Knowing how to overcome jealousy is really about knowing how to overcome yourself. You may have ideas about who you should be, often based on very high or unrealistic standards that you see others emulating. When you are jealous of others, it’s not because of how much they have. It’s because of how little you perceive yourself to be.
Now, with social media, getting likes and page views is the new gauge for popularity. Are people flocking to your profile? Are you keeping up with Instagram influencers? Are you marketing yourself properly? Do you have a personal brand? Do you have any following? Do you have all the latest things? Are you like your friends?
Are you happy?
Only one of those questions matter—whether you’re happy or not. When you are jealous, it is difficult to let in positive feelings about yourself and life. You play a constant game of comparison with others, and everything becomes about competition.
That leaves you with an ideal of who you can be, rather than feeling good about who you already are. It’s good to always want to better yourself, but there is a limit. There is a point where you have to look at yourself and think you’re enough. Otherwise, you’ll never really “make it.”
Success will always be this elusive thing that you try to grasp when comparing yourself to others. You run a race that isn’t your own, and you let go of the person you are truly meant to be.
The good news is that you can overcome jealousy for a happier life. You can still meet your goals, and accept yourself along the way. You can stop checking for who is checking you out on social media. You can breathe a little. You can learn to say “no.”
You can value others while not wanting to become them. You can choose happiness that is about self-compassion, fulfillment, and purpose, things that lead you away from jealousy—and you can start now.
Here are 5 ways on how you can overcome jealousy and become happier in life.
1. It’s Not About Keeping up With the Joneses
Appearances are not everything. You don’t have to follow what’s shiny and new. You don’t have to meet others’ expectations of you.
If you don’t want to do something, say “no.” If you don’t want to be something, say “no.” And if you don’t want to just follow another’s example, say, “no.”
You have the power to control your decisions—your destiny.
If someone has everything perfectly together, they may not be all who you think they are. It may be an image or a facade. Because if you look deeper, everyone has flaws. Everyone has things about themselves that they don’t like.
You never know if someone may be looking to you as an example. You might be the person to lead rather than follow. Rather than seeking inspiration, BE the inspiration. That’s a game-changer.
You may fear rejection when you try to become like others. But what if you were comfortable with yourself to a point that others felt they could be comfortable with you too? What if everyone could let their guards down because of you? Maybe everyone’s waiting to relax and be reassured, too.
Comparing yourself to others may be difficult to pull away from at first. Avoid triggers that cause you to compare yourself to others by not looking at someone’s social media or taking a break to work on yourself—avoiding certain people who put you down or doing something spontaneous rather than just following those around you. You can choose your life. You can find happiness.
2. Finding Satisfaction
On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel about your life?
If you are on the lower end, you are most susceptible to copying others. You don’t have to prove anyone to anything, though. If you find satisfaction with your life, be proud of it.
As long as you can find some satisfaction, you can center yourself in what is good and right and find some meaning in everything. You can overcome jealousy towards others and let your ambitions be your own. When you find satisfaction, you find a newfound love of life—and that is happiness.
Being satisfied doesn’t come easily. It’s human nature to always want more—more stuff, more time, more achievements, more money, more more more. Instead, gratitude minimizes envy. Be grateful to be here, and you will see what’s worth it.
Are you prioritizing your life right? If you are feeling dissatisfied, you may have to readjust your value system. It’s not about your reputation. It’s about your realness.
Are you being honest with yourself in what you need? If not, start there. Start with what makes you happy, without having to have a reason for it—without wanting more or thinking about what it can get you. Just fall in love with the life you live. Then, you will be satisfied.
3. Look to Yourself, Not to Others
What if everything you’re doing is actually right? What if you are okay as you are? What if you have nothing to fear?
Uncertainty and desperation are what lead people to copy each other. A lack of confidence keeps people from coming back to themselves and overcoming jealousy. You might find out who you really are, or you might find out who someone else is. You can only choose one person to be—choose you.
It’s not your fault that you may be feeling insecure. If you listen to the small voice within, you may find that self-love is what you need, not societal approval. But it’s easy to mistake the two.
When you feel like you have nothing of worth, you look to others thinking they have more. It’s time to look to the person who knows you best- yourself. And only you can represent yourself.
Jealousy can lead you to look to anyone but you. This can harm relationships, cause tension, and cause added stress—but you have some control.
Recognize when you are becoming jealous and work on mending the relationship you have with the person because jealousy happens to everyone. You just have to know when it’s happening to you.
Rather than pulling together traits, values, priorities, passions, etc. from another person, pull from within. Your happiness depends on it. So, give up following the crowd because they may be going the wrong direction. It’s time to take a step forward as the real you.
4. Being Your Own Cheerleader
One day, you won’t look back and think, “I’m so happy because of all my energy placed into other people.” Instead, you will look back and think, “I’m so happy because I got to be myself and live a full life.”
When you are your own cheerleader, you are also your own advocate. You speak up for what you need, and you take care of yourself. No one can do it for you.
Sometimes, you may wait for others to validate you before you value yourself. Instead, try to stand tall with what you have, and you will go farther.
When you motivate yourself by healthy means, you rely less on jealousy or competition to fuel you, and this allows you to overcome jealousy. When you get up each morning and decide that life is worth it, that decision changes lives. Perhaps, those whom you look to are looking to you as well. You have to decide that your voice matters.
Positive affirmations are a great way to motivate yourself. For example:
- I Am Enough
- I Am Whole
- I Am Worthy
- I Am Loved
- I Am…
Keep going. Keep saying “I am.” That will empower you to no longer need to envy others.
5. Realistic Expectations
Everyone wants to be on top. Everyone also wants the easy way to get there. But there’s a better way than just being like everyone. You don’t have to always have the answers to be authentic. You just have to have realistic goals.
There’s no easy way to anything, and if there is, it most likely costs too much. When you choose the road best for you, it may be a lonely one.
Your road may be the one less traveled. You may not have much other than your vision of who you want to be. But you know what? You have your own road.
Not everyone ends up doing what they want to do in life; sometimes, envy has a say in that. Sometimes, envy and jealousy rip you from reality. You start diverging from the road meant for you, crossing into the paths of others’. You may get lost there, and before you know it, it’s too late to turn back.
There’s hope, though. You can stay the course and be the person you are meant to be. You can let go of jealousy and that anguish to be someone other than yourself.
There is no perfect person. But there is perfect happiness in being who you are. You can find it by letting it all go. That’s when you know you are enough.
“A flower never thinks of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” –Unknown
It’s time to put jealousy behind you. Love yourself, and you will love your life. What do you have to lose?
Find who you are by letting go of others’ expectations. Authentically show up each day and say, “I am here.” Learn how to overcome jealousy, and happiness will come once you do.
More Tips on How to Overcome Jealousy
We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the present and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the moment when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or plans for the future?
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the benefits of living in the moment you may not be aware of. Then, we’ll look at some of the obstacles and why we worry. Finally, and most importantly, I’ll show you how to live in the moment and stop worrying using some simple practices that you can easily incorporate into your busy schedule.
The result: a happier and more fulfilling life.
Table of Contents
The Importance of Living in the Moment
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha
While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.
Here are just a few that will enhance your life tremendously:
By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present can also improve psychological well-being.
Improve Your Relationships
Have you ever been with someone who is physically present, but mentally s/he’s a million miles away?
Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them extremely difficult.
How about being with someone who is fully present? We enjoy being with her/him because we can make a much deeper connection.
By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.
You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions. Imagine how much better your life would be if it weren’t at the mercy of a racing mind and unpredictable emotions. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier.
Why Do We Worry?
Before we answer this question, it’s important to distinguish between worry and concern.
When we are concerned about something, we are more likely dealing with a real problem with realistic solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.
Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t really exist, or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.
Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes, such as a serious health issue. Some problems may be beyond our control, such as civil unrest or economic downturn. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.
3 Steps to Start to Live in the Moment
Step 1: Overcome Worrying
In order to overcome worrying, we need to do two things:
Calm Your Mind
When you calm your mind, you are able to see more clearly.
The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our mind, most of which are unlikely to come true.
In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Unrealistic thinking is fueled by confusion and uncontrolled emotions. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.
Focus on Solutions Instead of Problems
Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.
People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.
If you’re not problem-solving oriented, don’t worry. You can train yourself to worry less. We’ll discuss that soon.
Step 2: Identify Obstacles to Living in the Moment
In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences.
Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated from too much sensory stimulation.
You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.
If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.
Unpleasant Situations and a Troublesome Past
None of us want to be in unpleasant situations, or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel.
So how do most people cope with painful emotions?
By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our mind to another place and time where things are more pleasant.
In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.
Some people resort to things that stimulate sensory pleasure, such as food, alcohol, or sex. Others will consume substances that dull their mind and keep them from thinking about unpleasant or stressful situations.
A Wandering Mind
From the moment we are born (likely sooner) until the time we die, our body and mind are active performing some function. Therefore, it’s natural for our mind to have some level of activity, whether conscious or unconscious.
Generally, a wandering mind is unproductive. One thought starts an endless chain of thoughts, and this process can go on until we need our mind to perform a specific function or get distracted with something else.
Now, there are times when a wandering mind can be productive, such as when creating works of art, or trying to find creative solutions to problems. In such cases, we need our mind to explore different possibilities.
Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future.
Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking. Even the whole concept of the American dream is geared toward the future. It tells us that if we acquire things like a good career, family, and house, then we’ll be happy.
Step 3: Practice Mindfulness
So how can we live in the moment in a world that is constantly trying to draw our attention to the past and future?
Before we get into concrete actions you can take, it’s important to understand what mindfulness is. You’ve probably heard the term before, but may not fully understand what it means.
The concept of mindfulness is actually quite simple. To be mindful is to live in the moment.
When you are mindful, your attention is focused on what is happening in the present moment, and you are fully in touch with reality.
You are aware of what is happening in your body, mind, emotions, and the world around you. This is different than thinking about these things. To develop greater understanding, you don’t have to think about them so much, but rather just observe them.
This may be counterintuitive to many people, especially intellectuals, because they’re so used to using logic to develop greater understanding. With mindfulness, we calm our mind and emotions so we can see clearer. Then, much of our understanding will come from simple observation. When we develop mindfulness, we literally expand our awareness.
To develop mindfulness, we need to train ourselves to observe things more objectively, that is, without our emotions or preconceived ideas influencing our views.
If you’re ready to live a better life, read on for some simple mindfulness practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to help you live in the moment.
You don’t have to do all of them, but rather choose the ones that appeal to you and suit your lifestyle.
Mindfulness meditation is the mainstay of developing mindfulness and living in the moment. To practice mindfulness meditation, all you really have to do is sit quietly and follow your breathing. When your mind wanders off, just bring it back to your breath.
Notice how your lungs expand with each in-breath and contract with each out-breath. Let your breathing become relaxed and natural.
You don’t have to do it perfectly. The idea is to start spending time away from the constant sensory stimulation of all your activities, and just allow it to settle down naturally. Start with about 5 to 10 minutes per day and work your way up to about 20 minutes or longer.
This practice is highly effective, and can have both short-term and long-term benefits.
If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation, take a look at this article:
While this may sound the same as mindfulness meditation, all you’re really doing is taking short breaks occasionally (10 to 15 seconds) to observe your breathing. Stop whatever you’re doing, and take a few mindful breaths, then resume your activity. That’s it.
You can do mindful breathing at any time of the day during your busy schedule. What it does is interrupt the acceleration of your mind. It is like taking your foot off the accelerator while driving. It’s a nice refreshing break you can take without anyone noticing.
Here’re some breathing exercises you can try to learn: 5 Breathing Exercises for Anxiety (Simple and Calm Anxiety Quickly)
Walking is an activity that you perform several times throughout the day. We often think we’re being productive by texting or calling someone while walking. But are we really?
Instead of getting on your cell phone or letting your mind wander off, why not use your walking to train yourself to live in the moment and focus on the task at hand?
Mindful walking is similar to mindful breathing, but instead of focusing on your breath, focus on your walking. Pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.
You can even make a meditation out of walking. That is, go walking for a few minutes outside. Start by slowing down your pace. If you slow down your body, your mind will follow.
In addition to paying attention to your walking, notice the trees, sunshine, and critters. A mindful walk is enjoyable and can really help your mind settle down.
You can discover more benefits of walking in nature here.
Eating is an activity that most of us perform mindlessly. The reason is that it doesn’t require your attention to perform. Therefore, many of us try to multitask while we eat. We may talk on the phone, text, watch TV, or even hold a meeting.
The problem with not eating mindfully is that we don’t eat what our body and mind need to perform at an optimal level. We may eat unhealthy foods, or too much. This can lead to various health problems, especially as we get older.
Mindful eating has many health benefits, such as reduced food cravings, better digestion, and even weight loss.
So how do you eat mindfully? Start by slowing down, and avoid the temptation to distract yourself with another activity. Here are 3 different aspects of eating where you can practice mindfulness:
- Eating itself: Focus your attention on choosing a portion of food to insert into your mouth. Notice the smell, flavor, and texture as you chew it; then finally swallow it. As with following your breath during meditation, pay close attention to every aspect of eating.
- Choice of foods: Although you’ve already chosen your food before you have begun eating, you can still take the opportunity to contemplate your choices. Think about the nutrients your body needs to sustain itself.
- Contemplating the sources: Most of us don’t think about all the work it takes to provide us with the food we eat. While you’re eating, consider all the work by the farmer, shipping company, and the grocery store. These are real people who worked hard to provide you with the food necessary for your survival.
You can find more tips about mindful eating here: 7 Simple Steps to Mindful Eating
Choose an activity that you perform regularly, such as washing dishes. Focus all your attention on this activity, and resist the temptation to let your mind wander,. When it does, just bring your attention back to washing dishes.
Notice some of the specific movements or sensations of washing dishes, such as how the soapy water feels on your hands, the circular motion of scrubbing the dish, or the rinsing. You’d be surprised at how such a mundane activity can truly expand your awareness.
You can choose any activity you like, such as ironing, folding clothes, mowing the lawn, or showering. Over time, you will begin doing all these activities with greater mindfulness.
Practicing mindfulness is like regularly putting small amounts of change in a jar. They will all add up over time, and this will add up to greater peace and happiness, as well as get you closer to achieving your goals.
Remember, you don’t have to do the mindfulness practices perfectly to get the benefits. All you have to do is keep bringing your mind back to the present moment when it wanders off.
Practicing mindfulness may be a bit challenging in the beginning, but I can assure you it will get easier.
The benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you. This is what Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh calls the ultimate reality.