“I still remember those pleasant summer days when I woke up as a message hit my cell phone. As I tapped the screen to read it, I felt cold fingers of envy crept up to my spine, my heart turned heavier like a stone, my head spin and my teeth clenched. My friend posted a text on Facebook about the releasing date of his debut novel. It was not the first time when I was not ecstatic to hear the news of the progress of one of my best friends. Similarly, a couple of months later, I again felt the tentacles of envy stinging inside me, my stomach churned, my chest tightened and my legs numbed as I saw my friend showcasing the best life.”

You may have found several occasions when you have been jealous of your friends, colleagues or anyone of your acquaintance. It is human tendency that we compare with others and always desire to have what others do have, no matter it will really benefit you or not. Perhaps it is because we live in the age of envy. The downside of being rancorous is that it makes your life hellish. If you do not overwhelm your negative feelings, you are likely to end up with a storm of frustration flooded inside you.

You envy a person when they have something that you fancy but you do not have. Being stuck in this obnoxious sensation will not let you stay happy throughout your life. You will continue to grudge against what they have to the extent that you forget that your life is different and you are likely to have valuable things that they may not have. Life is a precious gift given by God, so you should enjoy it full of beans. Here are some ways you can use to add up to your happiness:

Stop comparing

A clinical psychologist, in a study, found that more and more people are being envious. They can be career envy, kitchen envy, holiday envy and food envy. She found that the use of social media including renowned platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are contributing to expand the level of this disturbing psychology.

The most surprising thing is people are comparing with unrealistic things. For instance, your friend posted her beautiful photograph on the beach on Instagram. You start to feel indignant as you think either she does not deserve to spend happy moments on the sandy beach or you are not experiencing what she does.  Well, images can be altered. It is not necessary that the picture is real. Your friend is likely to have used the fake background just to pretend the society that she is very happy with her husband.

You do not know the inside story. You cannot judge the level of someone’s happiness by a couple of photographs that they upload on social media. Next time when you feel envious of someone’s life, think that you are seeing what others are trying to show you. You cannot conclude whether the story was good or bad unless you read it outright. Likewise, you cannot interpret that your friends are happier than you just because they are more active to show only the positive aspect of life.  

Look what you have not what others have

In fact, most of the people get green-eyed when they see their peers richer. Money is a very common element that everyone fancies. Everyone wants to become affluent so that they can travel abroad, have a luxurious life, buy expensive cars and everything that they want. However, people are rushing money as the cost of living is rising. Financial commitments, family, children’s education, finances and so on are majorly responsible factors to build endless want of having money.

As you see a friend with a tweet #OnWorldTour, negative thoughts start flashing across your mind. “I wish I were well-off like my friend,” “I wish I had enough money.” You feel sorry because you are not as rich as your friend. Before you let these thoughts take a toll on your well-being, you must think that whether your friend is actually happy. They are likely to be sad because they do not have what they want.

Money can help you live life in a better way but it cannot buy you happiness. So stop rushing money in the quest of happiness. When you feel depressed seeing others life, you should think about the precious things you have, your spouse, your children, a beautiful home, good friends, and above all a peaceful life. You can get rid of envy if you focus on what you have rather than what others have.

Do you really want what others have?

If the lifestyle of your acquaintance makes you teed off and depressed, you should immediately figure out what they have that you desire. Jot down everything you want that they have but you do not have. What is it – a big house, money, branded clothes, luxurious cars? Once you have made the list, you should write down things that you have and value the most such as a pet, children, spouse etc. The purpose of making these two columns is to identify whether you really want your life to be completely swapped by your friend’s life or you want to continue with what you have. The list of your wants are likely to be higher than what you have, not that you need all of them. It is mainly because desires are endless and they never die. Now you take a look at all of the things you stated in the list and think what you will be willing to give up in order to get the life as your friend has. Eventually, you will discover that you love everything you have and it is almost impossible to live without them. Once you have this feeling in your heart, you will never envy what others have.

In the nutshell, whenever you envy what others have, you should ask yourself what actually makes you happy. Is it money, wealth or joy and peace?