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Envy: The Green-Eyed Monster And How To Kill It

Envy can be one of the most damaging feelings you can have. Psychologists have discovered that the happiest people don’t indulge in feelings of jealousy and tend to rejoice in others’ success rather than resent it. Envy: the green-eyed monster and how to kill it.

Envy makes you unhappy

Comparing ourselves to people we perceive as better or more successful than us is called “upward social comparison”. Examples may be “She’s prettier than me” or “He’s richer than me”. This kind of thinking may lead to feelings of inferiority or low self-esteem, which is detrimental to your sense of happiness and confidence. So “She’s prettier than me” may lead to “Therefore, I must be plain-looking”, and “He’s richer than me” could lead to “So I must be a failure”. Feelings of jealousy don’t achieve anything positive and have the potential to keep you mired in a negative mindset.

Learn to deal with envious thoughts

How can you stop these destructive thoughts from affecting how you feel about yourself? The first thing you need to do is be alert to when you are doing it. Then you need to stop, by consciously engaging in whatever you’re doing in the moment. Or you can change your thinking into something more positive and constructive: “She’s very pretty. I’m glad she’s my friend”, or “He’s wealthy. Good on him for working so hard to get to where he is today”.

You can also change your perception about people around you who you deem to be superior in some way by seeing them as mentors or role models. Your sister may be a better piano player than you. By watching and playing with her, you could become a better player yourself. Your friend may have a high-powered job. By talking to him about how he became such a high achiever, you could gain valuable insights into what it takes to be outstanding in your chosen career.

You do “you”

Finally, you need to focus on your own life, and your own plans. If others can help you to achieve what you want, use them as guiding lights, not mental punching bags for your bitterness. Set goals, make plans and stick to it. Life coaching can help you to focus on your own path. Don’t be distracted by destructive and pointless thoughts of envy. Slay the green-eyed monster and you’ll be more productive, more positive and above all, happier.

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