Happiness (noun): a state of well-being and contentment; a pleasurable or satisfying experience

Joy (noun): the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires; the expression or exhibition of such emotion

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes happiness and joy as very similar things. In fact, they are very similar. Happiness and joy are something we as humans seek out. We all want to be happy and joyful. In the absence of happiness and joy, some people don’t believe that life is worth living. People often get happiness and joy confused, however. There are some key differences. Pinnacle Recovery is here to discuss them.   

Happiness is fleeting. It’s “a state of well-being” or a “satisfying experience.” It isn’t a way of life that we choose. Happiness is based on what happens to you, not who you are. Happiness is temporary. Happiness is circumstantial. Happiness depends on what is going on around you. This is why people who suffer from Major Depressive Disorder often feel an absence of happiness. We have already discussed in past articles that depression can be influenced by our environment. Those who find themselves homeless often have a higher chance of developing depression. They may not be able to feel happy, but they can experience joy. 

Joy is different from happiness. Joy isn’t temporary. Joy isn’t temporary. Joy isn’t circumstantial. Joy doesn’t depend on what is going on around you. This is why people who suffer from Major Depressive Disorder can feel joy. Joy comes from within you. Joy is a positive attitude that comes from feeling connected to yourself. Here’s the thing: you need to be vulnerable in order to experience joy. Dr. Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, has talked extensively about joy, vulnerability, and gratitude. Through her research, she has proven that vulnerability is a strength that people possess. Without vulnerability, humans will never be able to experience joy. 

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the past.” (Brené Brown)

Pinnacle Recovery realizes that vulnerability is needed in order to ask for help. What comes with asking for help, however, is joy. You can find joy in sobriety and recovery. You will find joy in sobriety and recovery. We can help you. Call us today at 1-866-301-0573. We cannot wait to hear from you!