When is the last time you walked away from a conversation exhausted by listening to someone complaining? It has been a struggle this past year with the pandemic. The numerous changes and stressors have provided many opportunities to complain. It may seem like an innocent way to pass time or a way of expressing yourself, but when you complain or listen to people complaining, you will find yourself feeling less in control, more stressed about your situation and more negative. The more negative and stressed we become, the more harmful it is to our brain.
Mental health experts suggest trying a complaint cleanse to refocus your thoughts and get back in the driver’s seat of your life. If you are feeling negative and those close to you are telling you that you complain often, a complaint cleanse for one week may help relieve your stress and restore your sense of well-being. Begin by practicing these four strategies below.
1. Listen to yourself and become aware of your complaint. Many times, we complain just to complain. The problem is there is no solution, and we aren’t creating anything. We’re just spewing negativity on to anyone who will listen.
2. Swipe left. Once you know what you’re complaining about, visualize swiping it away before it leaves your lips.
3. Replace your complaint with something positive. You may not have any control about being stuck in traffic, but you can control what you focus on. Notice the beauty outside of your car window or entertain a thought that makes you feel happy, and observe how that changes how you feel.
4. Analyze your complaint. Sometimes what we complain about needs to be dealt with. If you constantly complain about your spouse to others, maybe it’s time for couples therapy or making changes with the way the two of you communicate.
Most people do not recognize the power of their thoughts and words. We often live life on autopilot and stop challenging ourselves to make personal changes that could enhance our lives. The next time you want to complain about the price of groceries or gas, focus and mention to others how happy you are to hear the birds or see the sun rise. This redirection will not only make changes that you will notice in yourself but also in those who are listening to you.