Difference Between Happiness and Contentment

Happiness is a transient emotion, whereas Contentment is a long-lasting, long-term feeling. Happiness depends upon external factors that are out of our control.


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Contentment, on the other hand, comes from within. It is an internal state of mind and heart.

Happiness can be likened to a beautiful sunset or flowers in the spring; it delights us momentarily, but it can’t last forever.

On the other hand, contentment is like a beautiful tree in your backyard that you watch grow and mature over the years.

Happiness vs Contentment

The difference between Happiness and Contentment is that Happiness refers to a more transient emotional state. On the other hand, Contentment is a long-term mood that is relatively stable. Happiness is often thought to be a fleeting emotion. Many people believe that satisfaction has a long-term influence on individuals who experience it.

Happiness vs Contentment

Happiness is more about obtaining what you want, feeling good, and meeting your wants.

And it is more about building a personal identity, expressing oneself, and actively integrating one’s past, present, and future experiences.

Happiness is more about being able to pursue your goals and dreams in the way that you find most fulfilling. It’s more about the ability to choose the direction of your life, set goals, and pursue them.

Contentment is often used to describe Happiness and satisfaction because you have all you need.

Happiness comes from having what you want, but Contentment is the joy of knowing that you don’t need to have everything to be happy.

Contentment can be viewed as a state of mind in which one accepts their current situation. It’s a type of Happiness that comes from within, where no external source or object is necessary to achieve it.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonHappinessContentment
NatureHappiness is an emotional state that can come and go depending on the circumstances we experience in life.Contentment is more of an attitude than a state of mind.
Fading Away and LastingHappiness is made up of fleeting moments of bliss that eventually fade away.A lasting calmness is part of Contentment.
Duration Happiness has a finite life span.Contentment is a long-term state of being happy.
External factorsHappiness is highly subjective and impacted by external factors.External causes have no bearing on Happiness.
DefinitionHappiness is described as “the state of being happy” or “the state of exhibiting or enjoying pleasure.”Satisfaction may be defined as Contentment.
SynonymsSynonyms of Happiness are joy, delight and pleasure.Synonyms of Contentment are fulfilment, cheerfulness and peace.
AntonymsAntonyms of Happiness are gloom, upset and unhappiness.Antonyms of Contentment are dissatisfaction and worry.

What is Happiness?

Happiness is also about feeling like part of something larger than yourself. This could be your family, community, country, or even humanity as a whole.

It’s also about feeling connected to others on a deep level — like in love-based relationships — and making close friends.

Finally, Happiness is also about experiencing positive emotions in your life daily. This includes feeling joy, compassion, gratitude, and many others.

Happy people seem to be more concerned with momentary feelings. In his studies, he finds that a person’s self-esteem is also tied to their Happiness.

He says, “trying to increase your self-esteem can increase your happiness.

He also says that positive thoughts may be associated with Happiness because when people think positively, they are “less likely to be depressed,” which affects their overall well-being.

People who live meaningful lives have a strong sense of who they are and fit into the world. They are less focused on feelings and more focused on purpose.

According to Worthington, meaningful life is about “a sense of purpose” and connecting with something bigger than yourself.

What is Contentment?

So often think that we need more money or a perfect house or a better car or relationship to find true Happiness and feel content with our lives.

Contentment means being happy with what we already have – not just satisfied with our current circumstances, but also at peace with our past and hopeful for the future.

Contentment can be used in many different ways. Someone bored with their job, or their current situation might say, “I’m not happy here. I want more.”

But someone who is content will not feel the need for more. They might say, “I’m happy to work here for now,” or “Things are good as they are.”

Contentment comes from being satisfied with what you have and where you are in life.

It’s about living your life without worrying about how others perceive you, what they have that you don’t, or what they can do that you can’t.

Contentment is living in the moment and appreciating what you have right now.

Contentment means it in the sense of not wishing for more than what one has — even though such things might exist (or seem possible).

This does not mean settling for less than optimal conditions either: satisfying what we have does not preclude improving them, rather than seeking out new material possessions.

Main Differences Between Happiness and Contentment 

  1. Happiness is very subjective and is impacted by external variables, whereas Contentment is not.
  2. Happiness is a fleeting emotional state that comes and goes depending on life’s circumstances, whereas Contentment is more of a way of life.
  3. Happiness is made up of fleeting moments of bliss. On the other hand, contentment comprises a sense of serenity that lasts.
  4. Happiness is fleeting, whereas Contentment lasts a lifetime.
  5. Happiness is described as “being glad” or “showing or feeling pleasure,” whereas Contentment is described as “satisfied.”
  6. Joy, delight, and pleasure are synonyms for happiness, whereas fulfilment, cheerfulness, and peace are synonyms for contentment.
  7. Gloom, upset, and unhappiness are antonyms of happy, while dissatisfaction and worry are antonyms of contentment.
Difference Between Happiness and Contentment


  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=8O8oDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=Difference+Between+Happiness+and+Contentment&ots=6f8w219TJ1&sig=uvncBQRviRM9v6kJBlGzfvFJJik
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jtsb.12098
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