Hey everyone! I’ve been super busy with work and wedding planning but, I want to take some time to talk about a facet of mental health that often gets overlooked- jealousy!! We all feel this from time to time but in my experience, some people (myself included) with depression/anxiety experience it more often than others. Even worse, it can be the cause of anxiety and depression!
The Jealousy Zone
I deal with anxiety and depression constantly and unfortunately those anxious, sad thoughts often push me into the “jealousy zone.” I call it the jealousy zone because my normal state of anxiety/depression just has me worrying about my own problems. For example, worrying about an assignment at work or how I’ll look on my wedding day.
But the jealousy zone is where I’m looking at those around me and finding ways to compare myself to them, particularly other women. This in turn, causes me to be more depressed or anxious. Vicious cycle, right?
The Women I Admire
When I look at women I admire, I wonder why I can’t be as pretty as she is; I can’t have the nice house like she does; I don’t have the perfect body she does; I don’t have the nice car she does. So on and so forth. I put myself down and if my anxiety is really bad, I find a way to put her down as well. I can’t believe I just admitted that, but its true. I feel like I need to find something to level the playing field. And that fuels my depression and keeps me stuck in the jealousy zone.
How Do I Stop this Vicious Cycle of Jealousy?
For the sake of my own sanity, I went and talked to my therapist about why my anxiety/depression fuels jealousy and vice versa. She said exactly what I thought she would- my self-esteem is the culprit. Crap.
I’ve never had a particularly high opinion of myself and unfortunately it spills into other areas of my life. I also worry about what others think of me. So to improve every facet of my mental health – anxiety, depression, and self esteem- my therapist suggested I start writing down every compliment I receive throughout the day. She also told me not to brush off a compliment, simply accept it and say thanks.
I’ll admit that this isn’t easy. But seeing the good parts of myself and trying not to deflect nice things people say about me has certainly helped. I feel more positive. I look at the women I admire and tell myself that I’ll have what she does someday or that my future is bright too!
Slowly but surely, my self esteem is improving, my anxiety and depression isn’t so severe, and I’m admiring others without trying to level the playing field. Poor mental health can most certainly contribute to feelings of jealousy, but getting to the root of the jealousy can literally improve mental health! And that’s the perfect way to end the vicious cycle and permanently stay out of the jealousy zone.