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What Is the Difference between Pleasure and Happiness

Happiness and Pleasure

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 do you define pleasure in a few simple words?

Pleasure is when you feel good and enjoy what you are doing. External stimuli usually cause pleasure and often involve 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 only lasts for a while since the attention moves to other matters soon.

We enjoy the pleasure we experience but lose interest or seek something else after a while. For example, you might eat and enjoy a piece of chocolate, but after a few pieces, you feel you cannot eat anymore.

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 must stop doing the activity that gives us pleasure and do other things.

  • When you eat some delicious food, you derive pleasure from it, but it only lasts for a short time since you cannot eat indefinitely. Sometimes, 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 you enjoy, you ultimately arrive at the last page. The memory of the book might linger on, but then you look for something else to do.

As you see, all pleasures are time-limited.

What Is Happiness and How It Differs from Pleasure

After defining pleasure, let’s talk about happiness.

Pleasure is often emotional and physical and depends on the five senses. Happiness is different. It is an inner sensation that does not depend on the five senses.

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, it is different.

When do you feel happy? You usually feel glad when a problem is solved, when you receive good news, when a goal is accomplished, when you earn a significant sum of money, or when you are deeply in love.

For a few moments, you feel happy. What do you feel?

You feel free and blissful as if the sun is shining on you. You have no worries, and nothing bothers you.

This is a state of exhilaration and peace. For a few moments, you feel as if a burden has been lifted, and you have no fears or doubts. You don’t think about the next thing you are going to do.

For a few moments, there are no thoughts and no time. These are moments of peace and happiness. You experience a deep relief without any thoughts, 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 because the mind is not trained to be peaceful. All the thoughts, desires, doubts, worries, fears, or expectations rise 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 you experience happiness and peace more often.

The more you can 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.

Though pleasure and happiness bring joy and good feelings, they are different.

We need to enjoy both pleasure and happiness. While pleasure often involves physical sensations, happiness is more of an inner sensation associated with inner peace and mental and emotional calmness.

Instead of waiting for external events to trigger happiness, you can bring it from inside yourself. Since inner peace is closely related to a state of happiness, the more peaceful your mind is, the more happiness you can enjoy.

When you can make your mind peaceful, you enjoy more happiness.

I hope the article answered your question: “What is the difference between pleasure and happiness.”

For more information and practical techniques and exercises, read:

Tips for Happiness in Daily Life
Peace of Mind Tips and Advice
Peace of Mind in Daily Life

When you calm down the nonstop chatter of the mind, happiness appears.

Calm Down the Chatter of Your Mind

Free your mind from endless thinking!
Discover How to Stop the Constant Chatter of the Mind