Pleasure vs Happiness: Difference and Comparison

Many of us are unaware that we have power over our degree of happiness. It’s easy to blame other people or events for your dissatisfaction; nevertheless, it’s your reaction, your way of thinking about the person or scenario, that causes you to be dissatisfied.

You may train yourself to think about your thoughts.

Key Takeaways

  1. Pleasure is a short-term, sensory experience, whereas happiness is a long-term, emotional state.
  2. Pleasure depends on external factors, while happiness relies on a sense of well-being and life satisfaction.
  3. Hedonism focuses on pursuing pleasure, while eudaimonism centers on achieving happiness through personal growth and self-realization.

Pleasure vs Happiness

Pleasure is a short-term feeling of enjoyment or satisfaction that is associated with physical or sensory experiences, such as eating a delicious meal, listening to music, or experiencing sexual pleasure. Happiness is a more stable and long-lasting emotional state that is characterized by a sense of contentment, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

Pleasure vs Happiness

Pleasure can be also defined as experiencing pleasure in anything that comes from outside of oneself, such as eating, getting a massage, or smelling a rose. It is only transient and sporadic.

We would ultimately find the stimulus unpleasant or even painful if we sustained the outside stimulation that generates pleasure for a prolonged duration.

Happiness is a condition of our brain that we cultivate, and we influence how happy or miserable we are. Varied people have different ways of expressing their joy.

Peace, pleasure, happiness, and fulfillment are all feelings that some people experience. Others may describe it as a feeling of being energized, connected to the world, thrilled, passionate, and purposeful.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPleasureHappiness
PermanenceIt is only temporary. It’s similar to the sensation of eating ice cream or drinking booze.It has a long lifespan. It’s comparable to the sensation of completing a college or marathon.
Mainly feltIt has a visceral quality to it. It is possible to feel it when drunk or high.It is Ethereal. You can It might be felt as a sense of peace and satisfaction.
How to get itTaking a substance can provide you with pleasure.  Giving a substance can bring pleasure.
How it is experiencedIt’s something you can do on your own.It’s based on personal experience. It’s also possible to share it with a group.
At extremesAddiction develops as a result of extreme pleasure.  It’s impossible to become hooked to happiness.
As a functional Neuro-transmitter.It causes dopamine to be released in our brain.It causes Serotonin to be released in our brain.

What is Pleasure?

Pleasure refers to a wide variety of mental experiences that people see as good, enjoyable, or worthwhile. Although pleasure pushes us to replicate enjoyable events and circumstances, we do not always settle on what makes us happy.

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Pleasure is influenced by external factors such as situations, things, and people. Minor annoyances do not bother you while you are pleased. When you’re dissatisfied, you may feel as though the world is conspiring against you.

 You may try to compensate by eating chocolate and sweets, which provide you pleasure, but you remain sad. Pleasure is associated with pleasurable sensory experiences and nice things occurring.

Pleasurable experiences can make us feel happy for a short time, but this happiness is fleeting since it is contingent on other events and experiences.

To feel pleasure, we must continue to have positive experiences — more food, more money, more stuff. Countless people get hooked to these external sensations, desiring to feel a fleeting sense of euphoria more and more.

Circumstances impact genuine pleasure but are not determined by them. To put it another way, pleasure is ephemeral and externally motivated.


What is Happiness?

Optimistic or enjoyable feelings extending from satisfaction to extreme joy” is what happiness refers to. It’s a topic that’s been studied since the 1960s and has a wide range of applications, including psychology, science, medicine, and economics.

When we talk about intellectual or emotional states, usage, meaning, and culture, happiness is a hot topic of dispute. While we may all agree that happiness is essential in our lives, we cannot always agree on what makes us happy.

There is a desire for happiness from the time one is born and a never-ending quest to achieve it. It is regarded as the most advantageous characteristic. When you examine your behaviours, you’ll notice that they’re all geared toward happiness in some manner.

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Everyone wishes to be content and happy. You are pleased when conditions and occurrences are to your liking, and you are sad when they are not.

This is especially beneficial if you find yourself becoming agitated. It’s beneficial to be furious about something because the feeling offers us the motivation to make a difference, but we must distinguish between what we can affect, what we can control, and what we have no control over.


Main Differences Between Pleasure and Happiness

  1. Pleasure is only for a short time, whereas Happiness lasts a lifetime.
  2. Pleasure is visceral, whereas Happiness can be termed ethereal.
  3. You can experience Pleasure by taking something, whereas You can experience Happiness by giving something.
  4. Pleasure is experienced alone, whereas Happiness can be experienced in social groupings.
  5. Whether it’s chemicals or habits, extreme pleasure leads to addiction. But generally, you cannot get addicted to happiness.
Difference Between Pleasure and Happiness

Last Updated : 11 August, 2023

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21 thoughts on “Pleasure vs Happiness: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The distinction between pleasure and happiness is important to acknowledge in our daily lives as we seek to find fulfillment and meaning.

  2. The concept of happiness as a cultivated state of mind is thought-provoking and implies that we have control over our own well-being.

  3. The neurobiological differences between pleasure and happiness reveal the complexity of our emotional experiences and their impact on well-being.

    • The role of neurotransmitters in shaping our experiences of pleasure and happiness opens up new avenues for research and understanding in mental health.

  4. Happiness is a multifaceted concept that has been a subject of great interest across various disciplines, highlighting its universal relevance.

    • The pursuit of happiness has been a fundamental aspect of human existence, driving individuals to seek fulfillment and well-being.

  5. Your thoughts can have a huge impact on your own happiness, it’s important to be aware of them and try to guide them in the right direction.

  6. The dynamics of pleasure and happiness present a profound exploration of human experiences and the pursuit of well-being.

  7. The distinction between experiences of pleasure and happiness helps to appreciate the important role of positive emotions in our lives.

  8. The comparison table provides a clear distinction between pleasure and happiness, which can help individuals reflect on their own experiences.

    • The table highlights the differences and similarities very effectively, providing a great reference for anyone interested in exploring this topic further.


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