We take joy over happiness!

This might be a surprising statement, but here is the reason why we should focus on joy more often and actually “dare” to be joyful. 

The word happiness has been used inflationary over the last few years and whilst it's generally a good idea , happiness is actually very hard to find, if happiness becomes an expectation of a state we are in, constantly. 

The Distinctive Dance Between Joy and Happiness

In the pursuit of a fulfilling life, it is crucial to distinguish between joy and happiness. Happiness is often described as a broad, continuous state influenced by external circumstances. It's the feeling you get when life aligns with your desires—stable, yet heavily dependent on life's happenings. Joy, on the other hand, is more momentary and intrinsic, a profound sense of elation that emerges from within even during simple, everyday moments.

Brené Brown, a well-known researcher and storyteller, offers a compelling perspective on why we should prioritize these fleeting moments of joy over the constant chase for happiness. According to Brown, "Joy comes to us in moments—ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary." This insight is powerful; it shifts the focus from seeking grand, lasting happiness to recognizing and savoring the ordinary yet true moments that bring joy. 

This approach encourages us to be present and mindful, to appreciate the now rather than constantly striving for a prolonged state of happiness that depends on future achievements or circumstances. It teaches us that joy does not require conditions; it is a spontaneous burst that beautifies the mundane, reminding us that life’s true essence is captured in the present, not the pursued. 

By understanding and embracing this distinction, we are likely to find our lives more meaningful and enriched. Instead of exhausting ourselves in search of perpetual happiness, let's aim to cultivate and cherish those brief flashes of joy that, in truth, make life worth living.

So how can we “engineer” more joyful moments into our lives? 

Cultivating a Joyful Mindset

To bring more joy into our lives, it starts with cultivating a mindset that embraces the beauty of the present and appreciates the small wonders around us. Here are a few ways to nurture this joy-inducing perspective:

Practice Gratitude: Make it a daily habit to reflect on things you’re thankful for. This could be as simple as a sunny day, a delicious meal, or a kind gesture from a friend. Gratitude shifts your focus from what’s missing to what’s abundant, paving the way for joy.

Stay Mindful: Engage fully with the present moment. Whether you’re drinking coffee, taking a walk, or talking to someone, immerse yourself in the experience without distraction. Mindfulness heightens your senses and makes you more receptive to joy’s subtle appearances.

Seek Out Laughter: Laughter not only lightens your mood but also invites joy. Surround yourself with people who bring laughter and positivity into your life, and don’t shy away from activities that make you smile or laugh heartily.

Create Meaningful Connections: Invest in relationships that enrich your life. Deep, authentic connections with others can be a powerful source of joy. Share your thoughts, listen genuinely, and be present in your interactions. 

Embrace Small Pleasures: Recognize and relish the small pleasures of life—the warmth of sunlight on your skin, the comfort of a cosy blanket, the thrill of a good book. These instances can be profound sources of joy.

By adopting these practices, you condition your mind to not only recognize joy when it appears but also create an environment where it can thrive regularly.