Jealousy can be very stressful and unhealthy. These 5 questions will provide relieve and comfort.
It literally makes her sick.
The worry, fear, and anxiety that go along with jealousy causes Jessica emotional and physical pain. She feels sick to her stomach, dizzy, and sometimes she’s so nauseated she can’t eat. Jealousy attacks like these used to be somewhat rare. They only happened when Jessica’s boyfriend went out with his buddies and stayed out later than expected, but they’re more frequent lately. The two of them bicker more than ever before and, often, it’s because she wants to know where he’s been and exactly whom he’s spent time with.
As the tension in Jessica’s relationship has grown, more and more things trigger her. Just today, she recognized the cold sweat and upset stomach when she logged onto Facebook and noticed that a woman who works at the same office as her boyfriend "liked" a photo of him.
"What does it mean?" is a question that won’t stop roaring in Jessica’s mind. She’s tired of feeling uncertain, suspicious, and sick.
When you have a jealous habit, it’s not only your emotional health that suffers. Persistent worry and anxiety can lead to serious physical health problems like: elevated blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, and a spike in triglycerides. All of these can cause major (even life-threatening) health crises. The body cannot function as it needs to when it’s trying to handle lots of stress.
And stress is what jealousy adds to your life.
Aside from the physical ailments that can occur, jealousy can put your relationship at risk too. It’s nearly impossible to build and maintain connection, intimacy, and trust with your partner when jealousy is there.
You may already know all of this and, like Jessica, maybe you are sick of feeling horrible, but you still can’t stop the jealousy. It’s similar to a nicotine addiction. You know that smoking cigarettes can lead to respiratory problems and even lung disease. You already notice the coughing fit first thing in the morning and that you can’t take deep breathes like you used to, but ...
You aren’t able to stop.
There’s something that keeps you hooked and THAT’S the big obstacle.
Obviously, a habit like jealousy is not the same as a nicotine addiction, but people feel helpless to quit both—even if they know it would be better and healthier if they did.
The trick to taking back control of your life and to getting out from under the lousy way that jealousy makes you feel, is to interrupt your usual pattern. When you’re in those triggering situations, the more you redirect your energy and attention away from what you usually do (that inflames jealousy) and toward what truly helps—the quicker you’ll overcome jealousy and start creating the kind of relationship you want.
Use these 5 questions the next time you feel jealous:
1. "Where am I now?"
No, we’re not joking with this one. The very first question we recommend you ask yourself when you feel anxious and suspicious, is "Where am I?" So many of us jump around in our minds to the past, the future, different relationships, similar (but different) situations, and anywhere else ... except the present moment. An important step to clarity is to return to the here and now and respond from that place.
2. "What will help me see clearly?"
Relationships can be confusing and jealousy muddies the view even more! The thing that helps you see more clearly might be very simple. It could be drinking a cool glass of water or eating an apple. It could be taking a brisk walk outside (to literally clear your head). It could be an intentional pause of 5 inhalations and exhalations of your breath before you say or do anything.
Take a moment to go inside yourself to find out what you truly need and then do it.
3. "What do I know?"
From a calmer and clearer place, you can more easily know what you know. Review the facts you have about the stressful situation. For the moment, set aside your theories and guesses and focus on observable and verifiable facts.
4. "What do I need to know?"
Think about the gaps in the facts you have. Some of those gaps may not be as important as you once thought, but others are probably worth following up on. Find one or two questions that, when answered, will help you understand what’s going on.
5. What’s my next best step?
On the other side of jealousy is a conscious response to whatever the situation is that will be in your best interests. Your next best step may be an agreement with your partner about an ex or a particular behavior. It may be a healthy boundary about what’s okay and what’s not. It may involve you considering whether or not it’s wise to stay in the relationship or to leave it.
Whatever that next best step is, you’re going to easily see it and follow it through when you do so without jealousy leading the way.
It’s a process to free yourself from jealousy so that you can enjoy the close and connected relationship you want. We walk you through the important steps to healing and happiness in our No More Jealousy program and you can get started now with our free Jealousy-Stopping ebook.