Focusing on Yourself to Work Through Jealousy

By Julia Jones

May 12, 2019

When you struggle with jealousy it can be hard on both you and your partner. But when you’re struggling with jealousy, despite the benefits and the need for open communication, you are the only one who can actually change those feelings and overcome them.

It’s totally something that you can do and I’ve worked with a lot of people who have managed to beat their jealousy, but heads up, it’s going to take a lot of work.

Acknowledge It

The first thing you need to do is you need to accept that it’s actually happening. If you’re having jealous feelings you can’t just sit there and pretend nothing is happening otherwise it’s going to create an unhealthy coping system where you ignore your actual feelings.

Work on Yourself

This may sound really obvious but you need to be able to take time to work on yourself as a whole, not just your jealous feelings; otherwise, you’re not going to be able to control, understand, or work with those feelings. So, as much as you might not want to; break out the self-help book that you bought years ago and never touched.

Accept Your Thoughts

One thing I see a lot of people do (quite frankly) wrong when they feel jealous is they deny their feelings. They bottle them up, push them down, and try to ignore them but that doesn’t actually do any good. I’m not saying you should act on any of the jealous feelings you’re having towards your daddy but I am saying that you need to accept them. If you don’t accept the thoughts you’re feeling, if you don’t let them be there, you won’t be able to properly examine them and you won’t be able to understand them.

Learn Where Those Thoughts are Coming From

The thing that really sucks about this sort of stuff is that you can’t just say “Oh I’m jealous” and be done with it. You gotta look at what you’re jealous of and why that made you jealous. What did it make you think of? What has happened in the past when that came up? What do you associate it with? Those questions are going to get you started on figuring out why you actually have those thoughts and where they are actually coming from- and what the underlying emotion is.

It’s not jealousy. Even though you may be feeling jealous, there is something under there that you need to find. Keep digging until you find it.

Use Your Journal

Get yourself a journal to start logging your feelings and to write down what’s going on in your life- the simple biggest thing I suggest anyone do is start journaling. You never know how much you have to say until you start. It’s also a great way to log some of your jealousy insights or feelings!

Here are a few prompts to help get you started:

  1. How many times you felt jealous this day/week
  2. Things that make you jealous
  3. How you feel before or after you get jealous

Get More Hobbies

One thing you can do as well is to keep yourself busy! Get more hobbies and find more things that interest you and that you can spend your time doing instead of sitting at home being jealous or thinking about things that will spike your jealousy for no reason.

Increase Your Confidence

Again, this goes back to working on yourself, but while you’re focusing on all these positive changes you’re making to your life your confidence will increase, just think about giving it a little bit of a hand by taking steps you know will help. Things like hitting the gym, switching up your hair, focusing on dressing nicely- all small things but they are proven to help us feel better about ourselves.

Learn How to Challenge Thoughts

I could spend a whole article (or two, or three) telling you how to do this, but let’s be honest you don’t want to spend all that time reading, right? So, I’m going, to sum up how to challenge your thoughts.

You have a thought. After that you ask yourself: What in my life and (rationally) in life supports that thought? What doesn’t support it? How could I change that thought? Is this thought an overreaction?