This post is a continuation of our series on emotions, and explores a most complicated and damaging emotion to many personal and professional lives: Jealousy.
We all have desires, and these desires drive us into action to satisfy them. But what happens when we do not get what we want, and someone else does?
Swami Vivekananda describes the jealous human mind as a “monkey, which is incessantly active by its own nature; it becomes drunk with the wine of desire thus increasing its turbulence.”
Deep below the surface in our subconscious mind, feelings of jealousy may most often creep in when we are not in peace with ourselves in the present state. We can develop fierce yearnings, which may be mirror images of how we want to grow and/or how we would like to see ourselves. The jealous mindset leads us to obsessive thoughts, which makes our minds increasingly restless and agitated. But it does not need to be this way!
More than ever, we do not have time, patience nor mental capacity to deal with insistent jealous thoughts. Every unnecessary emotional thought is wasted energy. To help our minds come back to peace, we have to find kindness and patience. So how can we help ourselves get out of a vicious stream of jealousy—and quickly—so that we can focus at the bigger task at hand? Here are a few steps which can help:
- Identify your thought as a jealous thought! It is a powerful shift once you begin to become aware of your thoughts and recognize that you can make a conscious change.
- Remind yourself that you do not need identify with those thoughts. They are just untamed thoughts and emotions, not your true identity. Come back to the analogy of the untamed mind as monkey.
- Take at least two deep cleansing breaths. Simply inhale through the nose, and exhale out through the mouth, to help steady the mind. Focus on elongating the exhale.
- Cultivate positive thoughts for the person or people you feel jealous towards and send goodwill to them. This might sound counterintuitive, but it works to calm the fiery mind. I know it is super hard to even imagine, but that could be why it works so well to help you move out of this emotional state.
- And if you really need it, go get it for yourself! Again, jealous feelings are based on wants for ourselves. Take time to reflect on these yearnings, decide if you truly need it and if so, go claim it!
These simple five steps have allowed me to help train my own monkey mind, and move to a place of more fulfillment. I do not need to dwell in jealous thoughts and neither do you. May your awareness of jealous thoughts be inspiration that there is still more work to be done on ourselves. Wishing you courage and grace on your journey!