Managing Jealousy and Maintaining
a Healthy, Happy Mind
Jealousy is a common, and natural, emotion. It is an earnest concern or painful suspicion of the faithfulness of husband, wife, lover, friend, or simply another person’s success or position in life. In short, jealousy refers to negative thoughts of insecurity, fear, and anxiety associated with worry over the loss of something that someone values. It is a natural emotion and has been observed even in infants as young as five months old, as well as in animals.
Considering that jealousy is a natural emotion found in both humans and animals, you may wonder what is wrong with feeling jealous. The answer is nothing is wrong with it; at least nothing is inherently wrong with it. Feelings of jealousy are natural. The problem occurs when jealousy becomes an all-consuming emotion.
At its root, jealousy can be boiled down to either worry or envy. The jealous person is worried about losing something important in his or her life, or is envious over what someone else has. Neither worry nor envy are constructive traits that will add to the enjoyment or positive development of your life.
When jealousy reaches the point of worry or envy, it starts to consume the mind. It is kind of like the snowball effect where the longer you roll a snowball around in the snow, the more snow sticks to it, and the bigger it gets. Jealousy works the same way when one continues to meditate on jealous thoughts of loss or envy.
The more you think about something, the more it expands. Therefore, the more someone gives energy to thoughts of jealousy, the more jealous one gets. The problem with this is when jealousy snowballs, it also creates emotions such as anger, resentment, sadness, and malice.
All of these emotions are negative, low-energy emotions which detract from both your personal growth and the enjoyment of your life. Our thoughts have energy; this is a scientifically proven fact. Some thoughts have negative energy, and some thoughts have positive energy. Jealousy usually leads to thoughts which are associated with negative energy, at least when one’s jealousy is not addressed.
This brings us to the question of what to do about jealousy, especially since it is such a natural emotion. There are several steps that can help one successfully deal with feelings of jealousy.
1) Work on improving your self-esteem. The lower someone’s self-esteem is, the more that person will have doubts concerning his or her own worth. This leads to doubts about whether your friend, lover, husband, or wife values you enough not to leave you for someone else. Therefore, increasing your self-esteem is the first step in dealing with worrisome thoughts of jealousy. The more you value yourself, the more you will feel that you are special and that others will see you as a special, loving, quality person also. A person with high self-esteem will look at a relationship more in the terms of being mutually beneficial. Whereas, someone with low self-esteem will look at his or her relationship as one in which they have to hold on to the other person because the other person may find someone who is actually more worthy of their love and affection. Understand your worth and how special you are, and know that if someone else doesn’t see this, he or she is not the right person for you.
2) Acknowledge your feelings of jealousy. Understand that these feelings are natural and not a problem unless you dwell on them and allow them to get out of hand. Some jealousy is natural and actually stems from caring about what is happening in your life. Obsessive feelings of jealousy is where the problem lies, not the emotion itself. When you acknowledge that you feel jealous over a certain situation, then you are dealing with it correctly. Talk to your friend, lover, or spouse about your feelings. Being open and honest, and bringing these thoughts to the surface, will many times put the brakes on jealousy and not allow it to turn into obsessive thoughts of anger and resentment.
3) Go to the root of the problem. Is there a valid reason for your feelings of jealousy? Are your feelings of jealousy justified instead of merely being a mythical creation of your mind? If so, deal with the problem and don’t simply let it fester in your mind. Feelings of jealous could actually be your intuition trying to tell you that there is something happening that you need to address. Don’t simply worry about it, but address the problem at the root, and either correct the problem or remove the problem from your life.
4) Focus on positive thoughts and self-improvement. Your mind can play tricks on you and has to be controlled. Do not allow your emotions to control your life. Control your emotions and focus on improving yourself. You are responsible for your actions, not other people’s actions. I will repeat, what you think about expands. If you give enough energy and thought to something you will actually cause it to manifest in your life. Instead of allowing thoughts of jealousy to expand in your mind, occupy your mind with positive thoughts of how you want your life to be. Worry is actually focusing your thoughts on what you don’t want instead of what you do want. This is dangerous, as your mind does not discriminate. It will manifest whatever you continually imagine and focus your thoughts on; so make sure you control your thoughts and emotions. Worry and jealousy also increase your stress, which can stall your self-improvement goals and destroy your health.
Jealousy is a natural emotion, but that does not mean that we have to permit it to dictate our thoughts. You control your mind and your thoughts; therefore you decide whether or not you will allow jealousy to expand in your mind and grow into something more negative. Take the appropriate steps to control your mind and continue on your path. Don’t let jealousy to expand and throw you off track. Be aware of what is going on in your mind before it spirals out of your control.
By continually using the appropriate step to control jealous emotions, you will find that you gradually have less and less feelings of jealousy. Who knows, maybe soon, jealousy will become a non-issue for you completely as your self-esteem grows and you gain the self-confidence to deal with jealousy issues head on instead of merely giving them a home in the back of your mind.