Healthy Habit Hack # 30: Joy V Happiness
How do you feel right now? Deep down inside? Are you happy with how you look & feel?Are you happy where you live, where you work or with your relationships? Are there things you would like to change? Are you happy with yourself? This article is about the difference between having joy and feeling happy, I pray it serves you well.
Joy is something that is different from happiness. I first learned of this while in church listening to a very wise Pastor. Paster Dingle taught this lesson, which has stayed with me and helps me live a better path filled with hope. Joy in the bible he shared is NOT an emotion. Happiness is an emotion that is temporary and connected to a person, place or thing— it is temporary. Joy is an ATTITUDE of the heart.
Let’s start by defining them:
a feeling of great pleasure and happiness: tears of joy | the joy of being alive.
• a thing that causes joy: the joys of Manhattan.
verb [ no obj. ] literary
rejoice: I felt shame that I had ever joyed in his discomfiture or pain.
adjective (happier, happiest)
1 feeling or showing pleasure or contentment: Melissa came in looking happy and excited | [ with clause ] : we’re just happy that he’s still alive | [ with infinitive ] : they are happy to see me doing well.
• [ predic. ] (happy about) having a sense of confidence in or satisfaction with (a person, arrangement, or situation): I was never very happy about the explanation | I can’t say they looked too happy about it, but a deal’s a deal.
• [ predic. ] (happy with) satisfied with the quality or standard of: I’m happy with his performance.
• [ with infinitive ] willing to do something: we will be happy to advise you.
• (of an event or situation) characterized by happiness: we had a very happy, relaxed time.
How to Achieve Happiness and Joy
Happiness is a blurred emotion. It can mean different things to many people and varies based on an individual’s life experiences, relationships, biological make-up, and many other factors. Most of us will agree that happiness is an emotional state of well-being defined by positive feelings ranging from contentment to intense joy.
People strive to apply personal development methods to seek answers about what happiness is and how it can be attained in their life. There is documentation and studies that show happy people are physically and emotionally healthier than unhappy ones. There’s even evidence suggesting that individuals can increase their level of happiness with actions like exercising to release endorphins. The mere act of planning special events, such as a trip or special occasion in the future, increases one’s perceived happiness. It is also well known that various practices have been associated with happiness, such as eating well. Health Psychologists view mood disorders like depression, through a bio-psycho-social model, meaning there is no single cause. Biological, psychological, and social factors all contribute to someone’s emotional state. This model suggests that everyone can benefit, in varying degrees from habits and practices identified by health psychology.
Interestingly, studies have found that acquiring money, education, a big house or an expensive car do not affect happiness levels as much as we would like or might expect. Many different types of researchers have studied those who win the lottery and have found year after year, that people who have won are no happier than those who did not have this experience. This phenomenon is called hedonistic adaptation and suggest that everyone has a baseline level of the happiness emotion. The effects of happiness are temporary, and people tend to revert to their baseline level after they have received something external or materialistic in nature.
The effects of happiness are temporary, and people tend to revert to their baseline level after they have received something external or materialistic in nature.
These baseline levels of happiness vary and can be attributed in part to genetics as shown by researchers who study the different temperaments of infants. However, there are techniques and behaviors that people can practice to increase the baseline level, and attitudes can be adjusted because challenges along the way can be viewed as being opportunities to learn and grow.
—Being joyful requires feeling connected to other people in life, with nature, by appreciating the arts, and it requires an acceptance of life, as it is, in the present. Sometimes life does not treat us well, financial devastation, becoming ill, a divorce, developing a chronic illness, becoming disabled, death of a loved one, or adapting to growing older. These transitions or challenges are all aspects of life, and we all will experience them in varying degrees until the day we die. Some believe that joy is a conscious commitment to be happy, to have a sense of contentment for the moment, despite life’s challenges. Joy is an internal lasting emotional condition.
Tips to feel more Joyful
Choosing to Smile and consciously deciding to have a good day induces endorphins and other happy chemicals in the brain. Nothing can dampen your mood when you know the techniques involving how to bring on joy. Everyone can indeed develop inner joy. Although temporary practiced frequently throughout the day and on a daily basis, has been shown to increase the one’s baseline happiness level and bring about the more consistent feeling of Joy.
Meditation and Imagery. According to research, simply imagining that you have received something you wish for will improve your happiness. Although, imagining or wishing you had something is very temporary, with practice, meditation and becoming mindful in the spiritual sense will bring about lasting joy. Taking the imagination to a manifesting level is a richer topic, to be discussed in a future blog on MANIFESTING.
Positive Thinking or making it your goal to think positively often brings happiness at the surface level quickly. Adopting a positive attitude can indeed improve the mood and bring on temporary happiness. Regardless of the problem, situation, or circumstance, people do get to choose whether they want to feel happy and joyful, or depressed and sad. The key is to practice this technique and make it a daily goal. Start each day with positive thoughts. Smile upon something you feel grateful for. Practice recognizing the simple pleasures in life.
Feeling Grateful, according to research, about what you do will have is a deeper emotion. Consciously practicing or focusing on what you have in life will increase your baseline level and bring on the lasting feeling of joy. Feeling grateful for your health, employment, family, friends, home, etc., basically makes people feel content.
Notice Immediate Surroundings Consistently stopping and noticing the positive pieces of the immediate surroundings will consistently increase awareness and increase that baseline level to feel consistent joy. Stop….Ask yourself, “What is pleasurable about this moment”?
Become A Volunteer or Support A Cause Practicing random acts of kindness. Helping others increases the endorphin like chemicals in the brain. Becoming active in a cause helps people feel in control or empowered, especially when facing a difficult life challenge.