased; but does that make it easier or harder to achieve?
This will greatly depend on the person. His capability to handle emotions and his outlook in life also contribute to this. A sample activity that can ignite joy is charity. People who care for the well-being of others tend to deliver actions associated with the saying “It’s better to give than to receive”. This gives them an inward satisfaction that gives the “warm-fuzzy feeling” (as stated in movies) when they help others.
What is Happiness?
That overwhelming feeling that gets people bursting in excitement is something that we most likely experience everyday is happiness. There’s nothing more delightful than an extra charge of endorphins to brighten someone’s day. They may or may not be aware that this is just a temporary feeling, but it’s fairly hard to say no to something we know that can make us happy.
Importance of Joy
Compared to achieving joy, it’s fairly easier to find ways to be happy. By simply asking ourselves a bunch of questions like “what do I want right now?” or “what do I want to do?”. Happiness caused by material, external actions, situations can only last for a short period of time.
Happiness ends when the person doesn’t appreciate the happiness’ source anymore.
Joy or Happiness?
Another good example is having a particular amount of money and choosing where to spend it on. Imagine you have two choices, you can either get the phone upgrade you really want or go on vacation. You felt like giving everyone a break but then again, all your workmates have new phones; so which will it be?
While some would choose to get that phone upgrade without hesitation, there would also be those who would think twice about it and even end up getting the vacation instead. It’s only a matter of time before you get tired of the new phone. The vacation however, not only gives you rest and relaxation opportunities but also brings your family closer. This will drive the same inward feeling of satisfaction as when you also consider other’s emotions in your decisions.
What decision did you end up with and how did it make you feel in the end?