Letting Go of Green Emotions

By Diane Hernandez

The color green is a hopeful color. Mother Nature takes her paintbrush and colors her world lemon and forest greens. Different hues of it encompass national parks and even your backyard. 

The color green means so many different things, and with its rich history, many people associate it with luck, prosperity and, of course, St Patrick’s Day. 

To wear green is to invite luck and prosperity into your life. To wear green is to not get pinched on March 17. To wear green is to welcome new energy. 

However, sometimes, green isn’t the best color. Although trees and grass are green, envy is associated with green, too. Mother Nature’s favorite color is used to depict an unpleasant emotion. When we feel envious, we feel inadequate. 

In that moment, we lack something, and we compare ourselves to those around us. Here’s how green envy can affect you. 

Envy makes you less likely to help a stranger.  

The Society for Personality and Social Psychology conducted two studies in 2020. Those studies focused on envy. Through analyzing what participants felt, researchers learned that envious people were less likely to help researchers pick up their dropped pencils. 

In the same study, researchers also found that envious individuals were more willing to sabotage other participants during a puzzle game. This highlights how envy can change a person’s behavior — it clouds your mind. 

Envy increases a person’s likelihood of developing depression. 

Not only can envy cause someone to hurt others, but it can cause the individual to hurt themself, too. 

A Psychiatry Investigation study in 2020 found that envy, as a stable personality trait, increases a person’s likelihood of developing depression. People who are envious are sensitive to learning about others because they tend to compare themselves to other people. 

In comparing, they suffer from feelings of resentment and inferiority. 

Normally, people compare themselves to others who are similar, and in doing so, people compare themselves “up.” For example, if two chefs are cooking a meal, a non-envious chef would think his meal is better and point out aspects of his dish that surpass that of the other chef. 

An envious chef would do the opposite, which could lead that chef to suffer from depression. 

Envy stresses people out. 

Stress and envy go hand-in-hand. Envy is a destructive emotion, according to MentalHelp.net, an American Addiction Centers resource. 

And, because it’s destructive, it may lead to hostility, resentment, anger and irritability. Those who suffer from envy tend to belittle their own positive traits, too, creating stress and inferiority. 

The envious chef picks apart his cooking, focusing on his overcooked broccoli. He forgets that maybe his green beans and presentation were superior! But, in doing so, he’s stressed himself out and created resentment within his heart. 

Envy stresses external people, too. The envious chef might push away the other chef through his anger and irritability. He burned a bridge before even having the chance to build it. 

So, next time you feel the color green creeping up on you, remember what makes you great. 

MentalHelp.net recommends individuals bolster themselves through thinking about their positive qualities. 

If that doesn’t work, ignoring and distracting your mind is another great option. Try engaging in a different activity or thinking about something that makes you truly happy in those instances. 

And, overall, remind yourself that envious thoughts harm you more than they help. Nip the green weed and create space for tall oak trees to grow. 

Before you know it, you’ll have a healthy garden reminding you of your worth every day. 

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