The Myth of Happiness, the Lesson of Joy

The Myth of Happiness, the Lesson of Joy

May 26, 2021

While joy and happiness may seem synonymous, they are actually quite different. Happiness is a more fleeting, externally triggered emotion, while joy is a deeper, more lasting internal feeling. We all like to feel happy, but what would happen if we focused less on the instant gratification of happiness, and instead worked to cultivate enduring joy? Here are 4 ways to nurture joy in your life.

1. Write down what you are grateful for

Each morning when you wake up, take 5-10 minutes to start the day on a positive note by writing down what you are grateful for. Because joy comes from within, expressing gratitude is an especially helpful practice. When you feel grateful for what you already have, you are more likely to feel a deep and natural joy.

2. Meditate

According to educational consultant and speaker Kendra Cherry, meditation is defined as a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness, as well as focused attention. Self-awareness and joy are deeply linked, as our happiness relies strongly on our ability to see ourselves clearly and understand who we are and how we fit into the world around us. 

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, Tibetan teacher and author of The Joy of Living: Unlocking the Secret and Science of Happiness, likens the human mind to a waving flag, flapping in the wind. Meditation, he says, is the practice of focusing on the sturdy flagpole, rather than the ever-moving flag. Especially in times of high stress, centering yourself and practicing meditation can help to establish lasting contentedness, and ultimately, joy. As Rinpoche has said, “Ultimately, happiness comes down to choosing between the discomfort of becoming aware of your mental afflictions and the discomfort of being ruled by them.” 

3. Cut down on screen time, particularly on social media

We are living in a time of overstimulation, and electronics, those with screens in particular, play a huge role. Many people stare at computer screens all day at work, only to pick up their phones and scroll through apps and social media in the evenings. Screen time, and especially social media, can have an extremely negative impact on one's overall joy. We all know the spiel about how social media can negatively affect our mental health, but the statistics don't lie. Studies have found that envy and social comparison have strong correlations to social media. Envy, juxtaposed to gratitude, is joy's enemy, and as such, using social media less should have a positive impact on one's sense of true happiness.

4. Exercise and live a healthy lifestyle

It's no secret that exercise gives you endorphins, which make you happy. Making physical activity an active part of your routine can help to boost your day-to-day happiness, as well as build lasting joy. If you're someone who doesn't enjoy lifting weights at the gym, that's ok! Instead, try incorporating a fun activity into your lifestyle like salsa dancing or rock climbing.  

Ultimately of course, there is nothing wrong with aiming to be happy, but what we should really be striving for is lasting joy. At Triada Advisors, we strive to learn what bring you joy. By taking the time to learn your purpose and passions, we are able to design strategies and solutions that meet the needs, challenges and goals unique to you and your financial situation. 

Your path to a better financial future starts here. Get in touch with us today.