by Leo Babauta
Have you ever seen something exciting that a friend is doing on some social network and felt a pang of jealousy? Or heard travel stories from people you know — amazing stories of exotic places — and wished it had been you living those adventures, going to those parties?
Jealousy of others is a widespread phenomenon, and social media seems to increase the tendency in us. It can manifest in so many ways: jealousy of someone’s nice stomach or sculpted arms, a feeling that you’re missing out on all the fun other people are having, a worry that other people are doing cooler things than you in business, a wish that you could have the love life or sex life of someone you know.
Contentment is obviously the antidote.
If you are content with who you are, you don’t need someone else’s nice stomach or love life or business accomplishments. If you are content with what you’re doing, you don’t need to worry about all the fun everyone else is having, the beautiful food photos they’re taking of lunch, the travel photos that show the highlights of their lives (compared to the everyday moments of your life).
Stop comparing your life with anyone else’s life. Stop comparing who you are or how you look with anyone else. This is easier said than done: It takes a process of awareness, and when you notice the comparison, pause. Instead of looking outward, at what other people are doing, look at what you’re doing and appreciate it. When you notice something good about someone else that makes you jealous, stop, and look at yourself instead — what can you appreciate?