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Mental Health

Life Hack: How To Manage Jealousy

As humans, we feel infinite emotions, ranging from love to hate, fear to courage, sadness to happiness and so on. These emotions are rarely outlandish, they are staunchly rooted in one’s experiences and their approach towards life. Understanding one’s own emotions can consume a lifetime, and acknowledging them is the first and the most difficult task. In spite of this, it is extremely crucial to live a contented life that you accept. While the “good” or “positive” emotions are easily confessed, it takes a lot of effort to label the “bad” tumults of the mind. Jealousy is one such quintessential emotion. It is frowned upon by society and the bearer of jealousy is seen with repudiation. Much ironically, however, it is the most common emotion that one can get trapped into, while also being the hardest to get out of.

What exactly is it about this jealousy that no one wants, but everyone feels at some point or the other? To try and understand this, it is important to explore this feeling thoroughly. Like every other emotion, jealousy too has its roots in one’s deeper realities. When your friend buys a beautiful dress and looks amazing in it, you may feel jealous. When your classmate who scored less than you gets admission to a prestigious foreign university, you may again feel jealous. When your ex gets a girlfriend and seems happy, you can feel…jealous. You get the picture! Of course, countless other contexts exist where the essential inclination is envy and anxiety. 

Though the emotion is the same, the reasons are not. It is by discovering and acknowledging these reasons that one can proceed to overcome the negativity. In the first example, the feeling of jealousy might be simply because you weren’t able to look as beautiful as your friend. It might also be because you didn’t have as many resources as your friend to buy that dress. In the second example, the reason can be your inner insecurities and self-doubt. You might feel that you didn’t work hard or were not good enough to be able to achieve what others are achieving. In the third example, jealousy stems from the feeling of injustice. You might feel that your ex shouldn’t be happy after all that they did to you! Or you might have felt less bothered if you also had someone special in your life.

Tracing the feeling to its source aids in repairing the exhausted joint. Everyone chooses their own way to do so and I am not here to suggest any of those. It is however implied that this process takes time and in the meanwhile, it is important to be as positive and hopeful as one can be. What I will suggest are ways to avoid jealousy and anxiety at this time so that you can focus on the deeper issues. While it may seem to be a little extreme, one of the best ways to take out time for yourself is to distance yourself from the source of envy. Social media definitely works to bring us close to people far away, but it also takes us away from our own selves. If you feel that you can work better by eliminating the source from your sight, feel free to mute their Instagram stories or unfollow them for a while until you get comfortable with what you have.

Once you have created a protected space for yourself, start asking self-awareness questions. Ask yourself whether you are unhappy because you don’t have things that others have or because you think that you are not worthy of those things. Remind yourself about the goals that you have set and whether you are working towards those. Calm yourself by trying to realize that success has different meanings for everyone and that you don’t have to act according to the bars set by others. Tell yourself about all the things you have achieved so far and how hard you worked for those. Appreciate yourself for what you have become and train your mind to be happy for others. The key to all this lies in believing that everyone is unique, their ways are unique, their milestones are unique and their lives are unique. It is indeed difficult to accept this, especially when the world is racing towards the unknown, but what will set you apart will be your satisfaction with the pace of your process. It should never result in stillness but should work as positive energy to push you to achieve more, not for the world but for yourself. And it is also important to realize that you’ll have to keep doing this all the time. 

Don’t be hesitant to ask for help, from your family, friends or anyone else. Your life is your journey to discover your own self and a journey is best enjoyed with companions. One can never completely get rid of the feeling of jealousy in today’s world, neither are we trying to do that. What we are, in fact, trying is to not avoid but manage this feeling and use it to grow stronger and better than before. You may get exhausted but don’t give up. Because again, success isn’t the motto, contentment is.

Anushka Pareek

Delhi North '23

History Major student at Miranda House, DU. A firm believer in the concept of serendipity.
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