Do you think that pleasure and happiness are the same thing? Though they seem similar, they are different.
What is the difference between pleasure and happiness?
Let’s first define pleasure, and then talk about happiness.
What Is Pleasure
What does pleasure mean?
How to define pleasure in a few simple words?
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Pleasure is a state, in which you feel good and enjoy what you are doing. Pleasure is usually caused by external stimuli, and often involves the five senses. Here are a few examples:
- Enjoying the warmth under the blanket on a cold winter day.
- We experience a sensation of pleasure when we eat a delicious slice of cake.
- Experiencing pleasure when listening to pleasant music.
- There is pleasure when we do something we love doing.
- We can derive pleasure from reading a book, daydreaming or watching a movie.
- There is pleasure when we smell and taste good food
- There is joy and a pleasant sensation when we feel the breeze on a warm day.
- Watching something beautiful can also create a sensation of pleasure.
Pleasure often, does not last long, since soon the attention moves to other matters.
We enjoy the pleasure we experience, but after a while we either lose interest, or seek something else. For example, you might eat a piece of chocolate and enjoy it, but after a few pieces of chocolate you feel you cannot eat any more.
Pleasurable Activities Are often Time Limited
Sometimes, too much of something stops being enjoyable.
Often, we have other things we need to do, like work, cleaning the house, driving somewhere, fixing something, or carrying tasks or chores we do not like. Then, we have to stop doing the activity that is giving us pleasure and do other things.
- When you eat some delicious food you derive pleasure from it, but the pleasure doesn’t last for long, since you cannot go on eating indefinitely. Some time after you finish eating the food on your plate, the sensation of pleasure wears off.
- You may enjoy watching a movie, but the movie lasts for a certain amount of minutes, and then you return to your everyday reality.
- When you read a book that you enjoy reading, ultimately, you arrive to the last page. The memory of the book might linger on, but then you look for something else to do.
As you see, all pleasure is time limited.
What Is Happiness and How It Differs from Pleasure
After defining what is pleasure let talk about happiness.
Pleasure is often emotional and physical in nature, and often depends on the five senses. Happiness is different. It is an inner sensation and does not depend on the five senses.
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In pleasure the emotions and feelings are active. In a state of happiness there is calmness and peace.
External events and situations might trigger factors leading to happiness. However, happiness does not depend on them. It is a sensation of inner calmness and satisfaction.
Though happiness is similar to pleasure in some respects, yet it is different.
When do you feel happy? You usually feel happy when a problem has been solved, when you receive good news, when a goal has been accomplished, when you earn a great sum of money, or when you are deeply in love.
For a few moments, you feel happy. What do you actually feel?
You feel free, blissful, as if the sun is shining on you, and you have no worries and nothing is bothering you.
This is a state of exhilaration and peace. For a few moments, you feel as if a burden has been lifted, and you feel no fears or doubts, and don’t think about the next thing you are going to do.
For few moments, there are no thoughts and there is no time. These are moments of peace and happiness. You experience a deep feeling of relief, without any thinking, doubts or expectations. For a moment your mind is empty.
In this “empty state”, happiness arises.
Happiness is Related to Inner Peace
Deep happiness usually does not last long, since Your mind is not trained to be peaceful. All the thoughts, desires, doubts, worries, fears or expectations rise back again, and hide the calmness you experienced just a moment ago.
Happiness is a state of inner peace and inner calmness.
Everyone seeks happiness, when actually, the search is for inner peace and freedom from nonstop thinking.
Happiness and inner peace come from the same source, from within. Through training, you can reach a state when happiness and peace are experienced more and more often.
The more you are able to free your mind from the compulsion of thinking nonstop, moving from one thought to another, without any rest, the more you will be able to enjoy inner peace and happiness.
As you see, though pleasure and happiness bring joy and a good feelings, they are not the same thing.
We need and enjoy both pleasure and happiness, and while pleasure often has to do with physical sensations, happiness is more an inner sensation that is associated with inner peace and mental and emotional calmness.
Instead of waiting for external events to trigger happiness, you can bring it from inside you. Since inner peace has much to do with a state of happiness, the more peaceful your mind is, the more happiness you can enjoy.
When you are able to make your mind peaceful, you enjoy more happiness.
For more information, and practical techniques and exercises read:
When you calm down the nonstop chatter of the mind, happiness appears.
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