Grumpiness is so common these days. For many people it could be called a way of life. Now I understand everybody complains at times. I personally hear lots of complaining. Where I currently live, the economy is not good because of the low oil prices. I hear people grumble about the economy and most often will blame the government as if they have control over the oil markets. I hear people complain about the weather. It’s too cold, too hot, too much snow, not enough snow, too much rain, not enough rain and well you get the picture. I’ve heard people complain about their jobs, their bosses, and their families. When I taught school I heard people complain that teachers were too difficult, marked too hard, had no discipline, didn’t teach, and on and on. I even heard people grumble about all the time their children had off from school and how easy the teachers had it. Everywhere I go I hear complaining.
Now what good does complaining do? Really, no one wants to hear grumbling. Nobody really listens to you when you’re complaining nor do they feel sorry for you. So I ask again, what does complaining really do? The answer is pretty straightforward. It accomplishes nothing.
A few weeks ago I found this message in my email.
Moaning and groaning about things changes nothing, and it never does anyone any good.
The email went on to say, “If you don’t want to do anything to change it, stop complaining about it. If you can’t do anything to change it no matter how much you want to, then accept it for now and simply resolve to create a different tomorrow, but don’t let today be ruined while you are waiting.”
I think that is brilliant! Especially the line, “If you don’t want to do anything to change it, stop complaining about it.” Unless a person is willing to make changes, then you do not have the right to complain. Really, complaining is a useless activity as far as I am concerned. I know we all get on the ‘complaining bandwagon’; myself included, but is it good for us. Does it help us? I suspect not.
It’s not good for us according to the article, How Complaining Wires Your Brain for Negativity, published in Good Magazine. The article states:
“The brain is rewiring its own circuitry, physically changing itself, to make it easier and more likely that the proper synapses will share the chemical link and thus spark together—in essence, making it easier for the thought to trigger.” So essentially, the more often you complain, the more negative connections are created in your brain.”
According to the article, Top 10 Reasons Why Constant Complaining is so Toxic, it does things like:
- Makes things look worse than they are
- Becomes a habit
- Attracts more negativity
- Kills innovation
- Promotes bad relationships
The article goes on to say that researchers of positive psychology say that people who see the world in a positive light have a long list of advantages, such as:
- They live longer
- They’re healthier
- They have more friends and better social lives
- They enjoy life more
- They’re more successful at work
The late Dr. Wayne Dyer, a well known author and speaker, said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” That is sound advice. Instead of focusing on the negative, start focusing on the positives. In other words, start showing gratitude for the good things in life. In fact, research is revealing that gratitude is healthy.
In the article, Why gratitude could be good for your health, published in Maclean’s Magazine, researcher Adam Anderson, a neuroscientist at Cornell University, examined the brain mechanisms of emotions. He discovered that negative experiences actually restrict humans’ ability to think in fresh ways whereas positive emotions, such as gratitude, activate neural circuits related to novel, creative thought processes. Anderson’s more recent research suggests gratitude also has the extraordinary ability to make good feelings last longer.
Positive thinking is good for you according to the article that I mentioned earlier, How Complaining Wires Your Brain for Negativity, as it says,
“The power of positive thinking has fantastic, far-reaching benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, a positive attitude can increase your life span, improve your coping skills, and give you greater resistance to the common cold. Plus, it makes you much more fun to be around.”
Criss Jami, an American poet, essayist, and existentialist philosopher, is quoted in his writings, Killosophy, as saying:
“When you aren’t satisfied with what has already been done, make something better. That is the greatest responsibility and the true freedom of creativity. The freedom is in that it doesn’t need to complain.”
Jami is bang on. If we don’t like the way things are then make some changes. Do something about it and I don’t mean complain. You are in charge of our own destiny, so stop complaining and make some changes. As Jack Welsh, American business executive and author says, “Control your destiny or somebody else will.” Or, as American motivational speaker, Anthony Robbins says, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” The bottom line is, stop complaining and make some changes!