The terms happiness and joy are almost synonymous, but experts say that although both terms describe pleasurable feelings, they are in fact different. Happiness is described as an emotion through which one experiences contentment and satisfaction ranging from bliss to intense pleasure. Happiness is usually tied to experiences in our lives. For instance, if you get a promotion you will be very happy until the excitement of the promotion dies off or until something negative takes place.
Joy, on the other hand, is more of a state of being. Being a joyful person means that you find contentment, peace and happiness irrespective of circumstances in your life. I have come to learn that targeting joy in your life is better than looking to be happy. Many of us sadly confused happiness for joy and we find ourselves trying to achieve the two using quick fixes such as drugs, alcohol, addictive foods, extreme sports and other activities that give you that high of excitement. But once things go back to normal, you lose the sense of calm, serenity and joy because you never really had it in the first place.
So how do you attain joy and ultimately live a more fulfilling life despite the circumstances?
- Learn how to quieten your mind
Worry is the first killer of joy. Life is uncertain as we have a natural inclination to control situations. Whether you use meditation, turn to prayer and religion, it’s important to find a way to relax your mind, and nourish your soul and spirit. When your heart and mind are at peace, you will find joy.
- Avoid obsession with the social media
Unfortunately, we are living in a world where social media has become an integral part of our personal and professional life. However, it is also very addictive. Many people spend hours a day on social media as a way to stay excited. Ultimately, when you’re cut off from it, you almost go into a depressive state and that’s not healthy or normal. If you can’t eliminate social media from your life entirely, try and limit the amount of time you spend on it. Look for other ways of self-motivating such as reading a good book, exercising, meeting up with friends, etc. Remember, more often than not, what is floated on social media is inaccurate and sensational. You cannot measure your life based on what you consume from it.
- Be content
If you’re living your life the best way you can, putting your best foot forward, then be happy with it. So often we get caught up in the rat race. We want the big job, the promotions, the cars, the mansions, the big life and in pursuit of all these material things we lose the most important things in life. It’s good to be a millionaire, but what’s the value of all the millions if you don’t have people to enjoy them with? Be grateful for what you have, even as you work hard for more. When you are content, you have joy and peace of mind and this puts you in a better place to work for more and achieve greater things.