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Joy vs Happiness : 10 Key Differences

It’s common to be confused on the difference between joy and happiness because while their concept is similar, they’re not the same. Happiness comes from external factors such as material things, people, places, and experiences.

Meanwhile, joy is a more internal feeling that comes from being at peace with who you are and what you’ve achieved. Happiness is more linked to external factors so when something goes wrong, your happiness is also affected primarily. Having joy feels more secure and stable. In this article, we’ll be talking about joy vs happiness.

Is Happiness and Joy the Same Thing?

To put things in perspective, both these emotions have a similar concept, but they don’t come from the same source. Happiness comes from purely external factors, but this isn’t always a good thing.

People chasing happiness is the same reason people resort to things that make them feel good like alcohol and substances, which isn’t a good thing. When something changes externally, this causes recoil in your sanity and emotions, and this is also linked to happiness.

All of these things are happiness, including the feel-good feeling that relationships, friendships, traveling, and memories can give you. On the other hand, joy is something you have when despite things not going your way, despite things being uncertain, you feel security and peace with who you are.

The distinct difference between joy and happiness is that joy lasts so much longer than happiness ever will. You can feel joy even without having all these external factors, but you can’t have happiness without it. Joy comes from within so when you have this, nothing will break your peace and joy, even with things don’t go as planned.

This is also why it’s a much better and practical goal to reach a state of joy rather than happiness because happiness is both fragile and ever-changing.

10 Key Differences Between Joy and Happiness

1. Joy comes from within

Unlike happiness, joy comes from within so it isn’t affected by difficult circumstances or lack of relationships. When you have joy, you find it easier to be happy but you find it much difficult to be happier without joy. Joy is a state of mind so it’s quite difficult to be bothered or troubled when you’re in that state. This doesn’t mean you’re invincible, but you’re more peaceful.

2. Joy comes from morality

This isn’t to say that happiness comes from selfish intentions, but between the two of these, joy has more of a morality aspect. Happiness comes from the external sense so you’re more inclined to be materialistic when you strive to achieve happiness. You’re likely to feel more fulfilled when you strive for joy than happiness.

3. Joy is self-sufficient

Happiness enables you to depend on others to feel good and it mostly comes from your inability to be alone and stand on your own. Joy, on the other hand, encourages you to be independent and self-reliant. You don’t need an external source to make you feel good when you’re joyful all on your own.

4. Joy lasts longer

No matter how much you try, happiness is simply temporary. The more you try to chase happiness, the more likely you’ll disappoint yourself further. Joy is long-lasting and doesn’t rely on external sources. Joy is consistent since it comes from within you and doesn’t fluctuate according to external aspects.

5. Joy is more stable

You can never have full control over the outcome of your life and this is precisely why happiness isn’t a consistent thing you’ll have. Circumstances and people change so in that change, joy is stable since it comes from yourself. If you’re not at peace with who you are, then you won’t have joy. The concept is as simple as that.

6. Joy is a state of mind

Happiness is considered an emotion, while joy is a state of mind. Emotions are generally more unstable and ever-hanging, while mindsets are more consistent so this is why it’s better to strive for joy than happiness. Even if happiness momentarily feels good, this feeling doesn’t last.

7. Joy is purposeful

Since happiness is normally self-driven and dependent on external factors, it’s so easy to feel a lack of provision and direction when you chase for happiness. This is why people who search their entire lives for happiness end up losing themselves in the process.

8. Joy helps you find yourself

You discover who you truly are when you’re more joyful than just happy. Joy will force you to look inward and find out both the best and worst parts of yourself.

9. Joy helps you appreciate the present

Happiness is normally focused on the future moment, such as chasing careers, relationships, and material objects. While is okay to an extent, it distracts you from living in the present moment. This is also what causes such a negative turmoil in both your mind and heart.

10. Joy is your key to a peaceful life

When you have joy, you’re less anxious, afraid, and fearful of the future. Difficult situations will still enter your life, but you have better mental clarity in dealing with them.

Happiness, on the other hand, is easily connected to a life without purpose and meaning. This is why people often question if they’re really happy when in reality, they’re asking the wrong question. People should be more concerned about being joyful than happy.

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Final Thoughts

I hope this article was able to shed insight into everything on joy vs happiness. Happiness is ever-changing and you can’t achieve a state of perfect happiness, but you’ll feel more content when you strive for joy. Compared to happiness, joy is constant and stable.

You don’t feel the need to seek out external validation from others when you’re joyful because you feel complete all on your own, compared to happiness where you can buy all the things in the world and still not be contented with where you are.

This just goes to show true happiness comes from within, and not from external factors.

Rebecca