Many people believe that joy and happiness are one and the same. In reality, there are profound differences between the two. Happiness can be conditional and externally based, while joy is an internal contentment. While both are important aspects to cultivate in our lives, we should strive to align ourselves with a deeper sense of joy. As we take better care of our mental, emotional, and physical selves – we create more joy in our lives, lead by example for others, and also naturally align with taking care of our planet.
Joy vs. Happiness:
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines joy as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or contentment, or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. This definition implies that you can obtain this level of joy no matter what you are experiencing. While happiness is defined as a pleasurable or satisfying experience – joy is an innate part of who you are and resonates throughout the ways in which you show up in life, or simply stated – your attitude. Happiness is mainly emotion based – changing with shifts in external circumstances. Everyone cultivates joy in different ways; it could come from fulfilling your purpose, spending time in nature, or maybe it’s being surrounded by friends and family. Cultivating joy is a daily practice; trusting yourself and honoring your needs takes time – but the benefits are rewarding.
Joy & Happiness Facts:
- Globally, consumerism is the biggest suppressor of joy.
- Throughout the world, the two main factors that cultivate joy are a sense of community, and celebrations.
- People who regularly spend about 25% of their hours each day with family and friends are 12 times as likely to report feeling joyful, rather than feeling stressed or anxious.
- Studies show that 20 minutes a day of being outside, boosts your levels of serotonin and helps cultivate joy.
- Healthy people are 20% more joyful.
- A study of more than 7,000 adults found that those with a positive sense of well-being were 47% more likely to consume fresh fruits and vegetables than their less positive counterparts.
- Cultivating joy boosts your immune system.
- America is ranked as the 19th happiest country.
- America’s income per capita has doubled since 1972, while happiness has declined.
How can I make an impact?
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Take note of positive things each day. Start a gratitude journal, or just take a moment to focus on the positive things in your life. Express or write down at least three things daily that you are thankful for.
- Cultivate self-love by noticing a personal strength each day.
- Find ways to be of service. The most joyful people tend to be those who are being of service to others and the planet. In sharing your time and gifts, you cultivate a greater sense of connection and belonging.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1.
- Live your truth. Cultivating joy comes from celebrating your authentic self. It takes courage to stand in your true self, and in doing so you align with your purpose.
- Manage your circle. We are a direct reflection of the company we keep, so do your best to surround yourself with positive people. Choose friends that motivate and support you.
- Realize who in your life is toxic, and adjust their role accordingly.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Actions 1 & 2.
- Practice mindfulness. Take some time each day to sit and focus on your breath, and be in the present moment.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. This is the biggest drain of joy. Live the life you have been blessed with, and practice self-compassion.
- Be patient with yourself. Cultivating joy is a process – love each moment of it.
- Spread Love. Spread Light.