Happiness vs. Joy

What is happiness? What is joy? Is there a difference? I believe there is. To me, happiness is a temporary feeling. For example, I might feel happy when I eat an ice cream sundae. This however, does not mean that I have joy. Joy is the more permanent notion that basically follows us throughout our lives. To put it in perspective, people who are depressed do not have joy. They may have temporary moments of elation but nothing consistent. To sum it up we should aim for joy instead of just happiness. So how do we get to that consistent state of euphoria? The key is basically to keep doing things that make you happy. Consistent happiness leads to consistent joy. For example, if you are in a career that you are satisfied with, then you will have joy. If you are not in a career field that you enjoy you might have moments of happiness but nothing more. Joy comes from doing this that make you fulfilled. Although, I just meant that being in the right career can bring you joy, it is not the sole giver of joy. There are so many wealthy individuals with prestigious jobs who are depressed, and lack inspiration. Money does not and can not give you happiness. Why do you think that the kids in developing countries always appear so joyful? This is because they see more to life than the materialistic elements.They are just content to be alive and  healthy. Joy comes from accepting your life for what it is. Its all about being grateful. If you are a Christian, when you thank God for  all your blessings you will reach a new peak of elation. Even if you are not religious you can still be thankful to the universe for allowing you to live another day on earth. One way to put your blessings into perspective is to write a list of all the things you are thankful for. When you have a visual of all the things you are grateful for you will realize that your life is not so bad after all.  My family had this thanksgiving tradition where we would take beans or some small object and put a bean in a container for everything we were grateful for.  By the time we were finished the jar would be full.

Another way to have joy is to take care of your body. Your body is part of your holy trinity. I know its pretty deep. Your holy trinity, is your mind, body, and soul. So be mindful of what you put in your mouth. Food is supposed to be fuel. It gives you the energy you need for the day. I promise you if you start eating healthier your body will thank you for it. Not only will you have more energy, your entire mood will be altered because you will not have that sluggish, lethargic feeling. Also limit your alcohol intake. Yes, a small amount of wine is good for digestion and has some nutritional value, but the bad outweighs the good when it comes to alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant which means that it slows down the messages traveling between the brain and body. You might feel “cool” while you’re drinking it but in reality it is only  going to make you feel worse and uncoordinated. Furthermore, taking care of your body means exercising. Yes, you might feel lazy but when you exercise feel good endorphins are released. Studies have shown that people who exercise tend to have less cases of depression and overall happiness. Continually, how do you make your soul happy. Your soul is your innermost being. It is your spiritual entity.  People who are religious or spiritual tend to be more content with life. So this is a perfect justification to pray or meditate and engage in some form of worship. Hopefully, you will see a change in your joy level if you follow these ideas. That’s all I have for today. Thanks for reading.

Sincerely,

Abisola