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Jealousy happens to all of us. It is a natural part of the human psyche. But when jealousy begins to get the better of us and interferes with the positive interactions we have with friends and loved ones, it becomes a problem. The situation is even worse for individuals suffering from depression. Often, depression and jealousy will form a vicious circle, with each mental state causing the other to be felt more intensely.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to control your thoughts and actions, and knowing how to beat depression and jealousy will give you the confidence to overcome them.
The first thing you should do to take back control of your thoughts is to identify your feelings as they happen and understand what situations cause feelings of jealousy and depression to arise. There are several ways to do this, including:
As you go about your day, take a few moments every now and then to think about how you are feeling. Write down the situations that make you most stressed, using as much detail as you can.
Once you've isolated the things that cause you pain, begin thinking about how you would rather have those things make you feel. Again, be detailed.
We are visual creatures, and your envisioning will be stronger if you draw, paint, or cut out images that meaningfully symbolize to you the positive emotional benefits you will gain from being in control of your jealousy.
Take time each day, or several times a day, to reflect on the life you have imagined. Does it seem like a better way? What is holding you back from feeling like you would in your "ideal world"?
Having critically analyzed your emotional thought processes, you should now be prepared to consciously shift your thinking as stressful, depressing, or jealousy provoking situations arise.
Out loud, reaffirm that only you are able to change the way you feel about things. develop positive affirmations that you can use to remind yourself that you are strong enough to overcome your perceived limitations.
When you find yourself thinking "I am so depressed" or "I just wish I could have ...", stop for moment, repeat one of you affirmation statements, and change what you were thinking into something positive. For example, instead of thinking "I'll never have that nice [expensive possession]", think to yourself "I am strong enough to take steps that will let me buy that in a few months" or "My self-worth is not dependent on my owning that thing."
Repetition is key. You'll know the lessons have sunk in when you find yourself automatically changing your thinking without even realizing it.
Changing your established modes of thought can be challenging, especially when they are being caused in part by a serious illness like depression. Knowing how to beat depression and jealousy together can be especially hard. The most important thing is to stay committed to positive change and a positive attitude.
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