Once in a while we have all felt that sensation of anger, malice and ill feeling towards someone else over something he or she possess or acquires which we want but for one reason or another, can't get at the moment. Maybe a neighbour who just bought a new car or friend who just got married or gave birth to a baby. Or a colleague who just got a new job or signed a big contract. It is worse when these are things we badly want or need and we see other people getting them. Yes, that's jealousy .
Once in a while, we all get that feeling, which is alright because we are human. If well channelled it can even propel us to put in more effort and get ours too. Jealousy however becomes a problem when we allow it to grow, unable to get over it fast enough and becomes stronger in our mind, guiding our thoughts and actions.
Jealousy is a hydra headed monster and is the foundation for many vices and atrocities being committed daily. Jealousy can lead to murder, robbery, kidnapping, adultery and other vices. According to the Bible, the first crime that was recorded in history was as a result of jealousy where Cain murdered his brother out of jealousy because his offering was rejected while his brother's offering was accepted. Indeed jealousy is as cold as the grave.
Now the everyday person who isn't prone to crime but is excessively jealous and bottles it up can have his mental health badly effected. This happens when we don't get rid of the feeling fast enough but allow it to go beyond control. These mental health issues include, anxiety, depression, paranoia and psychosis and low self esteem among others. Some of the time, we discover that jealousy is the root cause of some of these problems and it escalates because we don't recognise it on time or we trivialize it. Jealousy is a destructive emotion hence the need to nip it in the bud before it escalates beyond control.
Some of the steps we should take to overcome jealousy include;
1. Recognise and identify it.
When you start getting angry and resentful, inwardly or outwardly over someone else's achievement, physical, material, medical, financial or even emotional, that is jealousy springing up. When that feeling becomes stronger instead of lessening, it's a pointer that it needs to be stopped. A problem genuinely identified is the beginning of solution.
The next steps require lots of introspection or deep thinking.
2. Recognise the triggers.
What are the things that stir up these jealous emotions and why? Is it only a particular person's accomplishments or everyone who accomplishes a particular thing? Is it the way we view ourselves in the light of the people 's accomplishment we are jealous of?
3. Stop the mental comparisons .
Remember that in life, no one has it all, no matter the packaging. The accomplishment you are getting jealous about is just a part of the person's life. Remember, you are comparing the person's strength with your weakness.
4. Magnify your strengths.
Most times we get jealous because we feel that person's accomplishment is better than ours so no matter how small our own accomplishments might be, magnify them.
5. If possible, reach out to the source.
Sometimes by reaching out to the person whom we have that feeling towards, we transform that negativity. For example, if you are jealous of our neighbour who just bought a house and you are yet to get one, you can get a call across to him with a hearty congratulations or buy a housewarming present. If it is an ex who is about to get married, you can call to congratulate or even send a wedding present. Sometimes, you feel good by just doing good.
6. You can talk it over with a friend or therapist. Hopefully, if he is a good friend, he'll help you get over those feelings.
7. You can pray about those feelings.
Trust me there is nothing to big or too small to pray about. Tell God sincerely how you are feeling and to help you get rid of those negative feelings. It might not be automatic, but He will definitely help you.
Remember, health is wealth. Don't take your mental health for granted.
Thank you for reading. If you have contributions or thoughts on the subject, please add them in the comment section below.
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