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Joy vs. Happiness...Do you know the difference?

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

I would like to bring attention to the difference between Joy or Bliss vs. Happiness. The words are so often used interchangeably and yet have very different energies behind them.

Simply put, what I have come to understand the feeling of being happy, is a passing emotion dependent on outside or external factors. When someone says something nice about us, when we are awarded recognition for something we have worked hard on, or we get that new "thing" we have been desiring, that makes us feel a rush of positive, happy hormones such as endorphins, dopamine, oxytocin, maybe even adrenaline. This is a beautiful experience and should be celebrated and welcomed when we have these events in our life. However, we must be watchful because it is possible to become addicted to this rush and we may feel as though life is not as fulfilling when we are not receiving these rushes of emotions. This can sometimes lead to a "searching" or 'reaching" to recreate the feeling. When we focus too much on this type of pleasure, it can sometimes ironically lead to a feeling of lack or discontentment when we are not feeling the rush which can lead to "chasing" a feeling vs. actually making choices that will enrich and fulfill our lives.

To contrast the situational experience of "Happiness" with Joy or Bliss, we are speaking of a deeper sense of contentment and fulfillment. Bliss is a constant state of mind undisturbed by gain or loss. Deepak Chopra said:

"Bliss is not a feeling but a state of being. In the state of bliss, everything is loved."

All too often we allow our external environment to dictate our emotional state of being but when we find our

way to a state of bliss, we find the waves of our lives a little easier to ride.

I have come to believe that Joy and Bliss arise when; what we think, what we say, what we feel and what we do, are in alignment. When we are tapping into the authenticity of our personal purpose and passion of this lifetime, the powerful yet subtle feeling of Bliss becomes the baseline for how we view the world around us.

How can we begin to understand this concept if we are choosing happiness, a temporary experience, over Joy & Bliss, a prolonged state of being. The first step is to pause and check in with yourself. Close your eyes and feel the subtle differences of how the choices feel in your body when you present them to yourself.

I recently heard Jay Shetty use this example:

When you are deciding between the healthy choice of what to eat for lunch vs. the indulgent satisfying choice, think about how the two will make you feel AFTER the action of eating, not the short term thoughts and feelings of BEFORE you choose. The indulgent one will always make you feel happy to think about, anticipate and also enjoy the process of consuming it, however, you will inevitably pay the price with how your body feels usually immediately after and for the next few hours or even days! When thinking about the more healthy option, it doesn't necessarily excite you so much but you may experience pride in "making a good choice for your health and well being". After you consume the healthy option, you feel a deeper feeling of contentment for choosing the long term choice to nourish, love and care for you body's needs, in addition to simply just feeling physically better to move throughout your day. Decisions tend to pile on top of each other throughout the day, week, month even years! When we make one "good" choice, it empowers us to make another the next time we are presented with choosing short term happiness over the state of Joy or Bliss.

Do you care to join me in a practice of asking ourselves in difficult or tempting situations, "How can I best be of service to myself and others, make the internally guided wise choice for the greater good and know that the long term satisfaction and fulfillment will be the more nourishing option?"

All the love,


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