The Weekly Vlog

Joy vs. Happiness

Jun 28, 2023

Recently I looked up online “What is the difference between joy and happiness.” I was surprised at the large volume of results I got. I had always assumed that they were pretty much the same, but that joy was maybe a more intense degree of happiness.

But then I stumbled on a slew of blog articles talking about the big qualitative difference between joy and happiness. What struck me was that the way they were describing joy was what the feeling is, for me, of living Bright. That’s what they described as joy. Not happiness, but JOY.

They talked about how happiness is an emotion, it’s fleeting, it’s about pleasure in the moment and feeling good. Whereas joy is steady and lasting. It’s not about fleeting pleasure. Rather, it’s a deep contentment that is tied to purpose, meaning, and identity. And joy can co-exist with hardship and difficulty. For example, the joy of living Bright is still there with me, and I feel it even when I’m going through a hard time. It grounds me.

There’s an old adage that I love that I’ve altered a bit to be specific to Bright Line Eating: My worst moments when I’m Bright are better than my best moments when I’m not Bright. And I think the difference there is joy. When I’m Bright, I always have this deep-down feeling of joy. When I’m not Bright, I grasp for happiness. But those moments of happiness can never compare to the joy I feel when I’m Bright.

Click here to listen to this episode on Bright Line Living™ - The Official Bright Line Eating Podcast.

Susan Peirce Thompson, Ph.D. is a New York Times bestselling author and an expert in the psychology and neuroscience of eating.  Susan is the Founder and CEO of Bright Line Eating®, a scientifically grounded program that teaches you a simple process for getting your brain on board so you can finally find freedom from food.

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