Sometimes we complain without even realizing it, but it is rarely helpful. A common complaint can bond two people who may have nothing in common, but too much complaining would just break down the relationship.
For example, I once had a friend who constantly complained about her family, her health, her relationships, school, blah blah blah. Every time I hung out with her I felt drained afterward, and what’s worse, I actually dreaded hanging out with her.
No matter what I said or did, she never cheered up. Sure, she was going through a tough time, but her negative attitude certainly made matters worse. Eventually we grew apart because her negativity started crossing over into my life.
So what happens if you are the one stuck with the negative attitude? We’ve all been there. I sure have!
Here are some tips to stop complaining and ditch the negative thoughts to focus on finding solutions.
- Change the way you think.
This is definitely easier said than done. Our brains tend to gravitate toward the negative. This requires a new practice of being mindful. When you find yourself thinking or saying a negative comment about something or someone, stop and force yourself to say something positive instead.
- Allow yourself to vent every once in a while.
Constantly ignoring your negative thoughts could add up. But give yourself a limit! However, if you are really going through a tough time, don’t be afraid to share your feelings with a close friend or family member.
- Practice yoga.
Yoga is a great way to exercise and relax. Yoga focuses on breathing, movement, and meditation and helps you control your mind and body. Our minds often race in a million directions. Yoga can help you calm your racing thoughts and be more positive with your intentions.
- Train yourself to be less judgmental.
We often complain about others because we think they are not up to our standards. Once you stop judging people without knowing their stories, you will most likely complain less about the things people do.For example, constantly complaining about the service in a restaurant is not helpful. You don’t know what kind of a day your waiter or waitress has had or what problems are going on behind the scenes. If you put yourself in their shoes for a minute, you may be more kind and relax about the situation.
- Make a list of things you’re grateful for.
Stopping for a minute and thinking about of all the amazing people and great things in your life will probably put any senseless complaints you had to rest.
- Be the change you wish to see in the world.
A very wise man once said this, and guess what? It works! Next time your friends or family get caught up in a complaint fest, speak up or quiet down. Either speak up to stop the complaining and change the subject or simply be quiet and don’t complain yourself.
- Accept responsibility.
If something is bothering you, either fix it or accept that nothing can be done right now, so why complain? Complaining is a passive activity. Change that complaining into action to solve the problem or simply accept it and focus on something else.
- Find what makes you happy.
Sometimes this can be easy. Sometimes it requires more thinking. Uncover what your biggest complaints are about and see if you can change the situation to make you happy.
- Take care of yourself.
Stress and a busy lifestyle can take over our lives and break down anyone’s positive spirit. Take time out from your life just for you. Make sure you get to see that movie you were dying to watch, take a hot bath, head to your yoga class, get a manicure, play sports, or do whatever relaxes and energizes you. It could just give you a new frame of mind.
- Simply ask yourself: Would you rather complain or be happy?
It is your choice and no one else’s. Complaining puts your attention on the problem. What you focus on grows. Focusing on problems, and then verbalizing them creates a continuous stream of energy flowing towards what’s not working.