… When you don’t like a thing, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain. – Maya Angelou
Are you a complainer?
No judgment if you’re nodding your head.
We all are.
And in challenging times like this it’s very likely you’re complaining a lot more.
It may even be how you most often relate to those around you as we can bond over many of the same challenging things right now.
Here’s a crazy fact… Research shows that most people complain about once per minute during a normal conversation (every minute!) and all that complaining has a significant impact on us.
For example, complaining…
Rewires your brain – Every time you repeat a behavior (whether the thought or action is positive or negative) you are creating neural pathways which inadvertently creates a default behavior. Complaining is no exception.
Increases your stress – Every time you complain, cortisol (the stress hormone) increases which in turn raises your blood pressure and blood sugar (yikes!).
Decreases your reasoning skills – Research from Stanford University shows that complaining shrinks your hippocampus which impacts your problem solving, spatial and reasoning abilities. Double yikes!
Impacts your relationships – This is a big one as we are most likely to complain to those we’re close to and chances are they are going to enjoy you much more when you’re not complaining. And vice-versa.
So, what can you do about it?
Instead of complaining, you can either change it (take action!) OR change the way you think about it.
If it’s something you can take action on (ie: finally hanging the pictures versus complaining that they have been laying around for months), make a choice. Take action or don’t. And if it’s not something you’re willing to do then you (and those around you) are going to benefit greatly by you choosing to NOT complain.
As for changing your thoughts… Pause and notice when the complaint is about to rear its head so you can be intentional about the narrative you create which of course influences what comes out of your mouth. You can choose to let it go and/or you can choose to shift your focus to one of gratitude. After all, all that is good still exists in that very same moment. This takes practice and it’s worth it. This simple shift is powerful and it too can rewire your brain… to the positive.
WRITING & REFLECTION:
WE HAVE A CHALLENGE FOR YOU… Join us for Camp Reinvention™️ FREE 7-Day Stop Complaining Challenge. Here’s a journal with prompts to help. Download it HERE.
Please circle back and let us know how it’s going. We’d love to hear from you!