Mind 8 min read

What’s The Difference Between Joy Vs Happiness?

by Mindvalley January 1, 2019

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

You will find many different interpretations and views on the topic. After all, we all want to be happy. Or do we want to be joyful?

What’s in the root of the joy vs happiness debate? Are they really different from each other?

We’re going to dive into the differences between joy and happiness to solve the debate once and for all.

Today, we’ll answer:

  1. What is the emotion of joy?
  2. Are joy and happiness the same?
  3. What are the differences between joy and happiness?
  4. Are peace and happiness the same?
  5. What we can learn from the joy vs happiness debate?
  6. How can I be happy and joyful?

What Is The Emotion Of Joy?

If we want to understand the difference between joy and happiness, we must first define them.

So, what is joy?

Well, joy is a feeling of spiritual and emotional wellbeing. 

Sounds a lot like happiness, doesn’t it?

So, that begs the question: what’s the difference between joy and happiness?

Are Joy And Happiness The Same?

If you Google the word “happiness”, 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 to be synonymous?

Essentially, joy and happiness are two distinct forms of pleasant emotional states.

But they are not the same thing.

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.

  • Joy is an internal affair that is self-existent and does not depend on external factors.
  • 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.
  • Happiness is achieved through personal objects and experiences.

Joy is considered to be nobler, stronger and more resilient than happiness.

Happiness includes feelings of gratification, excitement, merriment, playfulness, amusement, and enjoyment.

And joy includes bliss, elation, ecstasy, exuberance, and euphoria.

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

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


Are joy and happiness the same?

Are Peace And Happiness The Same?

In the joy vs happiness debate, some ask if peace and happiness are also the same thing.

But now that we’ve covered some of the fundamental differences between joy and happiness, it should be easy to tackle this question.

Peace and happiness are sometimes used interchangeably, but these two concepts are quite different.

We know that happiness is an external feeling motivated by external circumstances.

Peace, on the other hand, is defined as freedom from disturbance. A state of tranquility and harmony.

Peace can be something felt on an individual level, but most often, peace is shared. Shared between community members and countries.

Peace and happiness can be entwined, but the circumstances from which they are initiated are different.

What We Can Learn From The Joy Vs Happiness Debate

So, to sum up, the differences between joy and happiness 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 the power of your own consciousness.
  4. Once you tap into the natural flow of joy that is everywhere in the universe, joy becomes the new normal for you.

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?

joy definition

How Can I Be Happy And Joyful?

Most human beings underestimate just how powerful their thoughts are in creating the world around them. ⁠

—Vishen Lakhiani, Author of Mindvalley’s Becoming Limitless Program

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 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.

Do you believe that you need to work hard to be successful?

Like most people, your answer is most probably ‘yes’. After all, it’s what we’ve all been brought up to believe.

The problem is that when you believe this, you start to lose yourself to the grind. You start to associate success with pain and struggle.

But What If You Didn’t Need To Suffer To Be Successful?

Wouldn’t That Be Far More Sustainable?

If That Sounds Good To You, Then...Join Vishen Lakhiani’s FREE Masterclass, Where He Shows You How You Can Attain Success Without Having To Suffer For It.

You’ll also learn,

The Myth of success, where Vishen reveals the ultimate myth of success that keeps us locked in mediocrity and prevents us from achieving our goals,

A simple daily practice that will allow you to notice more positive opportunities throughout your day. This will allow you to see just how malleable reality is, and how you can bend it in your favor.

Understand the Four Key Stages of Human Consciousness, and how to identify where you are today, so you can accelerate your personal evolution. Understanding which stage of consciousness you’re at will tell you how best to maximize your growth so you can accelerate your transformation!

Get Proven Tools To Instantly Awaken Your Limitless Potential On This Free Masterclass

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

by Mindvalley
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.

Related Articles