Happiness -Vs- Contentment

Thursday January 22, 2015

cropped-img_0989.jpgDebates over theories on happiness versus contentment are ongoing. Everyone has their own definition of its meaning. Today scholars are finding ways to measure happiness and contentment, which will likely add more information for continued debate. For some reason no matter the vast number of meanings in print explaining happiness vs contentment we continue to challenge the theories of others.

From most of my research on the subject, It seems that most people feel happiness is more of a blissful feeling than that of contentment. Some even look down on feelings of contentment, believing that it is a sell out to being happy. I asked myself, what’s the big idea? Who deep down really cares if our positive emotions and feelings of blessedness, joy, gladness, satisfaction, peace, well-being, and pleasure are titled happiness or contentment. I’m going to believe that our desire to continue to seek knowledge and contribute  knowledge and experiences to life is the driving force behind our ongoing debates on the subject.

Happiness as defined by Oxford English:


Contentment as defined by Oxford English Dictionary:


Here are some simpler ways people have compare happiness and contentment:

Happiness                                             Contentment

Flamboyant                                            Unremarkable/normal

Intense Pleasure                                    State of being

Laughter                                                 Smile

Remembered                                          Forgettable

Feeling can’t be sustained                   Can sustain feeling

Contentment (interchangeable)           Happiness (interchangeable)

My theory on happiness and contentment is that the meanings are interchangeable, I see them both as a win, win. Saying this, you must understand that there are different planes of happiness and contentment. For an example one could feel happy/content when they found out that they “cheated death” and/or another could feel happy/content when learning they won a trip around the world. In both situations they would likely experience positive emotions and feelings which can be defined as happiness and also defined as contentment. Each individual forms their own meaning of what happiness and contentment is based on their own experiences.

My goal is to turn my negative experiences into positive experiences so that I can have an opportunity towards feelings of well-being being and blissfulness. My feelings of well-being doesn’t mean that I don’t experience problems and struggles; and my feelings of blissfulness doesn’t mean that I have to be swinging from a chandelier. Feeling happy /content is one of the reasons I want to continue to wake up in the morning. Lets not spend too much time on words instead, spend more time practicing mindfulness and positivity.

My Life’s mission is to persevere through life’s experiences, to embrace life’s diversities and to endure life’s challenges for the purpose of teaching healing and empowering others to be their best.   -Rhonda Davis-

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