How to Stop Your Jealous Mind
Before It Puts the Brakes on Your Relationship
By Susie and Otto Collins
"Is he flirting with that pretty woman as he gets our drinks from the bar?"
"Why is she looking at that muscular guy in that way?"
"How close is her male chum at work? Is it really innocent after all?"
Thoughts like these filled with worry, fear and suspicion, can literally snowball in your mind.
What starts off as a wandering concern about what your partner's motives and intentions are with another person, for example, can quickly grow into a jealous avalanche!
And the damage that jealousy can do to both individuals and love
relationships is truly immense.
When a jealous thought begins to gather steam and power in your head, it can seem like it's taking over your entire life. For those
moments, it's almost as if your jealous mind has a mind of its own.
As much as you'd like to stop jealousy and keep the connection strong, close and trusting with your love, you might even feel at the mercy of your jealous mind.
Those intense jealous moments can begin to spill over into one another and the combination of heightened emotions like fear or anger with a sense of being taken over by jealousy almost always lead to distance, disconnection and-- too often-- breakups and heartache.
Jason didn't used to consider himself a jealous person. He's always
felt protective and attentive to the woman he's dated in the past, but
not jealous. Now that he's been seeing Kim, however, he's beginning
to realize how many jealous thoughts he has.
And unfortunately, these jealous thoughts often build up and
contribute to full-out arguments and blow-ups between he and Kim.
Jason loves the fact that Kim is such a friendly, outgoing woman.
She is a successful small business owner and is a confident, positive
person to be around...most of the time.
When Jason starts to feel threatened by other men paying attention to Kim at social gatherings-- even if it's in the context of a business
dealing-- sparks fly between Kim and Jason.
He becomes angry, possessive and even accusing. She shuts down and literally ignores Jason during these times.
Kim's philosophy is that she hasn't got the time or the patience for
Jason's jealousy. Unfortunately, this response from Kim only seems to
fuel Jason's fears and worries.
Practice tuning in to your thoughts.
So how do you stop your jealous mind before serious damage is caused to your relationship?
You simply have to learn how to keep tabs on what you're thinking. If you're operating on auto-pilot and largely unaware of your beliefs, assumptions and thoughts, it's going to be nearly impossible to stop and question your jealousy before it grows and seems completely out of control.
Try this: Make it your goal to tune in and acknowledge what you are
thinking three times a day, every single day.
You might create some time-- it can be only a few minutes-- before you get out of bed in the morning, before you go to bed in the evening and sometime in between.
Become the observer and notice your thoughts. Pay attention to your
feelings as well.
If you are irritated and worried about your mate's commitment to your relationship, recognize that. If you are feeling hungry, bored or are wondering if you'll get a raise at work, notice all of that too.
This is about opening up a pathway between your conscious mind and
your less-noticed mind, which could be referred to as your unconscious
mind. We're not going to delve into psychology here.
What's most important is that you begin to easily and regularly know
and engage with what's going on in your mind-- and that you do so from an observing perspective.
It's not going to help you be less jealous by becoming self-critical
or beating yourself up!
Remember that you cannot easily change what you are unaware of. That is why this awareness step is so vital.
Know that you get to choose!
Once you are accustomed to acknowledging your thoughts and feelings, you can begin to work on choosing your response to what's going on in your mind and your experience.
Anyone who's been in the seeming tidal wave of intense jealousy knows that a jealous mind can feel out of your control.
You can actually feel like a victim of your emotions-- and the ill effects on you, your partner and your relationship might reinforce this belief.
Try to open up-- even just a little bit-- to the understanding that
you get to choose. You get to choose how you feel, what you are
thinking and how you respond to situations you are in.
Again, this assertion is not meant to make you feel guilty or "to
blame." It is a reminder that you are more powerful than you might
As you notice that you are feeling fearful, worried, angry-- or other
emotions associated with jealousy-- remember that you can make a
choice about what to do next.
You can examine where these feelings might be coming from and address those roots.
Quite often the roots of jealousy have more to do with past experiences than they do with what's going on right now.
You can also decide where to place your attention.
For example, when Kim is talking with a man who is a potential client, Jason can decide to focus in on Kim and this man and worry that there's something "more" going on than just business.
Or he could shift his attention away from Kim and toward a friend who is also at the party. Jason might allow himself to enjoy the music and the conversation he is having.
He could also appreciate the fact that Kim is expanding her business even more.
This noticing and shifting attention is not always easy to do-- especially when you are accustomed to leading with your jealous
Give these tips a try and watch for results.
You might just find yourself happier, more relaxed and ease. You might also notice yourself moving closer to your partner!
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