Jealousy, like anger, is an unpleasant emotion that, like happiness, can temporarily cloud your judgement and distort your sense of reality. But, despite how “hellish” jealousy feels, it’s a natural, perfectly human emotion that either comes and goes without thought or spirals out of control into a full-blown state of mind, to quote Nick Jonas. When you fight these emotions for a long time, jealousy can hurt your physical and mental health. While it’s simple to point the finger at a friend or a stranger, jealousy or possessiveness is usually the result of something deep within you. The only way to get out of it is to address the base of the problem and work your way up from there.
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Each person has experienced envy at some point in their lives, but the emotion may become harmful and have a detrimental impact on your relationships. It has a wide range of intensity. Extreme irrational jealousy can result in distrust, paranoia, abuse, and even physical violence when it is allowed to fester.
When jealousy turns into resentment and defensiveness, it can be dangerous. If the jealous individual demands and continually questions the other person, it might lead to more disagreements in a relationship. Physical symptoms can sometimes be a result of intense emotional events.
When people are envious, it is frequently in the setting of a relationship. One person will feel more confident than the other, and insecurities will lead to unjustified assumptions, arguments, and chaos. There’s no doubting that strong feelings of jealousy can strain relationships, but how does it affect your connection with yourself?
Jealousy is a psychological phenomenon, yet even though it’s all in your head, turning green with envy can have a significant impact on how you see yourself.
Dr Carolina Castanos, the originator of the Moving On programme, believes your envy emanates from your deepest fears, as harsh as that may sound.
“It may tak very little [to get envious] and be extremely intense” for some people, she tells Elite Daily. “It might take a lot and be moderate” for others. Even while these feelings may arise as a result of terrible previous experiences, “how we relate to ourselves has a lot to do with our envy” a lot of the time.
It all comes down to jealousy being a nasty, explosive feeling that feeds off doubts and a lack of self-confidence. Let’s say you’re stuck in a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. office job that frustrates you the most, and your best friend recently got promoted to a corner office with a view. Because you’re not happy with your existing circumstances, a “congratulations” will likely be a bitter pill to swallow. Your jealousy is a direct effect of your dissatisfaction.
Furthermore, envy can spiral into a vicious cycle that affects your emotional and physical well-being.
You’re jealous because you’re unhappy for whatever reason, and jealousy feeds off of that unhappiness, resulting in even greater unhappiness in the long term.
“Imagine if your entire day is spent thinking about how awful you are and how horrible others think of you,” Kati Morton, a YouTube vlogger and licenced marriage and family therapist, tells Elite Daily. “Jealousy may be very harmful to our mental health since it causes us to have only bad thoughts about ourselves and the world around us.”
It’s one thing to be envious, but it’s quite another to let envy rule your life. Dr Danielle Forshee, a registered clinical social worker and doctor of psychology, claims that envy causes your brain to go into fight-or-flight mode. If your jealousy turns into a never-ending fixation, it will not only cause you “extreme uneasiness,” “possibly obsessive thoughts,” and “difficulty concentrating,” but it will also have bodily consequences. Dr Forshee told Elite Daily that “increased heart rate, sweating, and feeling sick to your stomach” are all usual physical responses.
So, how can you control this emotion before it consumes your life and destroys your relationships?
Jealousy is a short-term as well as a long-term battle. When envy strikes in the heat of the moment, your cheeks warm up and your body begins to shiver. But don’t worry, there are a few fast cures that will help you relax.
“Take a step back and physiologically deescalate yourself,” suggests Dr Forshee, who suggests calling a buddy, taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths, and even listening to a motivating podcast. But, as she tells Elite Daily, the tough part about your envious nature is that after the heat of the moment wears off, you forget about it, so it’s perhaps even more vital to address the problem before it arises.
The first step in overcoming jealousy before it overwhelms you is to let go of your denial and acknowledge that jealousy is completely normal. Accept the feelings you’re having for what they are, and then begin to delve a little further.
Next, consider what’s truly causing your gears to grind. “Identifying exactly what it is we are jealous of allows us to create new goals and direction,” Shannon Thomas, an award-winning therapist and survivor of psychological trauma, tells Elite Daily.
Carrying these unpleasant emotions and fighting with yourself or others will get you nowhere quick, and replacing negative energy with positive energy is an excellent strategy to ward against bad luck. After all, as Morton points out, “changing self-talk may honestly transform your life,” and negativity doesn’t promote productivity. You can sit down and brainstorm strategies to overcome it once you’ve pinpointed what’s bothering you, as Thomas says.
Last but not least, once you’ve acknowledged that jealousy is a natural part of life and you’ve figured out what’s causing these feelings to be so strong, locate the lesson and move on. Dr Elizabeth Trattner, a Chinese and integrative medicine specialist, advocates harnessing your energy by focusing on yourself rather than others to accomplish so.
“I constantly advise my patients to walk forwards and not glance right, left, or behind them,” she tells Elite Daily. “You will always feel better if you take care of yourself.”