Fun and joy both feel good, yet they are two different concepts that you experience in life.
Yes, even you. Even depressed traumatized people experience some joy and fun, even if only for brief moments, at some point in their lives.
Joy and fun serve two distinct purposes across your life. They differ in these 5 ways:
1. Fun is something you experience while taking some action. You may be reading or physically active. You have fun doing something.
Joy is more passive than active. You feel joy when thoughts (good feeling interpretations of events) cross your mind.
2. Fun births laughter. In fact when you have loads of fun you may find yourself laughing out loud or even rolling on the floor. Tears may run down your cheeks.
When you have fun you usually make noise. Think of people riding roller coasters and all their squeals.
Joy is more of an inner experience, a silent knowing of peace. You tend to experience joy as feeling content.
3. Fun is usually (but not always) a shared experience. You have fun with a friend or even with strangers. You probably are not alone when you do the things you describe as fun activities for you.
In fact part of the fun is seeing the experience through the eyes of the other people present.
You feel joy inside. No one else needs to be present. Joy is completely an inside job unique to each individual. Someone else’s joy may or may not be evident to you. And you will not miss your own experience of joy.
4. Fun is momentary. You do something that is fun. And then you are done doing the fun activity. Sure the memories may endure a long time (even forever) but the event ends.
Joy feels like a sense of accomplishment. It is not a goal but a place where you arrive emotionally or perhaps spiritually. Joy lingers in your body, mind and spirit.
5. Fun is easy to describe. You share the details of the activity ad others understand what you did. They may or may not agree that activity would be fun for them. Doesn’t matter. It was fun for you.
Joy is more abstract and intangible. Others may observe your face and body language yet describing how you feel, defining your joy – that is not easy. Maybe it is not even possible.