Compared to other destructive emotions, jealousy might seem less harmful,
but every kind of mental affliction can seriously disturb our inner peace and tranquility. As an ordinary person, we may not be able to eradicate jealousy completely. However, we can at least learn to manage it so that it will bring about less harm to ourselves and others. In order to protect ourselves from jealousy and other destructive emotions, the following approach may help when we are facing challenging situations.
It is first important to understand how negative emotions adversely affect our lives as well as the lives of those around us. For instance, destructive emotions such as jealousy only serve to make us unhappy and prevent us from fulfilling our aspirations. When negative emotions grow in us, our mental health deteriorates, which can lead to difficulty sleeping and the loss of a sense of direction and meaning in life. This can undermine our efforts to achieve the goals that we wish to accomplish in our lives and cause us to engage in harmful actions towards others.
Then, whenever negative emotions such as jealousy arise, instead of feeding and strengthening them, we must be mindful and apply the appropriate antidote straight away. This kind of strategy may not overcome destructive emotions immediately, but it surely will have a positive impact on us, and eventually with practice we will be able to effectively keep harmful emotions at bay.
In particular, a powerful antidote to jealousy is rejoicing in the good fortune of others. After all, becoming jealous of what others have will never help us acquire what we think we deserve. Jealousy cannot deliver good health, power, fame, or beauty. Rather than begrudging others, we ought to instead cultivate positive thoughts rejoicing for the happiness and good fortune of others. For example, we might contemplate how the good fortune of others has been acquired through their own hard work and merit, and then rejoice in their situation and wish that all other sentient beings may similarly experience the benefit of such good circumstances. This practice of rejoicing can help us diminish jealousy, and in the process, we will naturally grow happier while also cultivating merit.