Few of us ever dare to admit the moments when we feel jealous, particularly when we are in a romantic relationship with someone else.
We're at a party and we see our man chatting with an attractive woman and immediately we feel threatened by her beauty.
Our minds become so consumed with the fear of losing him to her, that as fun as the party is, we just can't seem to shake off that emotion and enjoy ourselves.
So what's really going on inside of us at that moment?
Physically, some of us feel our stomachs churning, dizziness, heaviness on our chest, a knot in our throat, etc.
Mentally, the most negative thoughts are rushing through our brains:
"She's so pretty, I bet all he's thinking about is having sex with her."
"He's gonna cheat on me with her."
"I'm not hot like she is, so why would he wanna stay with me?"
And the like...
It's easy to believe that whenever we feel a negative emotion like jealousy, that it means that it's telling us something true about the situation that we're looking at.
We feel the feeling in our bodies, so how can it not be true, right?
What many of us don't realize is that there was something else that actually occurred BEFORE we started feeling jealous.
Our thoughts immediately became negative as soon as we saw our man talking to the hot girl.
Once those thoughts turned on, our body began to react with the emotions that we were feeling.
So where do these thoughts come from?
They come from any experience that we've had at any point in our lifetime.
Whether it was a family member telling us as a child that we were ugly and would never amount to anything or a past partner cheating on us, these words and past experiences stay recorded in our minds, becoming triggers in the future in situations that feel similar or reinforce what was done or said to us.
Its our mind's defense mechanism to help us cope and survive in the world, but just because it's trying to protect us does not mean that it knows exactly what's going on.
If our minds could predict with 100% accuracy people's behavior, that would be a superpower!
How many of us assumed something about someone else only to come to find out that we were completely wrong?
This is our mind using the only frame of reference that it has, which comes from our past experiences. Based off of this, it generates the negative thoughts that cross our mind, creating the emotions that we feel and we interpret this as truth!
How can we put negative emotions in check whenever we feel them rising?
Here are the 3 things we can do to help deal with negative emotions:
1.Pay attention to the negative thought and ask if there is something else that we may also be believing.
Usually, the first thought that we notice is a "sub-thought", meaning that there is something else that we believe in that this thought is stemming from.
Here's an example: Our man is chatting with the hot girl and we immediately have the thought that he is going to cheat on us with her.
We can then ask: "What is making me believe that he is going to cheat on me with her?"
If we keep digging, we can come to see that maybe there's a belief that we think we are not worthy, hot or good enough for our partner to be faithful to us or a generalization that all men cheat if they meet any hot woman to interact with.
2. Ask ourselves if the thought is true and ask our minds to present us the proof.
We can ask ourselves: "Is this true that he is going to cheat on me with this girl? Where is the proof?"
When we start to answer these questions, chances are, we'll probably notice a shift in our emotions because our mind won't be able to find the proof.
Many times, the thought will just stay on repeat like a broken record and that;s when we'll notice our emotions shifting.
3. Ask if there could be something that happened or was said to us in the past that would make us think this thought.
If an ex cheated on us, it would make sense to have a thought like this cross our minds, but thinking it does not make it a reality or guarantee that it's going to happen again.
This helps us become aware of our triggers so that when we are in situations that cause negative thoughts and emotions, we will be better able to cope and handle the situation, creating less drama within ourselves and our relationships.
It would help to have a journal to write down the thoughts. This can help with detaching and seeing them objectively to be able to understand why they keep coming up in certain situations.
For most us, this is a skill that we we never taught and would have to train ourselves in and that's perfectly okay.
None of us are perfect and we will give into our emotions from time to time, but as we continue to practice analyzing and digging into why we think what we think, our emotions will start to dissipate and we will feel much more in control of our minds and our emotions.
Thanks for reading. If you're up for it, share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. We'd love to hear from you! :)