***QUESTION FROM A READER:
“Is jealousy a phobia? I wonder if to get over it, I must treat it like a phobia? If I see a great looking woman or he is looking at her, I get the same symptoms that people with phobias get. I start breathing heavy, I shake and I feel all hot and scared. I think the fear of abandonment or fear of not really being loved is my fear. I must treat it like that. How do I do that?”
What a great question–and one that so many face when jealousy comes up–especially when your partner looks a little too long at someone of the opposite sex or you see someone you consider to be a real threat to your relationship.
But is this a phobia and more importantly, if it is, what can you do about it?
A phobia is simply an irrational, persistent fear or dread that incapacitates you and interferes with your life.
It’s natural for all of us to have anxious feelings or anxiety from time to time–depending on our past experiences and the situation.
But these feelings usually disappear and you can go on with your life pretty easily.
On the other hand, if your anxiety is a phobia, it seems to always be lurking just below the surface, as well as being irrational.
And even if you aren’t facing the particular situation that sets off your physical symptoms that can be described as panic, you’re always waiting for it to happen.
When you’re talking about the kind of jealousy that our reader wrote to us about, this is often what is going on.
If you do enough research, there’s even a name for a jealousy phobia–zelophobia.
But while it’s all well and good to name what you’re going through a “phobia,” what do you DO with it?
Our first suggestion is…
Don’t think about or even focus on whether or not jealousy is a “phobia” and here’s why…
A phobia is a learned fear and you can “unlearn” it with some help but here’s where the problem comes in.
The moment in your mind when you’ve elevated and renamed your runaway thoughts and feelings from jealousy to a “phobia” …
You’ve just automatically raised the intensity and emotional level of your jealousy to a much higher level.
Don’t do it. We know that this is a lot easier said than done and if jealousy or lack of trust is an issue for you…
Here are some ideas you can use if you can relate to this situation we’re describing…
1. Deal with your physical symptoms first.
Since your thoughts tend to be irrational when this happens, it’s difficult (but not impossible) to “talk yourself” out of it when you are facing a triggering situation like seeing a beautiful woman.
The first line of defense is to excuse yourself and take slow, deep breaths to calm your physical symptoms of shaking and heat (or anything else that you experience.)
There are also plenty of other ways that you can use to help calm your physical symptoms–Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and aromatherapy to name just a couple we’ve had good experiences with.
2. Start a “ritual” or habit that will help you deal with your stress and anxiety.
Commit to increasing your physical exercise– even a walk in your neighborhood everyday can help.
Take a class to learn yoga or Tai Chi.
Start a meditation practice by just sitting for 10 minutes a day and focusing on your breath.
The idea is to do practices or rituals that will reacquaint your body with what it feels like to feel less stress and anxiety.
Then when the stressful situation arises, you’ll be better able to deal rationally with it.
3. Get some help dealing with issues from the past that you haven’t dealt with.
Working with a therapist on getting to the root of your fear of abandonment and not being loved (or whatever your particular issue is) can certainly be a step toward healing.
4. Focus on your life and start creating it the way you want.
When you are in the type of situation we’ve been talking about, you are focusing solely on the other person and what you might lose.
Now we know that it’s a real stretch when you are in the throes of one of these attacks to think that you can think of anything other than your fear–but you can learn how.
You really can learn how to start discerning what is real and what isn’t–and then take conscious steps toward what you want rather than allowing all-consuming fear to rule your life..
We’ve seen it happen over and over again–with the help of our “No More Jealousy” course.
And it can happen for you.
The important thing here is to take one step toward creating a better life for yourself.
For our free 7 Jealousy-Stopping Secrets, go to http://www.NoMoreJealousy.com