Difference Between Happiness and Contentment

Happiness vs Contentment
 

Even though most of us often consider happiness and contentment as synonymous, this is inaccurate because there is a difference between their meanings. Words such as happiness, contentment, joy, and elation all refer to positive emotions or states that an individual experiences, but they all carry specific meanings, which are different from one another. Happiness refers to a state of being happy or feeling pleasure. On the other hand, contentment refers to a state of being satisfied. The main difference between happiness and contentment is that, while happiness denotes an emotional state, which is more short term, contentment refers to a state, which is long term. Unlike happiness, contentment involves a calmness, which is very stable. Through this article let us examine some of the key differences between happiness and contentment.

What is Happiness?

Happiness can be defined as the state of being happy or else showing or feeling pleasure. Happiness is composed of a number of elements such as satisfaction, relationships, meaning in life, etc. When speaking of satisfaction, this can include the satisfaction that the individual gains in relation to his personal and professional life. If the person has achieved his goals and has a stable position in life, such a person is happier.

Relationships also play a key role when it comes to individual happiness. This is because human beings are social creatures who rely very much on bonds. If a person has family, good friends, a lover, peers, he is much happier. Also, the manner in which an individual sees life, or else his insight, can also be considered as a key factor of happiness. If the individual is materialistic, his happiness will depend on goals and achievements. However, a more spiritual person can have a different outlook on life, based on which his idea of happiness will be created. This highlights that happiness is very subjective.

Difference Between Happiness and Contentment

In Positive Psychology, psychologists focus on happiness. They believe that just as the study of mental disorders, the positive aspects of human life such as happiness should be studied in order to gain a balanced picture of the human mind.

What is Contentment?

Contentment can be defined as satisfaction. This cannot be equated with happiness because it is seen more like a basic requirement that leads to happiness. Unlike happiness, which usually involves moments of extreme joy or elation, contentment is much more long term. It can even be considered as a way of life. When an individual is satisfied with his life situation and accepts his condition, this creates an aura of contentment. In this sense, contentment involves enjoying the beauty of one’s life in a calm manner. Also, contentment is usually not influenced by external forces. If an individual is not content with his life, he can experience moments of joy and happiness, but these will last only for a short time.

Happiness vs Contentment

What is the difference between Happiness and Contentment?

• Definition of Happiness and Contentment:

• Happiness can be defined as the state of being happy or else showing or feeling pleasure.

• Contentment can be defined as satisfaction.

• Nature:

• Happiness is an emotional state that is temporary as it can come and go based on the situations that we face in life.

• Contentment is more of a way of life.

• Fading Away and Lasting:

• Happiness involves moments of joy, which fades away.

• Contentment includes a calmness that lasts.

• Connection between Happiness and Contentment:

• A person can be happy as well as content because happiness adds a bit more spark to an already satisfied individual.

• A person can be happy without being content, in which case there will be moments of happiness in a dissatisfied life.

• Durability:

• Happiness is short term.

• Contentment is long term.

• External Factors:

• Happiness is influenced by external factors.

• Happiness is very subjective.

• Contentment is not influenced by external factors.

 

Images Courtesy:

  1. Happiness by ISELAAJN (CC BY 2.0)
  2. Contentment via Pexels (Public Domain)