Lee A Edwards, PhD

Psychologist, Austin Texas

Happiness - Peace & Joy

Happiness is generally pretty easy to deal with, right? So why talk about it? There's more than one type of happiness, and I want to emphasize the importance of one part.

Peace and joy are what I think make up the main parts of happiness. By "peace" I mean being grounded, content, relaxed, comfortable, satisfied. Ahhhhh.... I think of it as the lower level of happiness, the ground level, the foundation.

By "joy" I mean excitement, fun, titillation, etc. Joy tends to be more energetic, faster than peace. I think of it as the upper layer.

Both are great, but our culture emphasizes joy / fun much, much, much more than peace. Maybe it's because it's easier to sell fun than peace: "Do THIS and have fun! Buy THIS and have fun!" But, and here's the main point: peace is much more important than joy. What?! Yeah, they're both great, but peace is still great even without fun. It's simply peaceful. Ahhhh.... But joy without peace is manic, a little frantic, ungrounded. Like having "fun" at a cocktail party with people you don't know, half-drunk, trying hard to be funny, laughing, actually having some fun, but not feeling content / satisfied / comfortable...peaceful.

So, consider bucking the national trend, and emphasize peace. Try to slow down sometimes, relax, let go. Try to get comfortable in your own skin.

Breathe more deeply sometimes (not just a silly thing to say; it makes a difference...try it!). If you're at that party and feeling just a little manic, slow down; don't try so hard. If it's still not enjoyable, maybe it's time to go and be someplace where you can be more grounded, more real, more peaceful.

And I strongly encourage you to try both at once! Peace AND joy = ecstasy. Not the drug; the actual experience.

Peace out, Lee


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Licensed psychologist, Austin

(512) 694-1322

4403 Manchaca Rd, Suite A, South Austin, TX 78745