These days it’s all about #mondaymotivation, #selfcaresunday, and the like. It’s the overseas holidays, shopping sprees and latest designer wear - all beautifully presented on carefully chosen Instagram feeds. Picture after picture posted for your enjoyment... or jealousy.
Jealousy. It’s a natural emotion to feel. The key is to transforming it into something positive. Human behaviourist Dr John Demartini says rather instead of getting caught up in these emotions, use them as a tool for greater self awareness.
“Rather than just acknowledging those feelings of jealousy, dig a little deeper and try to uncover the root cause,” says Demartini. “This process of discovery is not only the first step toward resolving self-depreciation, but can also help to achieve a more empowered sense of self and a more confident approach to life.”
It’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Wallowing in self pity and envy would be so much easier than digging deeper and deciding how to deal with it. Self-deprecation is much more attractive.
But here’s the thing. It can actually cause you physical pain to feel envious and jealous. According to research published in the Journal Science, envy and physical pain make use of the same regions in the brain.
Psychology professor David Buss also argues that jealousy is a crucial emotion which evolved to help protect against the breakup of relationships. Bus believes that jealousy motivates two things - behaviour to either ensure sexual exclusivity, or to protect offspring against the loss of vital requirements. These were all critical prerequisites for the survival of our children during our evolutionary past, reported Britain’s i News.
So how do you overcome these negative feelings? Demartini has a three-pronged approach.
Jealousy is a tool
Consider this: If you never felt jealous, you wouldn’t feel the need to grow and expand. So, instead of seeing jealousy as negative, accept jealousy as a tool in your emotional toolkit that can help you achieve a greater version of yourself.
When jealousy comes, you’re on a knife-edge. You must decide whether you will simply embrace these feelings and use them to help you develop, or feel a vicious need to let them destroy you. Instead of obsessing over what others have that you don’t, refocus that energy into working out how to get there too - or realise that there are places where you have gotten there already in your own unique way.
Whether it’s for a job, or a relationship, ensure that you seek what fulfills you, and not only what infatuates you. If you’re infatuated with feelings of vulnerability and doubt, you’ll pay the price. Instead, seek relationships and jobs that truly align with your highest values to feel validated and fulfilled.