There are a lot of negativities in the world and more often than not, even good people fall victims and become vulnerable to these emotions – especially when they are at the lowest point in their lives. Sometimes, these are just fleeting feelings that can go away after a while. However, there are some that can manage to linger and fuel a fire that can change an entire person’s life – and not for the better.
One example of an emotion that can change how a person sees the world is envy. Many of us have probably had our share of moments of feeling envious of other people’s circumstances and achievements that we often tend to carry this negativity around until it is already affecting everyone around us.
The good news is, there are ways to stop being envious so you can live a happier and more optimistic life. Here 11 inspiring tips to overcome envy:
1. Understand that ‘envy’ is not ‘jealousy’.
Do you know the difference between envy and its cousin, ‘jealousy’? It’s important to understand the real meaning of this emotion so that you can properly address the problem and find the most suitable solution.
Basically, jealousy is the feeling of wanting to have something that you once had. Envy, on the other hand, talks about that obsessive frustration about the things that you never had.
2. Make a ‘trigger’ list.
Grab a pen and paper to make a list of the things, people and circumstances that trigger your envy. It’s important that you recognize these switches so that you can understand where it all starts and what to do when it’s starting to make its move.
Do you feel envious of your friends who found the love of their life without even trying? Don’t you feel happy about your classmate’s perfect score for the finals? Don’t you get excited when your Facebook friends post photos of their travels abroad?
3. Look back to where it started.
When you think that you were never this bitter and envious person before, try to look back and figure out where it all started. What happened in the past that made you let this negativity linger?
Sometimes, past frustrations or anxieties about the future can make you vulnerable to becoming bitter and envious of the things that you cannot have, and even of the realities that you cannot control.
4. Talk to a friend.
Talk to someone you trust, a good friend who can understand you, who can bluntly give you the most realistic advice that you need.
It’s very difficult and often scary to be true to yourself and accept that you have this imperfection. However, letting a friend make you see the realities of it all and the things that you can do to overcome them is one of the best ‘cure’ that you’ll ever have.
5. Hang out with the optimists.
Be with the right people, the optimists, the positive thinkers. When you are haunted by these negativities, it’s good to be with people whose presence cannot only neutralize them but can also make them all go away.
Learn from their perspectives in life and try to apply them to your own. You may not share the same definition of happiness with others but at least you can have an idea of where to start.
6. Be grateful.
Appreciate what you have and celebrate your victories no matter how small they are. Here are the secrets to a happy life: appreciation, simplicity and contentment. You don’t have to have everything to be able to smile every day. Just look around you and realize that there is a lot to be thankful for.
7. Stop comparing yourself with others.
Just stop doing that. You are following a different path. Everyone is. It’s impossible for two people to have the same achievements, to live the same lives and to have the same definition of what happiness is. Therefore, comparing yourself with others is not just a waste of time but a trigger that you should avoid at all costs.
It’s okay if your coworker is finally purchasing his dream house while you spend hundreds of dollars on your monthly rent. Be happy about your best friend finding that rare opportunity to work for her dream company while you’re stuck in your boring office, doing the same things every day.
Focus on working on your own goals instead of looking at other people and drowning in self-pity just because you have no idea where to start or where to find the luck to achieve all those.
8. Avoid toxic people.
Avoid the negative people in your life, the toxic ones. You have to realize that the only way to work on the negativity that you are currently feeling right now is to try to find other things that will remind you to be more grateful, not hateful.
Toxic people have the ability to make others feel small, to make others think that no matter how hard they try, they will never get what they truly deserve – and that’s not what you need right now.
9. Value the intangible aspects of life.
Let go of your attachments to material things and learn to appreciate the intangible side of life: friendship, love, union, success.
Oftentimes, people feel envious of others who can have everything that the material world can offer – and this leaves them frustrated and often become hateful and bitter towards life, living and everything that goes with it.
10. Express it in more possible ways.
This is the most difficult yet the more productive way of overcoming envy. It’s okay to recognize that you feel envious of others, of what they have and their achievements in life. Your next step, however, is to know what you can do to use and exploit this emotion. How?
By using envy as a motivation. Do you really, really want to book that once in a lifetime trip abroad just like what your Facebook friend did? Save up and work harder. Do you also want to find the love of your life and be happy just like your friend? Be the best version of yourself and the person that you truly deserve will find you.
11. Find your inner peace.
How about trying alternative methods to counter this negative emotion? Overcoming a serious case of envy may require alternative solutions, and some even consult professional help. However, all of these have one single goal: to help you find peace within you.
Finding your inner peace may be too challenging but it’s possible.
There are different ways to overcome the negativities in our lives and the first step should always start with your willingness to try. It’s not yet too late to change your life and make it better, happier and more fulfilling. Start today.
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Photo by Liam Welch