Each one of us can benefit in many ways from adding more joy into our daily lives. It’s not just about feeling happier. Although joy and happiness are linked, the latter tends to be fleeting whereas joy is both longer-lasting and more nuanced. Joy is a complex, layered experience that we feel deep inside of ourselves when something resonates with us in a positive way.
If you can’t immediately discern the difference between happiness and joy, there is a simple way to think of it. Happiness starts on the outside and goes in. For example, when you eat something that tastes good, you might momentarily feel happy. Joy, on the other hand, starts on the inside and flows outward. Joy can still be sparked by eating something you love, but the joy isn’t just in the taste; it’s in the memories the taste evokes, the full sense of abundance that you feel, and the deeper connection you feel to the earth when noticing how it nourishes you with food.
Happiness comes and goes. Joy requires us to be deliberate. Joy asks that we pause so that we can recognize its depth. We have to let it sink in, feel it inside of our skin.
When we really process all of that, then it tends to flow back out of us. Pause for a moment and think about someone you know who radiates joy. You’ll probably recognize that the person is not merely happy, although they may have happy moments. In fact, you likely know that they experience all kinds of feelings, including ones that are not so pleasant. Yet still they radiate a deep sense of joy.
We want to help you learn, and experience, positive feelings that run deeper and last longer than simple happiness. You can learn to be more intentional about creating and sustaining a sense of joy in your life. It can start with happiness because some feelings of joy do originate there. However, there are many different ways to develop a deep sense of joy. Learning to find and embrace varied paths to joy will allow you to truly experience it in your life.