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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

7 Self Tested Strategies to Overcome Jealousy

Even if you think you can hide your jealousy towards someone, still you ought to learn to deal with it. Because it is never about the other person, it is always about your well being. We go though some of the strategies that have helped me overcome this vice to a significant extent...Read on..

What is Jealousy?
Without getting into any complicated language or jargon, I define Jealousy as a 'not a good' feeling created by us in response to some situation that may be completely unrelated to us.

Examples of Jealousy
Your neighbour gets a new bigger, pricier car while you are still stuck with the old one. Your colleague gets promoted while you are still toiling hard. Someone appreciates your friend and not you. Your neighbour's kid gets better marks than your kid...etc etc. The examples are endless. In most cases, the situation is hardly relevant to us, but still we let it impact us - courtesy Jealousy.

Overcoming Jealousy
It is not a good feeling at all. And one bad feeling can easily give rise to a train of bad thoughts and therefore worse feeling. When you sum up your day, you may not end up with a great day. Sum up all your days, and you may not end up with a great life. If such a life is not acceptable to you, you must take charge. Here are a few thoughts and strategies that have helped me overcome jealousy. You may have more. Do write back and would try to include a few of them in this post.

Strategy # 1 : Only YOU are getting hurt | Divert your mind immediately
Your neighbor is excited about the new car. They are planning to go for a family long drive. They also sent you a box of sweets on this happy occasion. But it's just so unfortunate that you have started to hate yourself. Yes, the first thing jealousy does it that it starts to hurt you. And it harms only you. It does not even touch the person you are jealous of. Reason is simple. Jealousy is created inside you. You are the host. It is going to impact each of the cell and body organs. The damage will be irreparable, even though you may not see the consequences instantly.
If you love yourself, you got to make a resolve to contain this damage. Even if you started feeling jealous, tell yourself that you must divert your mind to something more meaningful for you. Else this poison is going to damage you. Deliberately divert your attention to something else and start working on it. It could be your hobby, listening to music, playing guitar, playing with your kids, talking to your friend over phone etc etc. Just divert the focus of your mind from there. Do it a few times whenever you feel jealous and you will soon be an expert in training your mind to focus on more useful things.

Strategy # 2 : YOU are responsible for jealousy and not the other person
If your child stood first in his or her class and you went out to celebrate while your neighbour drenched herself in jealousy, is your child to be blamed for your neighbour's state of mind? If your answer is No, then how come you feel that your colleague in office, who got the raise last week while you continued to slog, is responsible for your feeling of jealousy. He is not. 
Remember that jealousy is a feeling that is created by you via the thoughts that you think. You can take charge of your thoughts and hence what you feel. Whenever you feel jealous, stop the blame game. Rather, understand that you are at fault for this negative feeling. Understanding this fact will help you take charge of your powerful mind. 

Strategy # 3 : Any comparison with others is limiting your own capability
You may have the potential to do great things in life but just because you want to be better than someone else, limits your greatness to a level just above the other person. The biggest sports persons of never fall into the trap of comparing their performance with others because they understand the constraints that comparison may bring into their own performance. Be it Michael Phelps - the greatest swimmer the world has seen (Read 16 Inspiring Traits of Winners from Michael Phelps) or the best ever with a pole vault (Read Ask Sergey Bubka about competing with others), or the greatest runner on this planet (Usain Bolt). None of them, and so many other greats the world has produced, had compared themselves with others. They knew that the moment they compare themselves with others, they would never become the greatest ever in their own craft. They only compared their performance with tier own, continued to improve and then set benchmarks of their own. Comparison with yourself will help you avoid jealousy and set yourself on for greater things in life. Whenever your child starts to feel jealous of a fellow student's marks, tell him or her to compare his or her marks with his or her last performance and then try to improve further. Who knows, he may be a topper one day.

Strategy # 4 : Equilibrium is good for all
Nature has a tendency to establish equilibrium whenever the difference between two entities goes beyond a specific threshold. Assume you have an empty wooden box with a partition in between. If you keep pushing in more air in one half of the box via an artificial source, keeping the other half under the same normal pressure, a stage will come when the box partition will give away. That is because the threshold of the difference in the air pressure in the two halves has been crossed and nature now wants to establish an equilibrium. That explains why an overfilled balloon bursts. That also explains why a society can never be stable if there is too much difference between the wealth of rich and poor. Once the threshold is crossed, you will see more cases of dacoity, corruption etc - these cases just signifying the need to setup the equilibrium. 
So, if someone else is getting richer along with you, someone else's kids is scoring same or better marks than your kids, that is all good for you, the other person as well as the society as a whole. Too much of a difference, and nature will have to intervene. If we have to stay happy, we can stay happy together. It is absolutely not natural for one family to be happy and surrounded by other families who are depressed and frustrated. Therefore, throw away your jealousy since equilibrium is the law of nature.

Strategy # 5 : Being Happy for others will bring Happiness to your Life
The other day, my elder one just won a prize in an inter school competition and the younger one was delightfully happy to hear that. She wanted the elder one to narrate her the entire story. She displayed all emotions of excitement, glee and happiness. This is one quality in the younger one which distinguishes her from most of the children her age. I truly admire her for this special trait of hers. And I believe that this quality will make her stand out of the crowd in future as well. Being happy in the success of others does one great thing for you - it truly makes you happy. It also makes you very likeable in the eyes of the other person. And when you are a loved one for so many, those vibrations are surely going to have a positive impact on your life. Being happy in others success is therefore essential for your own happiness and success.

Strategy # 6 :Your subconscious mind learns to replicate
Whatever you truly believe and think from your conscious mind, it gets fed into your subconscious mind. With time, it becomes a habit and you start expressing those good or bad feelings unconsciously. The way those habits of jealousy have been formed over a period of time, new habits of love and happiness in the success of others can be formed in the next few months. If you make conscious attempts, your subconscious will have to listen. Slowly, your subconscious mind will refrain from creating thoughts of jealousy. It might take time to overwrite years of such thought patterns, but with practice and belief, anything is feasible.

Strategy # 7 : Our journeys are different
Are you jealous of someone  in a car who just races past you? Mostly not. Why? Because you understand that the other person may have his or her own reasons for being in a hurry.
Are you jealous of someone who is driving ahead of you? Why? Mostly not. Because you understand that probably they started earlier than you. 
Are you jealous of someone moving further on the highway while you had to take a left turn? Mostly not. Why? Because you understand that your destination is different and probably your journey is also different. 
Exactly the same concept applies to your and someone else's life. Each one of us are unique and on a different journey. Each one of us started at different times and have different reasons to be at the current juncture in life. There is no reason why you should be unhappy about someone faster than you, someone ahead of you or someone moving higher up while you take a turn. Remember this simple car on a highway scene and it will help you ease out your feeling of jealousy.

I hope you adapt a few of the above 7 strategies to improve the happiness content in your lives. Feel free to share your experiences and if something else helped you overcome this habit.

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The book Happiness Unlimited shows you many such lessons to lead a happier, contented life.