James Taylor famously sang, “I don’t want to be lonely tonight.” It’s a sentiment felt by millions of people. In fact, the former Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, wrote a book called, Together, in which he outlines the epidemic of loneliness here and around the world. And during this holiday season, loneliness and loss may be […]
Something is really bothering you. So you complain. Complaints are about the difference we see between our expectations and reality. We expect something and then it doesn’t come true. But does complaining really help? After all, it is easy to complain and it comes naturally to many of us. Has complaining become a habit like brushing your teeth? Are you so used to doing it, you don’t realize how often complaints come out of your mouth?
In fact, look at your social media or your text messages. Are they filled with complaints or venting about your frustrations? If so, it might be time to make a change that could boost your positivity and lower your stress. Complaining and venting both lead to feeling stressed and negative about life. They take us no where but down in the dumps.
Begin, by not thinking about what you don’t want or like. Instead, think about what you do want and do like! It’s a small shift in thinking but one that can make a big difference.
For a period of time (maybe a day, week or a month), go without complaining at all. Consider this a type of complaining cleanse. Be very intentional to stop complaining. Give up the idea that you are victim. Tell yourself to let go of things that don’t matter all that much. Be more adaptive and roll with the punches.
Now, replace your complaints with gratitude. Keep a gratitude journal and watch your negativity change to optimism. If you don’t like to journal, notice your comments, stop them and insert a gratitude or positive statement. Focusing away from complaints and on to gratitude will change your mood for the better.
And if you need to fix an injustice through a complaint, try doing so by starting with a positive, give the complaint, and then end with a positive. Make the complaint descriptive and to the point. Then, go back to focusing on what is good in your life. See if you can make gratitude your default. Giving up regular complaining and replacing it with gratitude is the goal.
Are you up for the challenge? A complaint cleanse? Let me know if you try it and the difference it makes.