There are almost 8 billion of us on the planet and we all live vastly different lives.
When it comes to happiness or the things that lead to happiness, no two people have the exact same experience. You might not have what someone else has and vice versa.
The thing is, we humans tend to want what others have, no matter how good our own life may be.
This gives rise to envy.
Envy is a resentful feeling and it happens when you want what others have.
So, if someone you know buys a brand new car, you might feel envious of them. This is quite different than jealousy which we feel when we fear losing something or someone. This is typically the case in relationships where a person might get jealous if their partner gets close to someone else.
Anyway, it’s quite important to stop being envious as it can lead you down a dark path and take your focus away from things that actually matter.
So, let’s take a look at 10 ways you can stop being envious.
1. Question Your Envy like a detective
Feelings of envy may crop up even if you don’t want them to.
But what you do next defines the experience of your life.
So, the next time you feel envious of someone, ask yourself,
“Why do I feel this way?
What is the reason behind this feeling?”
Maybe it’s because of one of your insecurities. Or maybe you want the same thing too. No matter what it is, be utterly honest with yourself.
When you’re honest with yourself, you can take steps to address your envy. If you don’t have the clarity, to begin with, how do you expect to stop yourself from being envious the next time? Or the time after that?
Awareness is often the first step towards the remedy.
But, make sure that this awareness happens in a non-judgmental way. Otherwise, you might start loathing yourself, which is not something you want!
2. Be fair with everyone
One of the best quotes that I have read on this matter is, “Comparison is the thief of happiness.”
It literally sucks the happiness out of your body.
When you’re comparing yourself with someone else, your whole focus shifts to what they have.
So, essentially, you start focusing on things that you don’t have!
You don’t need to imagine what that feels like, as I’m sure you must have felt this way on several occasions.
What you can do to fix this, is to change your perspective.
If you have to compare, why not do it equally? Yes, just be fair !! Whenever you start feeling envious of someone, remind yourself that you might have things that they don’t have!
So, if someone buys a brand new smartphone, you could remind yourself that you have a smartwatch that they don’t have!
Instead of putting yourself down, why not put yourself on the same level as others?
3. Practice Gratitude with a journal
This is a spiritual practice that makes a tremendously positive impact on a person’s life.
This is kind of an extension of the previous point but it doesn’t happen in response to a comparison.
Rather, you remain grateful in general.
So, why is this important?
Well, it’s all about the perspective.
Living a life of gratitude means you are constantly aware of all the things and people in your life that make you happy and are meaningful to you.
When you live life with this awareness, envious feelings do not take over your mind.
Even if they do, you are immediately reminded of the things you have.
To make gratitude a part of your life, you can spend some time every day to write down all the things you are grateful for in a journal
And as you list them, close your eyes and say thank you for having them.
And if you need a little reminder, just read some pages of it to help you deal with envy and get back to a more positive mindset.
4. Keep your eyes on two things
You know, we humans ping pong all the time.
No, I’m not talking about the game.
I’m talking about how our thoughts ping pong from one thing to another.
Has it ever happened to you that someone else’s achievement or success made you feel envious even though it has no meaning in your life?
Let’s say you want to become a CEO of a company and someone else got selected in a national sports team.
Would it make sense for you to be envious of them? No, right?
What does make sense, however, is to focus on your own dreams.
When you do that, you eventually reach it, no matter how long it takes.
It is then that you realize how ridiculous your envy was in the first place. Always keep one eye on your dreams and one eye on the path you’re walking.
That way, you won’t have any eyes left to look at someone else’s life!
5. Practice Mindfulness
This is another spiritual practice that will help you to stop being envious.
In simple words, mindfulness is a practice of being totally aware of the present moment in a non-judgmental manner.
This involves your thoughts and emotions too.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Mindfulness allows you to monitor your thoughts in real-time. So, as soon as you start getting envious thoughts, your mind becomes consciously aware of it and can stop them in their tracks.
Often, we may not even realize that we are feeling envy until it’s too late.
Mindfulness is extremely useful in that regard.
The great thing about it is that you can practice mindfulness daily to enhance your ability to remain in the present moment. It’s best to learn this skill by actually doing it.
So, whenever you’re eating, running, walking, laying down, or doing any other activity, try to bring your focus in the present moment and notice how you’re doing even the tiniest of actions and avoid having otehr thoughts.
I know it is tough but it is worth it.
Everytime you have distractive thoughts, just focus back on what you are doing. It can be quite fun in fact.
For example: If you eat, focus on the texture, the colors, the taste, the table, the chair etc…. focus in the moment present.
6. Be A Busy Bee
An empty mind is the devil’s workshop.
We’ve all experienced how sitting idly can lead to our minds wandering around.
From one thought to another, the mind just keeps on running and before you know it, it starts thinking about what you don’t have in your life.
Then your thoughts might wander off to what your friends have or what your relatives have. This inevitably leads to sadness and resentment.
Naturally, it’s better to keep yourself busy.
There are so many benefits to doing so. Not only do you keep your mind occupied so that negative thoughts don’t take root, but you can also use your free time to learn a new skill, or enhance one that already exists!
Imagine all the good habits that you can make a part of your life!
Anyways, whatever you do, don’t give the proverbial devil any real estate to set up his shop in your mind.
7. Redefine the meaning of living
Remind Yourself, “It’s Not A Competition”.
The world we live in is designed in such a way that everything seems like a race or a competition.
Unfortunately, this begins happening right from your childhood, and it carries over to your adulthood too.
So, when someone else gets success or achieves a milestone, you immediately get this unsettling feeling of being left behind.
You feel as though you’re not doing enough. This happens due to a “competitive mentality”.
But is it worth living like this?
Life shouldn’t be a competition. That’s just a ridiculous way of living. It can’t even be called “living” if you think about it.
So, if ever you start feeling envious of someone else, remind yourself that life isn’t a competition. There isn’t a fixed age or a schedule for success. Everyone is on their own unique journey and it doesn’t matter when you get to the peak.
It only matters that you eventually do.
8. Surround Yourself With Positive People
The people in your life have a huge influence on you.
Knowingly or unknowingly, their thoughts, feelings, lifestyle, etc can leave an imprint on you. We all know someone who just loves to show off all the stuff they have.
It might not be intentional but their actions might make you feel inferior about yourself and your life. This can obviously lead to a perpetual feeling of envy whenever you are around them.
Your life will be ten times better in general if you cut off all those people from your life that make you feel terrible.
Typically, it’s the negative types who are always envious of other people and make you feel that way too.
Why not welcome positive people in your life who will expand your horizons and make you feel happy about yourself?
9. Convert It Into A Positive Feeling
This is one of my personal favorites because it stems from a place of positivity rather than negativity.
Let’s say you want a good-paying job and have been trying hard to get it.
Now, let’s say your friend gets that job instead of you. What do you do in this situation?
Feel envious of them?
Nope! Bad idea.
Remember, envy is a negative feeling and you should ditch it the first chance you get.
So, what can you do instead?
Well, convert your envy into a positive feeling. Instead of feeling envious of them, use this as an inspiration and motivation to work even harder to get that dream job of yours.
Just because your friend got it doesn’t mean there or no jobs left in the world! There are tons of opportunities left and you can work harder to achieve them.
10. Celebrate Other People’s Success
This will require a change in mindset that will cancel out any feelings of envy that might be inside you.
When someone gets success or anything else they want, isn’t it such a beautiful thing?
You can imagine how that would feel, right?
It would feel awesome and you would be so happy with your achievement that you’d want to dance.
So, why is it a bad thing if someone else is feeling that way?
Instead of being envious of that person, why not make yourself a part of their celebration!
Learn to be happy with other people’s success. Congratulate them and motivate yourself to supercharge your efforts.
It is this positivity that will ultimately lead you to your own achievements.