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Last Updated on February 28, 2018

It’s Okay To Be Envious As Long As You’re Not Jealous

It’s Okay To Be Envious As Long As You’re Not Jealous

Jealousy is often seen as a negative emotion or a bad trait to have. It is usually synonymous with actions such as revenge or bitterness especially when it triggers a certain energy within someone. In romantic scenarios, the idea of someone being jealous of their partner talking to another person is a typical example. Or perhaps you see someone else with something you desperately want but don’t have.

Jealousy can lead some of us to make decisions we later regret or at least cause us to become cold and bitter. But there are also times when experiencing that feeling of envy can flick a switch inside of us. That yearning for something we don’t have can trigger us and fuel that determination to get what we want.

So can we look at jealousy differently? Can it actually be a good thing to feel envious? Could we use envy and jealousy to our advantage?

    The Subtle Difference Between Jealousy and Envy

    Jealousy is a natural emotion yet it’s been condemned by all cultures throughout history. It tends to be perceived with a negative charge with ultimate destructive tendencies either to other people or more likely just to our core selves. But while the negative energy can reside in envy, it can also be the basis for construction and motivation in our focus.

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    Small amounts of jealously can actually keep a relationship together or inspire us to be more attentive with our actions.

    So why do we even have the ability to feel these emotions?

    According to David Straker, author of Changing Minds, jealousy is primarily about our reaction to loss. When you are emotionally attached to something and it’s perceived as taken away from you or threatened to be taken away, your reaction is one of hurt and anger.

    Envy is more focused on what you don’t have. You may see someone with something you want and envy that person. The amount of envy you feel is relative to the amount of unfairness you feel about the situation and this negative energy is often aimed proportionally at the person in question. It can then spiral into inferior feelings of unworthiness and so the result is to justify things staying as they are instead of using it as motivation to achieve more.

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      When we break it down, envy is rooted in fear. It’s the fear of feeling weak, powerless or less-than. Advertisers all know about this and tap into the envy lurking in our subconscious to get us to compete with others and spend money to essentially keep up with the Jones’.

      There’s an interesting quote from Helmut Schoeck’s book, Envystates: “Envy is a drive which lies at the core of man’s life as a social being, and which occurs as soon as two individuals become capable of mutual comparison.” He also notes, “It is the great regulator in all personal relationships: fear of arousing it curbs and modifies countless actions.”

      Often, if someone shines a spotlight on an accomplishment of ours there’s a need to counteract this by us mentioning some misfortune to balance it out. The negativity around envy is born out of comparisons which only become stronger within a close-knit society and people with similar and comparable backgrounds to us.

      How The ‘Flaw’ of Envy Can Be a Good Thing

      It’s important to perceive envy as an indicator to where your focus is and where it’s guiding you. It’s an opportunity to stand back and re-evaluate your mindset and what you want in life.

      What is this feeling of envy telling you? Is there a certain direction you want to follow? Why are you having these feelings?

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      Understand that when you feel envy, it’s not about the other person or circumstance, it’s fundamentally about you. It’s time to question yourself – not in a judgemental way – but rather a means to focus on what needs to change within yourself in order to get what you want.

      Envy is an illusion. It’s not about reality but all about our own perception. Once we understand this, we can use this as fuel for motivation and changing our mindset towards ourselves and our situation.

      How To Use Envy To Your Advantage

      When feelings of envy come up in your life, question yourself.

      1. What can I learn from this person’s success?
      2. What’s been stopping me from thinking bigger with my life and not achieving what they’ve achieved?
      3. Have I set the right standards for my own success? Have I appreciated what I’ve already achieved or have I just dismissed milestones? Am I not getting recognition because I’ve been envious of others rather than recognising their successes positively?

      Embracing our negative emotions is key because they’re there to show us changes we need to make. Envy and jealously opens up doors that we need to acknowledge and walk through.

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        When we realise envy is more about us we can understand that it’s really us acknowledging other’s fortunes instead of our own. Jean Vanier stated that, “envy comes from people’s ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts.”

        Therefore the best cure for envy is prosperity and the best thing about envy is the opportunity for motivation and change in your life. If you’re feeling the emotion of envy strongly, it may be an important indicator to let you know there are perspectives about your own life that you need to re-evaluate. Use it for motivation and positivity rather than the negative and powerless charge we’re led to believe it is.

        Featured photo credit: rawpixel.com via pexels.com

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        Anna Chui

        Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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        Last Updated on February 21, 2019

        Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

        Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

        Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

        If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

        When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

        In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

        1. Salmon

        Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

        It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

        Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

        Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

        Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

        Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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        2. Blueberries

        Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

        Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

        Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

        Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

        Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

        3. Turmeric

        Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

        Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

        Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

        Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

        Curcumin has also been shown to:

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        • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
        • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
        • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
        • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

        4. Coffee

        Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

        Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

        Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

        Coffee can also:

        • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
        • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
        • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
        • Improve your memory.
        • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

        5. Broccoli

        What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

        Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

        Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

        Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

        Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

        6. Bone broth

        Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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        Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

        Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

        Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

        Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

        With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

        Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

        7. Walnuts

        Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

        Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

        Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

        Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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        8. Eggs

        For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

        Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

        Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

        9. Dark chocolate

        You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

        Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

        Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

        Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

        Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

        Conclusion

        Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

        In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

        If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

        More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
        [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
        [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
        [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
        [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
        [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
        [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
        [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
        [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
        [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
        [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
        [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
        [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
        [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
        [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
        [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
        [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
        [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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