What Is The Difference Between Joy And Happiness

What Is The Difference Between Joy And Happiness

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What Is The Difference Between Joy And Happiness


When citing the difference between joy and happiness, one must first appreciate that the argument is a subjective one, based on theory of interpretation of the two, rather than fact. A cold hard translation of either does not exist.

Happiness has been the cause of great study and deliberation in both historical and modern day thinking. The great minds of Aristotle, Socrates, Confucius and the Dalai Lama have been put to much use trying to reason exactly what happiness is and how we achieve it. Similarly so has joy

So how do we actually define each word? What exactly is joy? Is it the feeling of ultimate happiness? Is it the term for long-lasting happiness or is it simply a deeper form of happiness? And again, is happiness merely a state, in fact, does it really differ from joy itself?

By using the definition that happiness is a choice and joy is an emotion or state, we start to see a difference emerge. Happiness can therefore be seen as active, whereas joy is passive.

If we choose to be happy, ie. actively pursue happiness through various means, then happiness itself becomes the outcome of, and the reason for, that action. This theory, as suggested by the likes of Aristotle and continued in modern day thinking with approaches such as Positive Psychology, sees happiness as more complex than something we purely feel. We can then define joy as a state of mind or feeling achieved, by numerous ways. It may be attained through an event that we experience or from something that we are told. In short, happiness is what we seek to achieve and joy is what we feel.

However there are still many who refer to happiness as a feeling or emotion too, and therefore does its definition get clouded with that of joy? In terms of emotion, the word happiness seems more to imply contentment and satisfaction, whereas joy suggests euphoria and elation. There is a strength of emotion connected to the word joy that is much greater than that connected to the word happiness. There is a rarity connected to joy. It is much harder to maintain constant feelings of elation, whereas achieving an overall happy state is more within reach.

However one chooses to define happiness and joy, a difference does seem to exist. Ultimately one should make it a goal to not only attain both, but to enable others to have both as well. They are wonderful things to experience, whether by choice or chance, and our goal should be to encourage the achievement of each as much as we can.

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What Is The Difference Between Joy And Happiness

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