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The Difference Between Trying To Be Happy and Experiencing Joy

Do you often find yourself trying to be happy but find that every attempt is unsuccessful?  Maybe you have tried buying the latest extravagant luxury item, started seeing a fascinating new person, or got offered the job of a lifetime, and it felt great in the moment, only to slip away fast enough for you to be left in a volatile slump.  After those wonderful things happened in your life, you were probably puzzled as to why you could not be happy long-term.  The reason behind this, is that happiness itself is temporary.  We have a misconception that our desire is to be happy when what we truly are craving is overall joy.

Trying To Be Happy vs. Joy

Moments of happiness are commonly displayed as a result of life’s affairs and external factors.  Trying to be happy is a constant endeavor.  What is joy, then?  Joy is something that will stay with us, and that comes from within us.  It is composed from internal satisfaction or as a peace of mind.  Through acceptance, serenity, appreciation, and mindfulness, we can attain joy.

In appreciation especially, comes gratitude.  When we find ourselves looking more at what has been bestowed upon us, we are able to be happy and relish in the fact that we have it, instead of being agitated with what someone else has or what we clearly do not have ourselves, which will awaken greed to over power us with the compulsion of wanting more.

The true essence of joy can be felt when we are relating to another human being, and further developing the bond between the relationships.  The ability to listen to another person and embark in an experience together is shown to elevate our mood, causing us to be happy.  Because relationships are not stagnating and grow over time, having them woven in your life can in turn create joy. Experiences tend to give us more pleasure than any materialistic item could ever amount to.  Anything that can be purchased will only fill the void of joy in your life temporarily.

Living in the present
Sometimes we can get so sidetracked with a quest to be happy, or even create a life of everlasting joy, that we miss out on everything in between.  How many times have we been more focused on the next day, the next week, or even the next year instead of in the present?  Not being conscientious of the current time is known to contaminate any hope we have in feeling joy.

Is life already meaningful or do we have to make it meaningful in order to be happy?  When we don’t feel happy, it can seem pretty meaningless.  If that’s how you feel, you may need to put yourself out there more.  Giving back and helping others in society can improve your mood, as well as keep you busy.  Being on-the-go and productive allows us to make a difference, however little, by getting certain tasks done.

Joy is a beautiful feeling that everyone should be experiencing throughout life.  Trying to be happy by filling our lives with materialistic items will not equate to joy, despite the temporary sensation of pleasure.  When we take steps to looking at life from a new perspective, we are able to live a joyful life.

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