Definition of Happiness: Enjoying, showing or marked by pleasure. Contentment: peace of mind; mental or emotional satisfaction.
I feel in our society we are always reaching for this goal of utter happiness. The commercials are always showing these idyllic smiling people who seem to be happy so since that is all we see that is what we think we should be. Since there is no possible way to replicate Hollywood or 5th Avein our own lives we never reach what we see in movies, tv, magazines, etc. So I know personally I can say I always feel this sense of disappointment with myself because I am not always smiling like the media I am exposed to. This adds to depression I feel or hinders me from pulling myself out of my depression hole.
So I am stepping back for a moment and looking at the definitions of happiness and contentment. I feel that happiness is more of a fleeting moment, an emotional feeling that linked to something physical whether that be a purchase, a hug, seeing something, etc however it is fleeting and should be enjoyed in that moment.
Contentment to me is that underlying feeling of calm, peace, satisfaction with life. Such as am I satisfied with my moral values, my friends, my job, my family, myself? This is the foundation of my life.
I suppose this would differ for each and everyone. But shouldn't core values lead to a foundation of your life; your house so to speak? And happiness should be just the extrasmuch likegreat cupof coffee. Something to be enjoyed in that moment while it is hot and fresh and once it is finished you move on with your day knowing you will have thatpleasure again. You don'tneed to stress that you will never have itagain because happiness can be found if you look for it. It will be enjoyed more if you have a basic strong contentment. I think that will stop those high and lows. If you have a feeling of basiccontentment youare not feeling bad. You arealways at a certain level of feeling good. You are at peace. You have a goodfoundation to stand upon. If you fall offyou canalways get back on. If you are only living your life on happiness without contentment then you are living on high spikes of happiness and low lows ofsadness always needing that next fix ofhappiness to feel good. It becomes a drug that we seek and to each of us it is individual and I think over a period of time becomes warped and unhealthy. If we have a solid foundation then happiness is just that happiness added to our already solid base to make it better, to brighten our day, to make us smile bigger, to make us appreciate the moment more, to keep us on tract, etc. So I don't think it is happiness vs. contentment I think it is contentment and happiness goes hand and hand.
My goal for myself is to find my foundation of contentment.
Peace out,

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