Envy This!

A deeper look at one of the mind's most misunderstood states.

Envy as the Source of Anxiety and Discontent

If envious attitudes are inevitable, what do we do?

Yes, envious states of mind are ineviatble!

Yet, there is benign envy and there is malignant envy.

The unconscious forms of envy, typically malignant, cause trouble--with anxiety, stress, unhappiness, stagnation, and poor performance.

However, when one realizes that the mind is biased to make comparisions--all the time--it helps to become aware of the accompanying automatic framing of these comparisons in a "superior-inferior" mode.

Instead, when inevitable comparisions are made, such as rich-poor, attractive-ugly, desirable-undesirable, and so forth, trying to move forward from states of malcontent to motivational states in which a belief and enthusiasm for substantial self-improvement is sparked, turns envy into emulation and constructive self-determination.

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The current season of Springtime and it varied holidays that have themes of new beginnings, new life, freedom from old bondages and the potential for resurected aspirations provide the external prompts for each of us to self-reflect and re-work our life plans.

 

Frank John Ninivaggi, M.D., F.A.P.A., is an Associate Attending physician at the Yale-New Haven Hospital, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine. more...

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