“Why is this internet NEVER working?!” “Damn it, where’s that drink I ordered 30 minutes ago..” “This job is slowly killing me.” “Those bikes are so annoying.” Just a small part of my daily repertoire. Sometimes being serious, sometimes just ‘joking’ (if these are my jokes, I have to establish I’m not funny).
Little did I know about the harmful effects of complaining on my health, relationships, carreer and future. Now I come to look at it, it seems like the whole universe is responding to my complaints. Geez, even my brain is rewiring to my complaints and not in a good way! In fact, of course I knew this. But somehow I only just now realize HOW badly it’s influence is.
So what exactly does complaining do to us?
I suddenly remembered something important I’d learned during my psychology study: Our brain rewires constantly. When thinking a thought, the chemical link between certain synapses for that thought becomes stronger. So the more we think a thought, the more available it becomes and the easier it is to think this thought again. So thoughts actually physically change us! This is why many of us might feel trapped in a vicious cycle of thoughts. The more negative thoughts you’re thinking, the easier it will be for the brain to think them again.
There’s a pretty awesome side to this: the more positive thoughts you’re thinking, the easier it will be to think those positive thoughts next time! Trying to complain less would be nothing more than kicking a bad habit’s ass.
Complaining, since it causes stress, is damaging to our emotional and physical health. By now it’s a pretty well-known fact that our minds and bodies are connected. Stress can cause headaches, stomach problems, …and many more. You’ll find a million articles about this in a second, so no need for me to talk about it too much.
Worse than fear is the anticipation of fear. Worse than the situation triggering a complaint is the stress we experience when caught up in complaining about it after.
Stress and worries are never the best problem solvers. It’s our mindset and actions that will do the trick.
You think you’re the only one complaining? Not really true.. Some complain a little more than others, but we all do it. And we all know that one person who miraculously drain our energy in a second. The secret of their magic: negative talk. Complaining surely will create an atmosphere of negativity in every relationship. No matter if it’s among friends, family members, colleagues or couples.
Image you’re talking to someone who is mostly self-obsessed, speaks badly about others, criticizes, is playing victim, makes you feel ashamed or small, doesn’t appreciate life, ignores your boundries or is creating some kind of drama? Sounds appealing? Didn’t think so..
Now imagine you’re talking to someone who truely listens to you, praises others, doesn’t judge but provides positive and constructive feedback, respects your ideas and your boundries and has a relaxed view on life. Can you give me his or her number please ^^
Less complaining equals more happiness and relaxedness. For all parties involved.
Complaining limits our career success too. Because who prefers to work with someone who’s not fun to be around? As far as I know, a bad attitude never made someone win the contest of favorite colleague, employee or boss. Complaining can be a way to seek other people’s understanding and approval. It’s a good way for us to justify the things we are (not) doing. It’s a good way to avoid those things we are afraid of doing.
Last month I hurt my back during a workout. Shortly after, I got bronchitis and the flu. Plenty of things to complain about, which I did. A lot. To my colleagues, my boyfriend, my friends and family. Looking back on this period now, it seems silly and pointless. Because really, what was I trying to achieve here?! I know exactly what: By complaining to my colleaugues about my bronchitis I was trying to get their approval for calling in sick. By complaining about my back pains I was trying to justify – to myself ánd others – me not completing my work out challenge. Because for some reason I felt not confident enough to just make my own decisions and own it.
So, if it comes to work, do whatever you want/have to do and don’t do whatever you don’t want/have to do. It’s that simple. For me, it’s time to stop making excuses and to stop complaining. It’s time to build some confidence and make my own decisions. And with this, I’ll not only make myself a happier person, it’ll be a delight for everyone in the office!
Our thoughts make our feelings. Our feelings influence our actions. Our actions will turn into our future. Apart from the physical changes in our brain, complaining will lead to negative thinking and negative thinking will result in a less positive future.
Complaining is our way of re-reading whatever bad is happening now or whatever bad happened in the past. It doesn’t change our future. It just makes our present miserable. Is it bad to state that something didn’t have your desired outcome? Of course not! As soon as you move on to thinking in solutions quickly after.
Will spending your whole salary on hamburgers make you a richer and healthier person?
Will complaining turn your future into a bright and sunny one?
‘The future of tomorrow will be the result of today’s actions.’