Most people experience jealousy at one time or another. It's a normal human emotion. However, it can also be a destructive emotion if you can't shake it, or if it causes you to act out in angry or hostile ways. Unchecked jealousy can damage your relationships and cause unneeded stress and anxiety in your life. There are healthy ways for you to deal with your jealousy and bring it under control. Take a look at some coping strategies that can help you handle your jealous feelings.
Acknowledge What You're Feeling
In order to deal with jealousy, you first need to acknowledge that you're feeling jealous. That sounds simple, but jealousy is a feeling that often has a stigma associated with it. It's not a nice feeling, and you may not want to admit that you're feeling it. You may even feel ashamed of it. It can be easy to call it something else, rationalize it, or try to ignore it.
You can't deal with your jealousy without admitting that you feel it. Remind yourself that it's normal and human to feel jealous sometimes. You're not a bad person for feeling jealous, and you can overcome your jealous feelings.
Communicate With Your Loved Ones
Jealous feelings often come up in relationships with people that you care about. For example, you may be jealous of the time that your partner spends with their friends instead of with you. Communicating this feeling to your partner can go a long way toward solving the problem. Try saying something like, "I'm feeling insecure about our relationship because we have so little time together. Can we plan a date night for later this week so I can look forward to some one-on-one time with you?" Your partner can't read your mind and know how you're feeling – a statement like this expresses your feelings, states your needs, and proposes something they can do to help.
You can do the same sort of thing for other types of relationships as well. If you're jealous of the time your parent spends with one of your siblings, ask your parent if you can plan a special outing for just the two of you so that you can spend some quality time together.
If you don't speak up about your feelings, you're liable to end up showing them in less-than-constructive ways, such as by snooping through your partner's phone or email, making sarcastic comments, or even picking fights. It's much better to speak up and ask for what you need than to push it down and end up acting out on your jealous feelings.
Practice Good Stress Management
Feelings of jealousy often arise when you're already feeling overwhelmed or anxious about something. Simply learning to manage your stress can help reduce the jealous feelings and put them in perspective.
Manage your stress by taking care of yourself. Eat well, make sure you're getting enough sleep, and try to exercise. Something like mindfulness meditation or yoga can help you relax and let go of negative feelings. Sometimes, self-care is the most important thing you can do.
If you can't find a way to get your jealous feelings under control, or if jealousy is harming your relationship, you may need external support. Seeing a professional therapist or counselor could be the best thing you can do for yourself and your relationships. A good counselor can help you find the reason for your jealousy and learn how to manage it so that it doesn't interfere with your life. For more help, check out a site like jealousy.com.