What makes an individual happy? What makes a person feel satisfied? Can someone be satisfied even if they’re not happy, or will they find happiness even when they’re not completely satisfied? Knowing the difference between happy and satisfied can be tricky.

Throughout life, we strive for happiness while also having wants that need to be satisfied. But, how are they different and is it possible to be both happy and satisfied?

What Is Happiness?

Happiness is defined as both an emotion and state. It’s a subjective term used to describe a wide-range of positive emotions, such as joy, pride, contentment, and gratitude.

Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness, further describes happiness as “the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.”

A person can be happy, even though they’re not satisfied.

What Is Satisfaction?

Satisfaction, on the other hand, is a state of contentment where all of your desires have been met. You typically find it in possessions and the enjoyment of things that bring you desire.

Meeting the desires of your heart, as well as the demands of your needs, doesn’t mean that you’ll necessarily be happy – despite the fact that you will never want for anything when you are satisfied.

Take for example purchasing a home. You’re initially happy with the purchase, but that level of satisfaction will diminish over time. Even though you’re happy, you may no longer be satisfied with your home.

Additionally, people can be happy when even their most basic needs haven’t been met. For example. if you see poverty as a blessing, as opposed to a curse, you are content with what you do have.

In this case then your chances of being happy are actually greater. Someone other person who views material possessions as a necessity in life won’t be quite as happy..

The Differences Between Happiness and Satisfaction

The easiest way to compare happiness and satificatiocation is by quickly looking at the characteristics of each.

1. State: Happiness is a state of bliss, while satisfaction is a state of contentment.

2. Loss: Happiness is often lost after an individual fails to achieve something, but satisfaction only decreases when the individual cannot achieve something.

3. Enjoyment: Happiness is shared and enjoyed with others, while satisfaction is enjoyed within.

4. Measurability: Happiness can be measured, but satisfaction can not.

How Can You Become Both Happy and Satisfied?

Despite the differences between happiness and satisfied, and being able to have without the other, it is possible to cultivate both by:

1. Keeping life as simple as possible. 

A lot of us over-analyze everything and make things more complicated than they have to be. Sometimes it’s alright to keep things simple like saying ‘no,’ reducing the amount of clutter in our lives, or just going through a walk in the park.

2. Being thankful for everything you have now and show gratitude.

Reflect on the things that you’re thankful, such as having a roof over your head, food to eat, a job, or spouse, and jot these thoughts down in a gratitude journal. Also thank the people in your life who have made it better.

3. Living in the moment.

Don’t dwell in the past or obsess about the future. Enjoy right now.

4. Becoming self-satisfied.

Stop wanting more so that you can enjoy what life has already given you.

5. Nurturing and enjoying your relationships.

Stay connected with your nearest and dearest, invest in quality time with them, offer sincere compliments, and only hang-out with others who are happy.

6. Loving yourself for who you are.

Stop trying to be someone else or someone you aren’t. You don’t have to change anything about yourself in order to be both happy and content.

7. Beware of indecision.

Life isn’t easy and you’re going to make tough decisions. Instead of missing out on an opportunity you can’t be indecisive. At the same time, make sure that you’re objective by gathering as many facts as you can so that you can make more informed decisions.

8. Avoid anger and negative energy.

Always try to remain positive and optimistic and eliminate any anger or negativity in your life, such as that friend who always complains.

9. Having a sense of humor. 

Don’t take yourself so seriously. Laugh, joke, and have fun!

10.Helping others and living with meaning. Volunteer, give back to the community, treat others with respect and kindness, play to your strengths, and get in the flow.

11. Embracing your mistakes.

We all make mistakes. Learn from them and move on.

12. Spending money on experiences.

Happiness and satisfaction over material items fade over time. Experiences, however, become a part of who we are, can be shared with others, and gives us a sense of meaning.

13. Taking care of your health.

Make exercise a regular habit, eat healthy, mediate, and get the quality sleep that you need each night.

It’s important to become satisfied with life as well as being happy. So much of that is a choice. But these choices take work.

Let us know what you do to keep yourself happy and satisfied.