How do YOU experience Joy?

Do you know what the difference is between experiencing happy and experiencing joy? Did you even know that there is a difference? Well, there is, and it’s a mighty big difference!

You’ve all heard before that “happiness comes from inside you.” Technically, that’s true. But the meaning people take from that is very different than how it was intended. Happiness comes from inside you because you have the capability inside you to experience it!

According to, both joy and happiness are positive and desirable emotions where a person has a feeling of being satisfied. These feelings are based on certain reasons, and the nature that causes that particular feeling can differ.

Joy comes from the inner-self of a person, and is connecting with the source of life within you. It is caused by something really exceptional and satisfying. The source of joy is something or someone greatly appreciated or valued, and it is not only about oneself, but also about the contentment of those people whom you value the most.

Happiness is an emotion experienced when in a state of well-being. The state of well-being is characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happiness is simply the state of being happy. It may be caused by fortune, luck or various other pleasures that range from person to person. Happiness is a result of something that is outside of you, and gained by observing or doing that particular thing. Social networks and human relationships are the most important correlation with happiness. Happiness spreads through relationships like friends, siblings, partners, neighbors etc.

Happiness may be momentary, as it is a result of short-term contentment; but joy, being related to the inner self, is long lasting. Happiness simply pleases a person, while joy brings warmth to that person’s heart, and brings contentment to one’s heart.

Happiness comes from outside, while joy from within, and with this attitude of joy, the person is in a state of grace. Joy is an extension to happiness. It is a continuous state of happiness, and a positive emotion. It is not merely a fleeting thing, like happiness.

Happiness can also be characterized as being materialistic, and rests more on worldly pleasures, while joy is a state derived from the emotional well-being of a person.

Here’s an example that might make it easier to understand the difference: Someone near and dear to you has been eyeing something he or she would really like to have but will never buy for him/herself (it might be a matter of finances or maybe a feeling of being frivolous). So for this person’s birthday or at Christmas, the gift you give is exactly that item. When the gift is opened, the recipient is going to feel a great deal of happiness. But what you feel will be joy. Of course, you are happy for them (external) but you are joyed (internal) at causing such great happiness for another.

If you read my blog post called “(Just Another) Day in Paradise”, you know I was over-the-moon happy about the opportunity for and events that took place. I know I described myself as swaying between giddy and delirious. I couldn’t thank Gayle enough for being able to have this happen to me. And, after yet another ‘thank you’ to her, she replied telling me that seeing me so happy brought her joy. And in an instant, I could relate to that. I know what joy feels like, but this is the first time, to my knowledge, that I’ve experienced giving joy! Knowing that was like the icing on the cake.

I encourage you to find ways to experience this incredible emotion. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift… maybe a spontaneous drive to a person’s favorite store or restaurant. Put on your thinking cap and get out there – I promise it will be worth it!

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