Journaling for the Soul: Envy

Since childhood, you’ve been told that being envious is a bad thing.

So, it’s hard to admit to feeling envy.

And then there’s Teddy Roosevelt’s assertion that comparison is the thief of joy.

So, you really don’t want to admit to how much time you spend looking over the fence.

Social media hasn’t made it any easier to stay away from making comparisons and feeling envious either.

A never-ending highlight reel of the flashiest stuff the internet has to offer.

To stop this cycle, you need to become aware of your biases.

Constantly making comparisons is harmful and will detract from your happiness.

Research suggests that it’s the way you make your comparisons that gives you a biased account of your own skills and experience.

What this means is that you tend to compare yourself to the fittest person you know or the best cook you’ve ever met when evaluating your own progress and skills.

Unsurprisingly, this means you always fall short by comparison.

But who you compare yourself to is important – and it’s something you can control.

When you compare yourself to someone who is more on a level with you, the harmful effects of comparison decrease drastically.

When you feel like the best thing to do is sweep envy under the rug, resist the urge and pick up your journal instead.

It’ll help you work through it.

Putting down your thoughts and feelings around envy and comparison allows you to take a step back and look at what’s beneath that initial impulse.

From friends who’re getting married and having babies to friends seeing the kind of success you want for yourself, the world is full of things to be envious of.

And everyone always seems to talk about all the things they have – which incidentally are all the things you wish you had but don’t.

Rather than denying it, release it.

Letting your envy bubble underneath the surface will just make you a bitter person.

Instead, release feelings of envy, inadequacy, and unworthiness in your journal. Because, at its root, envy isn’t about them.

It’s about you.

Use journaling to unlock it, heal it, and release it. The worst that will happen is that you’ll see that you’ve been neglecting your own side of the fence and decide to do something about it.


Who do you feel envious of and why?

Look at what’s triggering your feelings of envy. What is it trying to show you?

Write how this envy makes you feel, where in your body the feeling is manifesting itself and what you can learn from it.

Think about action you can take to heal your envy, anger, or resentment in order to move beyond it.

Dump it all out on paper. And when you need to, rinse and repeat.