“How to Find Peace After Social Media Rocks Your Confidence” originally appeared on Shine, a free daily text to help you thrive.
Jealousy. Ugh. Even typing that word brings up that uneasy, queasy feeling. In this age of social media addiction, it’s near impossible not to feel jealous when you’re flipping through people’s highlight reels and not seeing any of the behind-the-scenes struggles.
I feel that ping of jealousy when I see someone I know book a legit role (I’m an actress), take a luxurious beach vacation fit for Beyoncé, or rocking a bod like Halle Berry. I’m all like “Hi! Can we swap lives? Or just bodies? Or even paychecks?” I start asking myself, “What the heck am I doing with my life!?” I start to feel so far behind—and my good ol’ friends Ms. Gratitude and Papa Positivity are nowhere to be found.
It’s the worst when I feel pangs of jealousy towards the people I love. Of course I’m over the moon about their new house! They’ve worked hard, they deserve it. But I’d be lying if I wasn’t thinking, “Um, what about me?!”
So, what do I do with these not-so-hot feelings? Here are my favorite tactics to turn to:
1. Do Not Shove It Down
When I find myself feeling “jelly,” one of my go-to coping skills is to put words to my feelings—and share them if I can. Be honest with yourself—of course you’re 99% pumped for your sister about her promotion. But there is maybe 1% of you that is like, “Dang. I could use that.” Express what you’re feeling in a safe place to get it off your chest. There is nothing worse than pretending you aren’t jealous—this is not being authentic and, like any other toxic emotion, it can cause even more problems if you keep it to yourself. Trust that the people who have your back can support you.
2. Have an Attitude of Gratitude
I think a healthy dose of gratitude is just the right prescription for any icky feelings, especially jealousy. Getting into a state of gratitude immediately puts the focus on yourself and not what is happening with others. Let jealousy be your cue for a gratitude exercise. When it pops up, try to list 10 things you are grateful for in your life and why. Really let yourself have all the feels.
3. No News Before Noon
Any guru will tell you starting your day off with a phone or emails is about the best way to crash a positive morning before it even starts. I really make it a priority to meditate and set my intentions for the day before I even look at my phone. I also have suggested to my partner “No news before noon.” It started with trying to prevent a downward spiral from all the world’s troubles first thing out of bed. I think it’s really important to apply this to social media as well.
If you can start your day off fresh with some positive self-love—whether it’s meditating, affirmations, prayer or your a free Shine morning meditation (wink wink)—it can make a huge difference. Even if I just stay off social media for the first five minutes of my day, I find I’m much less likely to get on the “hey what about me?” bus when I fire up the ‘gram. It’s setting myself up for success and to be in a less reactive state. In fact, if I’m in a good place, I sometimes find that seeing someone else crushing it can light a fire under my booty—then, I totally bypass the whole jealousy thing.
4. Ask: What Do I Want?
Even though I try to set myself up for success and avoid the comparison game show, sometimes it just happens. Let’s say I heard about someone booking a role that is younger than me who was practically handed a big break. I can’t pretend it doesn’t sting. If I’m still feeling those green envy feelings after talking to my posse, it’s time to really look at what’s going on inside. What is it I’m really jealous of? Do I really want a smoking hot Mercedes Benz? Or, is it the ease of life the Benz represents? Is it a real wanting? Everyone is a mirror—use this opportunity to see something you love or want manifested in another person, knowing it’s a bud inside of you waiting to bloom.
5. Dig Deep
If you want to go even further, allow yourself to get quiet. Then, ask yourself: What is blocking me from achieving that wanting? What is the limiting belief? Do I feel I’m not good enough? Not worthy? Not able to receive? Once you find the belief that hits you in the gut (and it will—let your intuition show you the way), how does this limiting belief make you feel? Writing it down helps. But most importantly, really feel it. Allow yourself to go there for 180 seconds. You have to feel the pain to heal it.
Then, flip it. If you’re limiting belief was “I’m not good enough” what is the exact opposite? “I am more than good enough!” What does this bring up for you? Write down all the feelings that come up and give your mindset space to shift. Then, start to think: What action can you take right now to start making the thing you want a reality? And really do it. Fully commit to living a life that is your biggest self.
6. Know You’re Not Alone
However you decide to deal with the feeling of jealousy, remind yourself that everyone has this experience. This is a very normal feeling. You are not a jerk friend for feeling envious of your best friend’s hot new partner. It happens to the best of us. Take a deep breathe. Remember, you are not alone. And know this: Someone is likely experiencing that same feeling of jealousy about something awesome in your beautiful life.