It's hard not to be envious of others. We're reminded constantly in the media that we need the latest gagdet, more money, or to lose more weight in order to be happy. When we see others with what we think will grant us eternal happiness, it is natural to get jealous. But being too envious can make you unhappy because envy makes me you focus on what you don't have.
Social media has racheted the envy factor up a knotch or two. When you can instantly click on your friend's page and see pictures of their latest tropical vacation, it's more likely that you'll end up jealous. Plus, most people only post the good parts of their lives on Facebook or other social media websites. You don't get to see the fact that their relationship with their spouse is crumbling or that they just received a pay cut at their job. The glorification of people's live through social media can create a disllusion that everybody else has what we want and can lead to depression. Dr. Todd Patkin, author of "Finding Happiness: One Man's Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and — Finally — Let the Sunshine In" has these tips to help prevent envy:
- Admit that you're envious. It's natural, but once you start to get honest about it you can notice when the behavior occurs and find ways to change it.
- Know that everyone's definition of happiness isn't the same. Live your life on your terms and set your own definitions of happiness. Don't let others set the bar for you.
- Be generous. Do something for others and it will help you take your mind off of yourself.
- Shut down social media. If looking at other people's photographs and updates will trigger envy, then don't bother looking.
- Be grateful. Focus on the things that you do have in your life instead of focusing on what you lack.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.