Jealousy is often thought of as a bad thing – it's even one of the seven deadly sins – but the green-eyed monster isn't entirely deserving of its bad rep.
In fact, jealousy is key to finding true happiness, according to happiness consultant Sarah Miller, who explains that identifying what makes you feel jealous is a helpful tool in working out what will make you feel happy.
Sarah embarked on her happiness journey after a devastating breakup meant she had to rebuild her whole life. "When I was first starting on my journey to happiness, I was so broken I had no idea what made me happy anymore, I felt that absolutely nothing made me happy," she shared, before going on to explain that identifying what she was jealous of in others helped her realise what made her happy.
Sarah Miller overhauled her life in pursuit of happiness
How can jealousy make us happier?
"I often found myself looking at other people and feeling jealous of them, their lives and what they had, then I realised that jealousy wasn't put there just to make me feel bad about myself," she explains. "Instead, jealousy can act as a directing tool to show you want you want and encourage you to do something about it and get that thing for yourself."
"Jealousy is a pretty useful indicator of what you're looking for," she says of the feeling. Think of envy as a guiding light, Sarah continues. "You can create the life you want by looking at what triggers you to feel jealous. The things you're jealous of are what you want most."
Rather than feeling you're simply a jealous person, turn it on its head and ask yourself: "Actually, what's that saying to me about myself?"
The important thing is to use jealousy as a driver, rather than just sitting with the feeling, Sarah notes.
Identifying what makes you feel jealous also ties into Sarah's other top tip for finding happiness – imagining your best self.
How to find happiness: your first step
In her work as a happiness consultant, Sarah starts her clients on their journey to their most positive selves by asking them to visualise their best self, and asking what is stopping them from being that version of themselves.
"I ask my clients to imagine how would they dress, what would they eat each day? What would they do each day? If there was nothing constraining you, what would that look like?" Sarah explains.
"Write it all down and then think about what's stopping you from doing those things, then write all of that down too," she continues.
"This exercise means you are conscious of the things that you want, as well as the things that are stopping you, and you then can't help but start to take actions towards that."
Sarah is the author of Permission To Be F***ing Happy, an autobiographical guide to creating lasting happiness in your life, £12.99
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