It can feel like a scene in a horror movie.
After a lot of tension, stress, fear and hard work, the monster has been vanquished… or so the protagonists believe. Just when they sigh and let down their guard, it arises again. This time the monster seems even stronger and more menacing than before!
In that moment, it seems like nothing will get rid of the monster once and for all.
This scenario might also describe your own struggles with jealousy.
Maybe you’ve worked really hard to calm yourself down, improve your self esteem, identify your triggers and heal your past. Perhaps you haven’t had a jealousy meltdown in several weeks and you’re starting to wonder if you’ll finally be forever rid of this destructive habit.
It returns. It might even return with what seems like renewed intensity and power over you. You are left feeling helpless and wondering if you’ll always be jealous.
So, is jealousy something that never leaves?
No, but also yes.
We believe that jealousy is not something that anyone has to battle with forever. It is absolutely possible for you– or anyone else– to make significant changes that result in jealousy essentially disappearing from your experience.
We’ve seen success stories in ourselves, the lives of friends, family and people we coach. You CAN overcome jealousy.
At the same time, you might find that twinges of jealousy will linger. Particularly triggering situations or people may always bring up an initial jealous reaction in you.
If you’re like most people who have a jealous habit, it’s been with you for quite awhile. It might be something that is rooted in your early childhood experiences that was then reinforced over the years in relationships and interactions with others. This can build up quite a strong habit that keeps jealousy around and makes it feel like a monster who will never die.
The good news is that while jealousy may be something that lingers, it can get easier and easier to deal with in positive ways. Your success story might be that you learn how to notice a jealous reaction early, get clear and calm yourself down before speaking or acting from jealousy.
That IS success! That is the way that you stay healthy, happy and connected with your partner.
Are you ready to take back your power and overcome jealousy? If so, remember these 3 tips…
#1: Stay aware.
While we don’t want you to be tense and “on guard,” we do advise you to stay awake and aware. Too many of us fall back into old habits as we get so caught up in being busy, we are surprised by a trigger.
Before going into a situation that has been emotionally charged or stressful for you in the past, take a few moments to breathe and return to yourself and your center. Recognize the early signs of jealousy in your body and in your thoughts and, when those signs crop up, make soothing and caring for yourself your top priority.
#2: Keep questioning.
It’s essential for you to learn how to differentiate between information that’s verifiable and reliable and your thoughts or fears that may or may not be accurate. Knowing what to trust is important to this process of uncovering jealousy and deciding what to do about how you feel.
Questioning yourself is a useful tool. We’re not talking about doubting every single thought or perception you have. We’re talking about regularly, with gentleness and love, pausing and asking yourself, “Is this really true?”
Get curious about how you feel so that you can determine what is really going on when you feel insecure or unsure. Reach for clarity so that you can make a choice about whether to follow up on a suspicion or feeling that something is “off” or whether to soothe yourself and let it go without further exploration.
#3: Stay present.
If jealousy is like a monster, being present in each moment is perhaps one of your most powerful tools for facing it. This takes some practice, so keep at it. Because you’re human, you will most likely drift back to the past or project into the future periodically.
As you might already know, living in either the past or the future is not going to help you create the kind of jealousy-free relationship that you want.
Instead, shift focus to your breathing. Slow it down and say to yourself “inhale, exhale” as you breathe for a minute or so. Look around at your environment. Really take in the sights, sounds, tastes and touches that you sense in your immediate vicinity.
Both of these are simple ways to come back to the present moment and also to interrupt jealousy when it starts to arise within you.
The gift of the present moment is clarity which supports you making decisions that are in your best interests and in the best interests of your relationship.
As you incorporate these tips into your daily life, take note of what specifically works for you and what doesn’t. Pay close attention to the words you use to calm yourself when jealousy arises.
*If you have a success story about what helps you overcome jealousy, please comment below and share about it!