Emotional Exercises to Control Jealousy and Other Toxic Behaviours

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Feelings like jealousy don’t exist in a vacuum; they’re part of a larger emotional ecosystem within us. These strong emotions, while disruptive, can be managed. Emotional intelligence and self-awareness tools can help us tackle these feelings head-on, creating a healthier emotional environment for ourselves and our relationships.

Identify the Triggers

First on the agenda is identifying what exactly causes feelings of jealousy. It’s important to note these triggers with as much detail as possible. By doing so, you will better understand the situations or people that make you uncomfortable. This is a critical step for overcoming jealousy.


Spend some time in self-reflection. Ask yourself why these specific triggers affect you so much. Dig into your past experiences, your self-esteem levels, and your insecurities. Self-reflection not only helps in understanding the root cause but also makes you more aware of your emotional responses.

Seek Feedback

Another useful exercise is to talk to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings. Sometimes, an external perspective can offer valuable insights into your emotional patterns. However, it’s important to ensure that the person you’re talking to is unbiased and can offer constructive criticism.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

You need to challenge any negative thoughts that arise when jealousy kicks in. Ask yourself whether these thoughts are based on facts or assumptions. Questioning these thoughts will help you separate irrational fears from reality, thereby aiding you in controlling your emotional reactions.

Open Communication

Open and honest communication with your partner can significantly alleviate feelings of jealousy. Discuss what you’re going through without blaming them for your emotions. An open dialogue can often lead to solutions or, at the least, to a better understanding between partners.

Develop Coping Mechanisms

A constructive approach is to develop coping mechanisms. This can range from deep-breathing exercises to taking a short walk to clear your head. The idea is to divert your mind and give yourself time to calm down before reacting impulsively.

Be Mindful

Mindfulness practices such as deep breathing, meditation, or even simple mindfulness exercises can make a big difference. They ground you in the moment and take your focus away from the thoughts fueling your jealousy. Mindfulness techniques aim to bring your focus back to the present, helping you control your emotional responses.

Revisit Relationship Rules

If the jealousy is affecting your relationship negatively, it might be beneficial to revisit and possibly revise the rules and boundaries you’ve set in your relationship. It’s not about enforcing stricter rules, but about finding what will make both of you comfortable and secure.

Consult a Professional

If attempts to control your jealousy have not been successful, it might be helpful to consult a professional. Therapists can offer different techniques and strategies for managing jealousy and other emotional responses.

Exercise Empathy

Another angle to consider is understanding the situation from your partner’s perspective. Putting yourself in their shoes may offer you valuable insights and can significantly reduce feelings of jealousy.

Set Realistic Expectations

Having unrealistic expectations can often be a root cause for jealousy and other negative emotions. Understand that your partner is an individual with their own life, responsibilities, and friendships. By setting realistic expectations, you diminish the chances for misunderstandings and frustrations, which in turn lessens the potential for jealousy to take hold.

Focus on Self-Improvement

Investing in yourself is one of the most effective ways to combat jealousy. Take up a new hobby, improve your skills, or even focus on your career. The more confident you feel about yourself, the less likely you are to be jealous of others. Self-improvement not only diverts your attention but also enriches your own life, reducing the need for external validation.

Assess and Reassess

It’s not enough to implement these exercises once and forget about them. Emotional growth is an ongoing process. Regularly assess the levels of jealousy you experience and the triggers causing them. Are they the same? Have they lessened? The answers to these questions will guide you in understanding whether the exercises are effective and what other approaches you may need to consider.

Shift the Focus

Instead of concentrating on what you could possibly lose, shift your focus to what you gain from the relationship. Appreciating the positives in your relationship can sometimes be all you need to keep jealousy at bay.

Take Responsibility

Ultimately, the only person who can control your jealousy is you. Taking full responsibility for your emotions and actions can be empowering and is the final step in truly overcoming jealousy and other toxic behaviors.


When it comes to handling strong, destructive emotions, awareness is a powerful ally. The path to emotional stability is a journey that benefits not just the individual, but the relationships they nurture.

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