In today’s video, I’m going to share a little retroactive jealousy tip that you’ve almost certainly never considered before.

Read or watch below to discover a new retroactive jealousy tip.

Zachary Stockill: At this point, after 10 years of working on the topic of retroactive jealousy, every time I think that I’ve covered it all in videos, I always can think of another idea, thankfully.

In today’s video, I’m going to share a little retroactive jealousy tip which you’ve never heard me talk about before. But this is really important in the context of overcoming retroactive jealousy.

Okay, so a retroactive jealousy tip, which I haven’t talked about on this channel before. One thing I have talked about on this channel before is…

The importance of paying attention to your body in the context of struggling with retroactive jealousy.

Paying attention to the way your body reacts when you encounter a retroactive jealousy trigger… Taking deliberate steps to relax your body to breathe deeply, and to do things like that when you’re struggling with retroactive jealousy.

Don’t neglect the physical component of this issue because the physical component of this issue is relatively easy to address. Or at least it’s easier to address than a lot of the psychological stuff. Don’t neglect the physical component of retroactive jealousy.

By the way, for the people here for the first time:

The term “retroactive jealousy” refers to unwanted intrusive thoughts, often obsessive curiosity, and what I call “mental movies” about your partner’s past relationships and/or sexual history.

When you encounter a retroactive jealousy trigger, when you’re wracked with painful, unwanted intrusive thoughts, your body is doing things. Now, it might take you some time and attention to realize what your body is doing.

retroactive jealousy tip

But I guarantee you’re having some kind of a physical reaction when you’re in an animated state as a result of retroactive jealousy.

This can involve things like breathing very shallow. A lot of people do this. I certainly did this back when I was struggling with retroactive jealousy, although it took me a while to realize it.

When I was struggling with unwanted intrusive thoughts about my girlfriend’s past, all of a sudden, I’d be breathing very shallow…

I wasn’t filling my entire lungs up with air. I wasn’t breathing slowly, calmly, deliberately, and deeply.

And as a result, or at least as a partial result, my anxiety increased. I was feeling more anxious. I was feeling more tense. And I was feeling more edgy as a result of the simple fact that my body wasn’t getting enough oxygen.

Another example, which I’ve mentioned before: I realized that my shoulders were starting to get a bit tight. When I’d encounter a retroactive jealousy trigger. When I was pestering my then-girlfriend with questions about her past when I couldn’t sleep at night. And when I was having all these mental movies or whatever, I realized that my shoulders were getting a little tense. I even had a mild headache.

It took me a while to realize that my body was reacting in certain ways over and over again every time I was struggling with retroactive jealousy. This was something that took me a little while to realize, but once I realized it, and once I started breaking that pattern, things started to get a lot easier. It was a really big help for me on the road to recovery.

So all that said, the thing that I wanted to talk about today, which I’ve never addressed before, is…

The potential link between your physical posture and retroactive jealousy.

So first off, I want to be clear: I do not have great posture. I don’t consider myself to have great posture. It’s something that I’ve really had to work on over the years, especially because I spent seven years studying at university. I have a job that requires me to sit at a desk for long periods of the day. And I’ve been living like that for 20 years.

So it’s very easy for me to fall into patterns where I have bad posture. Sometimes I get “computer neck,” where I’m kind of hunched over a little bit. I’ve had to work on my posture specifically. And I’ll get into some tips as far as that goes toward the end of this video…

But before I do that, I wanted to mention that you might be surprised by the link between retroactive jealousy and what your body’s doing.

So aside from breathing issues or the physical tension that I mentioned earlier, you might be doing things like slumping a bit with kind of rolled-in shoulders. You might be adopting a kind of defeated, submissive physical posture without even realizing it.

And they’ve done a lot of research on this over the years…

It’s become very clear that the way we hold ourselves, our physical presence, and our physical posture has a tremendous impact on our mental health.

If you’re facing any challenge in life with a straight back and shoulders back, you’re going to feel better. You’re going to feel more confident about facing that challenge.

Retroactive jealousy is definitely challenging. And you want to give yourself the best possible chance to overcome that challenge in every single way you can, even if it seems silly, even if it seems insignificant.

So try this over the next several weeks, Just make a little bit more of an effort to maintain good posture.

Because you might be surprised when this will give you a tiny added dose of dopamine, of confidence. You might find that the intrusive thoughts, the “mental movies,” and the curiosity start getting even just 5% better.

Because you’re holding yourself up in the world. You’re more of a presence when you walk into a room. And your physical posture is not sending a defeatist signal to your brain.

In other words, I don’t think you’re going to face any challenge in life successfully if you’re kind of hunched over, and adopting a defeatist posture. You want to face the challenges of life voluntarily with a straight back and shoulders back.

retroactive jealousy tip

So in terms of improving your posture, again, I’m not an expert, but several things have really helped me out.

So number one, just being conscious of it. When I’m sitting at the computer for long stretches, I need to remember “Oh yeah, I probably don’t have great posture at this moment…” So I continually reorient myself, holding myself up, even adjust my computer monitors.

Scheduling regular breaks to get up and take a walk, and get away from the computer, even if it’s just for five minutes, is also very helpful.

But beyond all that, I think the best thing I did for my posture was adopt a strength training regime. I lift weights about three times a week. I’ve been doing it for years. As you can see, I’m not jacked, or anything like that. But I am stronger physically, which helps with posture.

Also, I think when you’re forced to do squats a couple of times a week, when you’re forced to hold yourself a certain way on the bench… You know when you have to lift a certain way and hold your body a certain way to prevent injury while strength training. I think this can help translate into better posture in your everyday life more generally.

So…

I’d strongly encourage people to look into strength training for better posture.

Beyond that, over the next several weeks, or however long, pay more attention to your posture.

It might seem like this is in no way related to retroactive jealousy. But again, you want to give yourself the best possible chance to slay this beast, no matter how. And things like posture can have an impact on your ability to overcome a challenge like retroactive jealousy.

If you are currently struggling with retroactive jealousy, you can click here to sign up for a free four-part mini-course that will help you get started.

Or if you need more help, then you can consider signing up for one-on-one coaching with me. [Subject to availability]


Zachary Stockill
Zachary Stockill

Hi! I'm a Canadian author and educator whose work has been featured in BBC News, BBC Radio 4, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I'm the founder of RetroactiveJealousy.com, the author of Overcoming Retroactive Jealousy and The Overcoming Jealousy Workbook, and the host of Humans in Love podcast.