How Can The Joy Vs Happiness Paradox Lead You To Extreme Happiness?

happiness versus joy

There’s a raging debate about whether joy and happiness are the same thing or different from each other. Is it “joy and happiness” or “joy vs happiness”?

You will find many different interpretations and views on the topic. However, it is natural for such abstract concepts like joy and happiness.

So, what’s in the root of the joy vs happiness debate? Are they really different from each other, or they just synonyms?

Are Joy And Happiness The Same?

If you Google the word “happiness” or look it up in any dictionary, you will find joy as one of the many synonyms listed. The opposite is also true.

If these two are different things, then why on earth do all the dictionaries consider them the same?

Well, to tell you frankly, joy and happiness are the same thing, superficially, and many people have never really considered them to be any different.

But, essentially, they are two distinct forms of pleasant emotional states. And there actually are some basic differences between the two.

What Are The Differences Between Joy And Happiness?

What are the differences between joy and happiness?

Theologically, spiritually, and even psychologically, joy and happiness have been viewed differently from each other for centuries.

Strikingly enough, the differences described in each of the disciplines are quite similar.

  • All of them consider joy to be nobler, stronger and more lasting than happiness.
  • Joy is an internal affair that is self-existent and does not depend on external factors. Whereas, happiness is external and fleeting. It depends upon external things, situations and experiences.
  • Joy is universal, whereas happiness is personal. Joy can be achieved by tapping into the universal fountain of joy and happiness through personal objects and experiences.

In light of this ancient knowledge, we can actually differentiate, or organize, all the emotions and feelings that we consider as happy into these two categories of happiness and joy.

In that case, happiness will include feelings like gratification, excitement, merriment, playfulness, amusement, and enjoyment.

And joy will include bliss, elation, ecstasy, exuberance, euphoria, and blessedness.

However, you should also remember that in day-to-day conversations, these two words are often used interchangeably and these two categories often overlap into each other.

So, it is the intentions of the speaker that you should really focus on.

Main Takeaways From The Joy Vs Happiness Debate

Are joy and happiness the same?

So, the most significant things we can learn from the differences cited above are:

  1. That we should consider the pursuit of joy rather than pursuing happiness.
  2. Joy is permanent and always accessible to us despite our external conditions. But for happiness to occur, you will need external stimuli.
  3. For happiness, you will need that new phone, new dress, new partner or a new job. But for joy, you just have to tap into your own power of consciousness.
  4. Once you tap into the natural flow of joy that is everywhere in the universe, joy becomes the new normal for you.
  5. And the most extreme form of happiness actually belongs to the category of joy.

When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.

― Rumi

Now, going beyond the joy vs happiness debate, let’s focus on the most practical question of all, how can we access the highest form of happiness, that is joy.

How To Achieve Lasting Joy

Now, there is no single route to lasting peace, joy and bliss. The journey of each individual will vary in many ways. However, there are some proven tools and techniques that all can follow to reach the pinnacle of happiness.

But the first and the most important thing to do is to acknowledge the fact that it all depends upon the state of your consciousness.

The more individual, divided and egoic the consciousness, the more attached it is to external circumstances. On the contrary, the more universal or higher the consciousness, the more it is free from the external.

So, no matter which practices you follow, it must contribute to raising the level of your consciousness toward becoming at one with the universal existence. Otherwise, lasting joy is not possible.

And when it comes to reaching higher levels of consciousness, there is no better tool available to humanity right now than Mindvalley founder Vishen Lakhiani’s Becoming Limitless program.

This quest is all that you need to gather comprehensive knowledge and learn effective practices about consciousness engineering and how to rise to the top.

So, where do you stand on the joy vs happiness debate? Share with us in a comment below!



Mindvalley is creating a global school that delivers transformational education for all ages. Powered by community. Fueled by fun.

We are dedicated to ensuring that humans live happier, healthier, and more fulfilled lives by plugging in the gaps that conventional education failed to teach us.

We do this by organising real-world events around the world and producing world-class quality programmes in several areas of transformation, including mind, body, and performance.

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