How Jealousy Can Lead To Alcoholism, and 5 Healthier Ways To Cope

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How Jealousy Can Lead To Alcoholism, and 5 Healthier Ways To Cope

A new study done by researchers at the University of Houston has found a link between people who place a lot of value of the quality of their romantic relationships, and who often experience feelings of jealousy and low self esteem to being at a higher risk for alcoholism. The study took a close look at the drinking patterns and romantic relationships of 277 participants, most of which were adult women.

What the researchers found was surprising – feelings of jealousy stemming from a romantic relationship were directly linked to increased alcohol consumption. The link was especially evident when the individual based their sense of self worth on whether or not their relationship was going well. The participants seemed to increasingly turn to alcohol when they began experiencing difficulties in their relationships, especially with feeling less satisfied with their partners and feeling a loss of connection or commitment from them. Using alcohol to cope with these feelings seemed to be the widespread habit among those with unfulfilling relationships that produced feelings of jealousy.

The researchers who conducted the study say that jealousy is a widespread human emotion that we still know very little about, especially when it comes to alcohol abuse and other issues associated with misusing alcohol. The study was conducted in the hopes that the results would help provide insight into the effect relationships have on self esteem. It would also make it easier to identify alcoholism and help people get the treatment they need. The results of study could especially benefit prevention and intervention strategies for individuals with self esteem and relationships concerns.

How To Cope With Jealousy In A Healthy Way

If you’re in a relationship that is unsatisfying or you suspect your partner is cheating, the information from this latest study could be a wake up call to changing unhealthy coping methods. Even if you just struggle with feelings of jealousy in other areas of your life, it’s important to be aware of how you deal with the unpleasant emotions and to change any behavior that could be self destructive. This could include drinking, abusing drugs, or engaging in other risky behaviors. If you suspect you have a problem with jealousy, read on for a few ways to cope. If you find yourself drinking or using drugs every time you experience those emotions, it’s definitely a good idea to seek help.

1.Learn how to identify jealous feelings.
Increasing awareness of your emotions is the first step toward coping in a healthier way. Admit when you feel jealous (everyone does from time to time) and begin to let the jealousy release its power over you. You’ll find this gets easier the more you practice it.

2. Listen to what your jealousy is telling you.
After learning to identify jealous feelings, try recognizing any patterns that the feelings seem to fall into. If you feel jealous with certain people, specific situations, or when seeing certain things, try to think of why these things trigger jealous feelings. Maybe the jealousy is telling you about unfulfilled needs, desires, insecurities, or simply that an image or situation isn’t good for you to be exposed to.

3. Let it all go.
Once you distance yourself from jealous feelings, you can start letting them go. Imagine them as passing through you temporarily, breathe, and move on.

4. Learn how to manage all kinds of emotions.
Jealousy isn’t the only difficult emotion we have regularly. Anger, sadness, disappointment, regret, and others can become overwhelming when we don’t know how to cope. Try talking about them with a therapist, journaling, meditating, or channeling those feelings into a creative outlet.

5. Be kind to yourself.
This is easy to forget when we’re focused on difficult emotions. Chances are there are a lot of positive things about yourself that need attention as well. Recognize the good qualities that you have and be sure to acknowledge those when you’re feeling jealous or negative.