Happiness vs Joy: What is the Difference?

A Life Full of Happiness or A Life Full of Joy?

Many people experience both happiness and joy, but in great differences. Which feeling will help you live an uplifting life?

Life of Happiness:

External happiness revolves around the people we surround ourselves with, the events that occur in our lives, the thoughts that go through our brains, and the things around us. When we try to create environments that encompass this feeling, we tend to have short-term fulfillment. This can then lead to our happiness diminishing because we are relying on the things around you to create it. Relying on the people and things around you for fulfillment can certainly have its benefits, but eventually, if those things happen to change, then your happiness is stake.

Life of Joy:

“It’s wonderful to discover that what we want is not actually happiness. It is not actually what I would speak of. I would speak of Joy. Joy subsumes happiness. Joy is the far greater thing.”

– Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Right now, I am in the middle of reading, “The Book of Joy“. Within the first few chapters, it talks about various feelings associated with joy. To the right, I have listed some of the feelings that book mentioned. As the book goes along, it talks about the natures of how to feel joy and some of the obstacles that are faced.


How we can support a life full of joy:

  • Self Care
  • Become more Thankful
  • Practice Forgiveness
  • Reconnect with Nature
  • Deal with the sadness that blocks the joy
  • Seek the good in others


All of these things can really help us to feel fulfilled in our lives. Relying on the people around us for our happiness can be harmful to ourselves seeing that people, places, and things are all temporary. If we rely on temporary things to make us happy, we will never live a fulfilled life.  Instead of looking to the things around you, look to the things inside of you. Look at yourself and think about how you yourself can make yourself happy. Happiness starts with you.

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