We all know a complainer.
You know, the one who always manages to find a negative in every positive. The one who seems to totally miss the upside and go straight for what could have been better or what was missing in any situation.
Being around people who complain all the time is exhausting. It really drains your energy to constantly talk about what’s WRONG in life instead of focusing on what’s good or what’s going well.
The funny thing is, chances are at one point or another you have been that complaining person.
I know I have.
It doesn’t make you bad. It doesn’t mean you are unlovable or unacceptable. Being ashamed of yourself isn’t the answer here.
The point is simply, to gently tell you that you may have accidentally gotten stuck on focusing on the wrong stuff.
But, there’s good news! You can totally change it. And it’s important that you do.
When we complain or focus on the negative in life, we actually increase feelings of sadness and melancholy.
That’s not something we really want, is it?
We do however want to be honest about how we feel and allow ourselves to be truthful in the moments when we need to let out some frustration or anger.
That is healthy.
What isn’t healthy is chronic, habitual, unconscious complaining.
Complaining that actually makes you feel worse, not better, when you do it.
Complaining that affects the people around you because they must find conjure positive resistance to your negative energy.
The truth is you aren’t negative, you have just got some negative patterns of thinking.
So how do we change that?
1. Understand your reasons for complaining
Looking at the reasons why we do what we do, can be the most uncomfortable thing in the world.
It’s also how we grow.
Why do you complain? Is it because your family does it? Growing up in a household where people constantly point out the negative is going to result in you doing it too. Do you complain to get attention? Perhaps when you were growing up you didn’t feel as important as your siblings so you learned to complain in order to get attention.
Whatever your reasons are, you need to become aware of them.
Practising mindfulness amidst your complaining is the next step to changing the pattern you are stuck in.
Learn to become acutely aware of the things you complain about. For example is it work, the weather, getting stuck in traffic etc.
When you notice that you’re complaining pull yourself up and consciously STOP.
3. Start a gratitude practice
Starting a gratitude practice is the simplest way to help rewire your brain to focus on the positive in your life.
You don’t need a fancy journal or an expensive app to do it either. Simply note down 3 things a day you are grateful for, no matter how simple, and you will start to retrain your brain to focus on what’s good in your life.
Complaining is something that we all do from time to time, but if you do it too much it can really affect your life in a negative way.
Take back control and start focusing on the good stuff in your world. I promise there is plenty if you just take a moment to look!