Audio that helps you cope with an episode of
jealousy. When you are caught up in the
obsessive jealous thinking it is difficult
to talk yourself out of it. This audio helps
you challenge the jealous thinking and to
remind you that the jealous behaviors only
make the situation worse. The more you
listen to it, the more you will be able to
challenge the irrational jealous talk
NOTE: This audio is to help those with
irrational jealousy. It is not for rational
jealousy (when an event has actually
occurred) nor is it for psychotic jealousy
(when a person can't distinguish reality).
Transcript: Jealousy Assistance
You are listening to this because you are feeling overwhelming jealousy that is making you want to act in ways that may be hurtful to yourself or your relationship. You may feel like you are going to lose control or make a fool of yourself.
But stop! Listen to me! YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS. THIS IS AN EMOTION—IT DOES NOT CONTROL YOUR BEHAVIOR. YOU DON'T HAVE TO ALLOW IT TO CONTROL YOU.
You are listening to this because you are experiencing irrational jealousy that is affecting your relationship. Irrational jealousy is when you feel jealous and act based on that feeling but you don't have any evidence. In fact, your rational, logical self tells you that there is no reason to feel jealous, but you still do. However, you have taken the first step to learning to deal with this problem. You are recognizing that your jealousy is a problem and that you need to change.
You need to recognize that jealousy is a fear. It can be a fear of inadequacy or a fear of loss or a fear of feeling bad or a fear of being hurt or a fear of being vulnerable. But it is a fear. And fears feel bad but they don't have to control your life. Learning to understand your fear and where it came from can help you learn to control it.
When you have irrational jealousy the fear is so overwhelming that you come to believe, "There must be some reason I am feeling this way." So, you tend to believe the emotion without evaluating it. We call this emotional reasoning which is believing that just because you feel something, it must be true. Certainly, our emotions are important information but they are not always accurate. We need to look at the emotion and determine where it is coming from and why we are feeling it. What is the evidence for this emotion?
To some extent you have already done this because you are recognizing that the jealousy is a problem. However, you may or may not recognize that the emotion itself is a problem. Most people are first able to recognize the behavior that is caused by the emotion and how hurtful it is. They understand that their jealous behavior creates problems in their relationship. However, it is important to understand the emotion.
These feelings you are experiencing right now will go away. They'll go away on their own. With time. You can be assured of that. They have to go away because they are a part of the normal way that the body reacts. We feel emotions but we don't have to act on them.
The reason it seems that the emotion can last forever is because you keep generating it by dwelling on it and in engaging in the jealous behaviors such as questioning, accusations, or getting reassurance. This keeps you engaged in the emotion. If you learn to tolerate the emotion without having to pursue it, it can only last a short time.
The emotional discomfort will pass. You want to try to get rid of the uncomfortable emotions by getting reassurance that everything is okay. But you know from past experience that this has not worked. Jealousy is an emotion. It may be uncomfortable but you don't have to get rid of the feeling. By learning to tolerate the emotion you can learn that you don't have to engage in the jealous behavior.
And that is the most important part of dealing with jealousy because the behavior is so hurtful. It harms your relationship and you don't want to do it anymore. By learning to tolerate the unpleasant sensation of jealousy you can learn that you don't have to desperately try to get rid of it. You can learn to let it pass over you without having to act on it.
Slow down and just ask yourself, "What is really happening?" Notice the sensations in your body. These feelings cannot control you. They are a normal part of how the body operates. You may feel a variety of sensations such as nervousness or agitation with your heart beating faster, you may feel hot or shaky, you may feel muscle tension such as a tightness in your chest, you may experience stomach upset. These are all part of the emotion you feel. Emotions can only last a short while and if you learn to tolerate the emotion it will have less a grip on you. These feelings may be uncomfortable and unsettling but that's all they are.
Remember that acting on the basis of emotion without evaluating it is emotional reasoning. You are listening to this because you know that you have no evidence for this emotion. You know that your behavior is harming your relationship. And you want to stop!
You can control this behavior.
Now stop and continue to listen. Take a slow breath. It may be a little difficult at first but as you continue to listen to me you can continue to slow down your breathing. Inhale slowly and exhale slowly. As you exhale let the muscles in shoulders relax, let your shoulders drop and relax.
Soon you will begin to feel better. Don't try to force it. Just continue to listen to me. This feeling of jealousy will pass. It has to. That's the way the body functions. Whatever you are feeling right now will pass. We cannot feel intense emotions forever.
However, for right now just remember that what you are feeling may be intense, but you don't have to try to get rid of it. Your attempts to get rid of this emotion just makes it worse. You reinforce this emotion by dwelling on it and trying to feel better by getting reassurance. The way to stop the grip this emotion has on you is to learn to tolerate it and to recognize that it is not based on any current evidence.
Continue to take slow breaths. Inhale slowly. And exhale slowly. Continue to listen to what I am saying. Now let the muscles in your neck and your shoulders relax. Let your shoulders and your arms drop and relax as you breathe slowly.
You know that this emotion and the scary thoughts have controlled your life. They tell you what you can do and what you can't do. It is unfair that they have controlled you like this and dictated what you can do in your life. You must be so tired of this problem. You don't want to be controlled and intimidated by this fear anymore!
You are fed up with feeling like this but you don't have to get rid of the emotion by hurtful behavior. Right now you are doing something about it. Right now you are listening to me. Right now you are fighting back by learning to tolerate these uncomfortable feelings. And you can do this. You can get through this. It may be unpleasant but you can do this. Because I know, and you will to, that you will be okay. You can do what you set out to do. Yes, you can! Because nothing more than what you are experiencing right now will happen to you. The painful fear that you are experiencing right now will pass. You will begin to feel better. This is an emotion. It is a normal way that the body functions. You can get through this without hurting your relationship.
Now again, take a slow breath. Inhale slowly, and exhale very slowly. Let your entire upper body relax and loosen as you inhale. Do not worry if you start to become more aware of your tension as you try to relax. It will pass. You will become better and better at letting the tension go. But to do that you may need to become more aware of it which will be uncomfortable at first. Remember, it will pass.
Now pay attention to what is happening right now. Try to focus outside of yourself. Where are you? What do you see around you? Take a good look and notice the things that you see. What are you doing? What is happening? Slow down and pay attention to what is really happening right now. No matter how much you might believe that something terrible is going to happen or has happened, nothing is really happening right now. You are just feeling sensations in your body. These are normal part of the way the body works. Nothing terrible is happening right now. You are just feeling uncomfortable emotions. This discomfort will pass if you just give it time.
You are choosing something difficult right now. You are choosing to fight back. You are fighting back by learning to tolerate these uncomfortable sensations and to not let them control your life. You are choosing to challenge this problem by doing what you have set out to do. By continuing to do what you want instead of letting the jealous emotions dictate to you what you can and cannot do. You are choosing to tolerate this emotion now so that it won't control you tomorrow. You know that you may feel uncomfortable now but that it will be gone. You know that the more you learn to tolerate these unpleasant sensations, the less they will control you. You are choosing to face this discomfort so that you can live a better life tomorrow. This may hurt now but you will be alright.
These are just feelings that have no evidence. You are engaging in emotional reasoning, believing that just because you feel something it must be true. But its not! Feelings aren't reality. We need to evaluate feelings to determine if they are accurate. You are listening to this because you know your feelings are not accurate but you can't stop feeling this way.
Continue to listen to me. Take a slow breath. Inhale slowly. Exhale slowly. Don't try to force the breathing or relaxation. Just continue to breath and it will slow down. Allow the muscles in your upper body to relax. The muscles in your neck and shoulders and chest and arms. Let them become smooth and relaxed. Your body will continue to loosen up and relax on its own as you continue to listen to me. As time passes it will naturally relax. Just let it do what it knows how to do.
Now just continue to listen to my voice. As you do, let all other thoughts go. Just listen carefully to what I am saying. Focus on me and let the other thoughts go. This jealousy has a grip on you because you dwell on the thoughts but these are only thoughts. They cannot control you and you can learn to let them go. However, it is not straight-forward. The more we try to not think of a thought, the more the thought is present. Even telling ourselves not to think something is thinking it. So that way doesn't work. To let go of a thought we need to let it be but not give it attention. The thought may be there in the back of your head but you can choose to focus on something else. For instance, right now you may be choosing to listen to me.
We can learn to not dwell on thoughts by choosing how we want to focus our attention. You can focus your attention on calming your body. Jealousy is an emotion that feeds on tension. The more tense and agitated you are, the more you keep the jealousy present. As you relax your body, the emotion will begin to decrease. To experience an emotion we need both the thought and the physical sensations of the emotion. Without one or the other, it is difficult to maintain the emotion.
The more you relax the harder it is to feel the intense emotion. Now again take a slow breath. Focus on your breath. Inhale slowly. And exhale. Let the muscles in your body loosen and relax. Let the muscles in your forehead smooth out and relax. Let the muscles in your neck, the sides, the back the front of your neck smooth out and relax. Let your shoulders and arms droop and relax. Just breathe slowly and let your body do what it knows how to do.
As you calm your body, the emotion and the fear will begin to decrease. Emotions need the physical tension to control you. As you relax you gain more and more control.
I know it can be very tempting to give up. It is tiring to have to feel this way. It is easier to give into the urge to engage in the jealous behavior, the accusations, the questions, the demands. But that doesn't work. You know that.
It takes a lot of courage to learn how to tolerate these feelings, to face this down, to tell it "I'm not going to let you control my life anymore!" rather than to give into the behavior. You are facing this problem right now. You are challenging yourself to face this fear and I know what kind of courage that takes. Many people never have to face their fears because their fears don't directly affect their lives. Or they use alcohol or drugs to not have to feel. But you have the courage to face these fears down. You know that the more that you face them, they will lose their control over you. And as it loses its control it will begin to go away.
You don't need to let this problem control your life any longer. You have the courage to face it. You don't need to let the fears decide what you are able to do in your life are how you will act. You can decide. You are learning to tolerate these sensations so that you can have a better life in the long run.
Just continue to breathe and relax. If you need to listen to this again, that is perfectly okay. Eventually you can learn to tolerate these unpleasant emotions so they don't control your behavior. You are making the choice to listen to this rather than hurting your relationship. If you listen to this whenever you feel the urge to engage in the jealous behavior, you will become better at controlling your impulses.
Copyright © 2010 by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D. and www.excelatlife.com
Permission to reprint this article is granted if it includes this entire
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