What's Better, Joy or Happiness?

And three ways to improve your mood in the next seven days.

Joy and happiness seem similar, but I'm about to share with you how dramatically different they are, and why joy is life's secret sauce.

Joy is an internal state of being, and happiness is dependent on external factors to release a chemical cocktail in our brains.

Let's start with happiness.

It's imperative to understand how fleeting happiness is, since it's overly promoted in our culture.

Scientists report, in an annual poll, measuring the happiness level of Americans, that no less than 29 percent have reported they are happy since 1972.

That's not even one third of our population, yet it seems as if 100 percent of us are chasing this illusive utopia.

Happiness Is a Chemical Cocktail

A mixture of serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins released in short bursts when something outside of yourself triggers it.

I know that was a mouth full but think about that.  What makes us feel happy can be attributed to something that we get in micro doses, after a release of chemicals is triggered.

It sounds like a "high" you get after taking a drug or consuming alcohol.  And we know that feeling buzzed on wine is not sustainable.

Yet our societal message is that a constant state of happiness is achievable and that one shouldn't stop searching for this feeling.

That's interesting isn't it?  Happiness quotes are plastered all over Pinterest and social media platforms.

And after seeing the messaging so many times we begin to believe this fleeting state of mind can be a constant of being.

That is not true.

Now that brings us to Joy.

Even writing the previous sentence brought a smile to my face, because joy is the feeling we are unknowingly searching for.

Joy comes from within.  You exude a state of satisfaction and contentment over your life.  Not only is it pleasurable, it's sustainable.

How Do I Experience More Joy?

Joy comes when we do the work.  When our confidence has grown, the harsh inner critic has been laid to rest, and we accept ourselves, flaws and all.

3 Ways to Cultivate More Joy in 7 Days:

  1. Speak to yourself like you would speak to someone you love.
  2. For 7 days, write down one new thing you like about yourself every night before you go to bed, or every morning before you start your day.
  3. For 7 days, take five minutes everyday to stand outside in nature (in the sun preferably), breathe to the count of four, breathe out to the count of five, and at the bottom of the exhale whisper, I love you.

Thank you so much for getting through this article.  I hope the science lesson helped.  Facts or knowing how something works helps me believe it and understand better.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the next seven days cultivating more joy.