What's the difference between happiness and joy?
|Today I found myself thinking about what the differences are between happiness and joy. So, of course, I googled it and found this article:
I've always wondered what the difference was and have discovered that happiness is dependent upon what's "outside" as opposed to joy that's dependent upon what's "inside". I finally get it.
So I can say that I've experienced much happiness in my life, but not so much joy. All my life I've had bad feelings about myself. I always thought something was wrong with me, but couldn't quite put my finger on the reason. It would be much later in life that I'd find out that I was depressed. It was after the birth of my second child when my husband found me on the floor, holding our daughter, bawling. I couldn't begin to tell him why because I had no idea myself.
As a kid I struggled with making friends. However, I did make two good friends when I lived in Texas and we still communicate today via Facebook. But when my family moved back home to Illinois when I was sixteen, it turned my world upside down. I was able to make another two good friends. Unfortunately, we are no longer friends. So, sad to say, I don't really have a best friend. I've got some good friends, but not a best friend. I'd like to say my husband is my best friend, but that would not be accurate. We don't really talk much. But I digress.
I have many things to be happy about, like I have a loving husband, two beautiful girls, a home, a job, and vehicles to get us all to work and school. But joy escapes me. My depression sucks all the joy out of me. However, there are times when my heart is warmed, like when I see my husband doing things with our daughters like cooking, or when I see the girls doing something together without arguing, or when I get to spend quality time with my daughters. For example, they are on spring break and my youngest daughter went to spend some time with Grandma and Grandpa. So I took off of work on Friday so I could spend some time with my oldest daughter. We rarely get time just to ourselves. The other day my daughter texted me while she was at school that she got a B on her math quiz. I was so proud of her, but it warmed my heart that she found it special enough to let me know.
This site helped me to understand it all a little better:
I guess I don't feel close to God, which is my own doing. I haven't been to church regularly for a long time. I do listen to the local Christian station on the radio, when I listen to the radio. I haven't picked up a Bible in an extremely long time, but I have looked up a couple of passages. I pray often, not every day, but often. I notice things that seem to happen and I feel like they're gifts from God. So sometimes I am listening and other times I'm not. It's those times that I'm not that I regret.
Joy is what I'm looking for in my life. So I should probably start getting in touch with my spiritual side and getting a little more close to God. I know I feel better when I listen to the Christian music and am around those that are Christian. But I don't think you have to be a Christian to experience joy. After reading these articles I believe that joy is a sense of satisfaction and security. With my depression it's tough to remember to like myself. It's a conscious effort. Of course the medicine helps tremendously. Thank God for medicine. I am a mean person when I don't take my medicine. It really is a deep, dark, pit of a place to be.
It's even more difficult when you have a cynical spouse. I love him dearly, but he has a bad attitude about life in general. He lives by the practice and belief that if you focus on the worst possible scenario and it turns out better, then it's a plus. He doesn't have a lot of joy either. You can probably figure that out seeing as he's so cynical. I'll have to ask him about what he thinks the difference is between joy and happiness and see what he says.
Have you ever been around someone who's joyful? What about anyone who's happy? I've been around both and I feel like I can tell the difference between the joyous person and the happy person. The joyous person seems to be most confident no matter the situation. The happy person is just ... happy.
Dictionary.com gives the following definitions for happiness and joy.
1. the quality or state of being happy.
2. good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
adjective, happier, happiest.
1. delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing:
to be happy to see a person.
2. characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy:
a happy mood; a happy frame of mind.
3. favored by fortune; fortunate or lucky:
a happy, fruitful land.
1. the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation:
She felt the joy of seeing her son's success.
2. a source or cause of keen pleasure or delight; something or someone greatly valued or appreciated:
Her prose style is a pure joy.
3. the expression or display of glad feeling; festive gaiety.
4. a state of happiness or felicity.
People use happiness and joy interchangeably but I think that joy is a deeper emotion. It goes much farther than just being happy. It's something you feel deep down in your soul.
I hope that one day, I'll be one of those people who you can look at and see the joy.