Difference Between Joy and Happiness

Joy vs Happiness

Though the words Joy and Happiness are alike, there are some differences between the two terms. These two words can often be confusing due to the similarity in their meanings. Joy can be defined as excessive happiness because the term Happiness can be viewed as a pleasurable moment for an individual. When paying attention to the definitions, the difference is minimal as both refer to a certain level of contentment or happiness. So let us try to distinguish the two through a different manner. Strictly speaking there is some difference between the two words, though it is not very apparent. One of the main differences between joy and happiness is that joy is inexplicable because, happiness is explicable. This article attempts to highlight the differences between the terms joy and happiness through an understanding of each term.

What is Joy?

Joy is the state of mind that cannot be easily explained but only be experienced. If a person undergoes a kind of feeling, that is unworldly in character then he is said to be joyous. Joy is something above contentment. It is a unique experience. Joy results, when a person listens to religious discourses or talks relating to God and his powers. It is a kind of transitory experience that comes and goes. It does not remain permanent. There is a tendency to remain in joy during deep sleep or slumber. This is because the mind becomes totally inactive, and it rests during deep sleep. Hence, a particular kind of joy is felt by the person who is in deep sleep. Philosophers describe joy as a mental condition where, you become one with the Almighty. The mind does not think about anything impure during the joyous state. This highlights that the term joy is often associated with religion-related activities. It is similar to a state that a person embarks upon when he is pure in thoughts, words and actions. For an example, a person who goes for a religious sermon might feel a sense of calm and happiness at the end of it. This is joy. Now let us pay attention to Happiness.

Difference Between Joy and Happiness- Joy

What is Happiness?

Happiness can also be viewed as a state of mind, but this can often be easily explained unlike in the case of Joy. Unlike Joy, which cannot be equated with contentment, Happiness can be equated to contentment. Happiness is felt or experienced when something that is beneficial to you happens. For example, you will become happy if you win a lottery of some thousands of dollars. It is interesting to note that happiness too does not last long. It is also transitory in character. Happiness comes to us in various forms at different times. For an example imagine a student who passes an exam with flying colors, he feels happy of his achievement. It comes to people of all ages and has to be understood as a state of mind. We do not usually consider happiness as a unique experience as in the case of Joy. People often believe that happiness is the key to a good life. When a person is happy with his life, and his abilities there is a high probability for him to lead a good life.  This does not necessarily mean that the person is equipped with all the wealth, fame and achievement, would be happy. Happiness has to be understood  more like a state that allows a person to have a positive outlook.

Difference Between Joy and Happiness- Happiness

What is the Difference Between Joy and Happiness?

  • Joy is the state of mind that cannot be easily explained but Happiness can be explained.
  • Both Joy and Happiness are transitory in nature and are only temporary.
  • Happiness can be equated to contentment whereas joy is something above contentment.
  • Joy results, when a person listens to religious discourses or talks relating to God and his powers but Happiness comes when a person benefits from something.

Image Courtesy:

1.Jumping_for_joyb by Cat from Sevilla, Spain [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2.”Balloons of Happiness” by Egor Gribanov from St. Petersburg, Russia – [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons 

  • http://www.self-esteem-tips.com/ Self Esteem Tips

    Joy is a wonderful gift that we have been given. It seems that we focus
    so much on circumstances that joy is never experienced. Yes,developing
    the ability to recognize and feel joy is a freeing experience. A
    technique taught by Dr. Robert Anthony called flip switch is something
    that I use to develop the ability to recognize joy. After one reads
    this article they should know they can have joy. Thanks for explaining
    the difference between happiness and joy.