Stop Complaining! It's Bad for You
We have all been guilty of it - some more than others. Complaining is something we all do. We complain about work, responsibilities, our relationships, and so much more. It is such a normal part of life that many of us hardly even notice when we do it. Complaining is actually one of the worst things you can do for your emotional and mental wellbeing.
It is a Negative Habit
Complaining wires your brain for persistent negativity. Repeated complaining actually has a neurochemical effect on the brain that reinforces the pattern and wires your brain to only see the negative in situations. This results in being more unhappy and unpleasant to be around. According to Dr. Normon Doidge author of The Brain That Changes Itself our brains are made for efficiency and repeated behavior results in an automatic habit. One of the main messages throughout the book are "neurons that fire together wire together" meaning that with every action we take our neurons synapse to create a memory. Repeat behavior reinforces that memory making it easier for the brain to do, creating a habit.
A Negative Mind Cannot be Creative
Constant complaining is counterproductive. It reduces focus, depletes energy, and prevents the mind from creatively solving problems.
Let's try an experiment shall we? Consider a problem you might be experiencing at the moment such as not liking your job. Think about all the things that you do not like about your job - the hours, the pay, the people, the work, the commute - and complain about it. While complaining about it, what are the thoughts going through your mind? Are they creative or proactive on how to solve the problem or change your situation to improve your experience? Likely not. Instead, its probably a slew of upsetting thoughts that are only making you feel worse about the situation. Now think about the positive things about the job - the experience, the skills you are acquiring, and ability to afford certain luxuries. Not only have you lessened the burden of negativity, you now have a list of things you can discuss with your prospective employers.
Try this experiment with any other problem you might be experiencing and see where the opportunities lie rather than the barriers.
It Breeds Toxicity and Ruins Relationships
People who complain a lot are very toxic. They suck the positive energy out of any situation and bring down everybody's mood. Complaining also becomes your default behavior which changes how people perceive and react to you. It becomes a vicious cycle that dramatically reduces your quality of life.
This toxicity will also negative affect your relationships with people. For example, if you are having dinner with someone and they begin complaining about the food you will likely not be enjoying the food either. You might think the food is tasty but the overall experience is dampered by the negative atmosphere created by the company you are with. Your mind will begin to associate negativity with that individual and you will no longer enjoy being around that person.
Affects Overall Health and Wellbeing
Research suggests that complaining leads to brain damage, releases stress hormones in the body, increases blood pressure, and impairs your immune function which can make you more prone to diseases.
In order to be successful, we must learn to control our minds. Now that we know our brains are pattern seekers, we must train it to be more positive. This will help us to be more creative and successful in all of our endeavors.