Sometimes we just need to vent. But how different would our lives be if we stopped complaining altogether? There is an abundance of research to suggest that habitual complaining can have a negative impact on our lives. All of that whining comes at a cost. When we complain, it saps our energy, causes or worsens stress and diminishes our desire to pursue our dreams.
It can be hard to break the habit, but if you are able to follow these simple steps you will benefit from a better lifestyle. Stop complaining about things beyond your control and start living a life full of self-assurance and confidence.
According to research from the Loma Linda University in California, the simple act of laughter can increase endorphins and uplift your mood. Laughter also has the power to decrease and can improve your memory. Dr Mark Reeves, Surgical Oncologist and co-author found that when we’re stressed it enters the hippocampus of our brain and can damage neurons that are involved with learning and memory. “When we laugh, the stress hormone, cortisol, decreases and thus, our short-term memory will improve” Reeves explained.
If you are able to laugh more, even when things aren’t going your way, you will focus less on the negative and won’t let the stresses of life get you down.
Surround Yourself With Positive People
When you listen to someone else moan, also known as secondhand complaining, it can affect how you think and behave for yourself. If you want to complain less, it helps to surround yourself with positive people who display the same disciplines that you want to live by. Choose your inner circle wisely and cut ties with people who spend a lot of time whining.
We often complain when we focus on the negative and not the positive. To combat this you should take time out of your day to think about what you are truly grateful for. The simple act of thinking about things in a positive light will give you fewer things that prompt you to complain.
If you want to dwell less on the negative, science suggests that you should release endorphins through exercise. Getting your blood pumping and heart racing can reduce stress and decrease negative feelings like anxiety and depression – two things that can lead to chronic complaining.
Mindfulness meditation can raise your awareness and lower your stress and anxiety. When you feel grounded, little things that would have previously led to complaints, don’t bother you as much. Williams and Kuyken (2012) summarise how mindfulness achieves this: “Repeated practice in noticing, observing with curiosity and compassion, and shifting perspective helps participants to realise that their thoughts, emotions and sensations are just thoughts, emotions and sensations, rather than ‘truth’ or ‘me’. They learn to see more clearly the patterns of the mind, and to recognise when mood is beginning to dip without adding to the problem by falling into analysis and rumination – to stand on the edge of the whirlpool and watch it go round, rather than disappearing into it.”
It isn’t what happens to us, but how we choose to think and feel about it that determines our mental wellbeing. Events and circumstances don’t have to rub us up the wrong way or lead us down a negative spiral. We should laugh more, worry less and take steps every day to stop complaining and start living.
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I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here