Mind,  Sadness and Depression

The “Happier” Alternative to Pursuing Happiness

Do you want to be happy? If you pose this question to anyone, the response will most likely be a “yes” accompanied by an expression that reads: Duh, who doesn’t? Why are you even asking?

The truth is, we are all pursuing happiness in almost everything we do, from the clothes we wear and the things we buy to how we spend our time, what we decide to eat, and what we want to do with our lives. But such pursuit of happiness eventually leaves us feeling empty.

Think about it. After you have whatever it is you wanted in order to feel happier and more satisfied, the feeling eventually fades. Either that or something bad happens at some point or another that takes it away.

Therefore, finding happiness can be thought of like a never-ending quest. Moreover, it’s one that’s unsteady, unpredictable, and sometimes affected by things beyond our control.

When our happiness is dependent on good things happening in our lives and favorable circumstances, it sways with the tides. Without happy occurrences, we’re screwed and saddled with feeling sad and hopeless when things aren’t going our way. Fortunately, there’s an alternative to pursuing happiness that is all about living life positively.

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock, By GIS

The key is to not just pursue happiness, but to put more effort and emphasis in pursuing joy.

There is a lot of literature and discussion out there on the difference between happiness and joy. Here it is in a nutshell:

Similar to sadness, happiness is a direct result of external factors. You do something or get something that makes you happy. Joy, on the other hand, is from within. It comes from a connection with God and people that create this deep inner gratitude, contentment, and fulfillment. Joy is the feeling you get when you have meaningful interactions with others or volunteer for a cause you’re passionate about. Joy is also the feeling you get when your faith in God brings you peace, trust, hope, and praise, even when bad things happen in your life.

Happiness will come and go based on life events; and so will sadness. But regardless of whatever happens, a joy that comes from within is unaffected and unshakable. It’s an anchor in the midst of swaying tides.

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