With droves of articles and shelves of books written on the benefits of ‘positivity’, we still somehow miss the mark. How many of us can honestly say we have been through an entire day without complaining? You may be thinking, “Well, it was going well until…” or “C’mon, I had every right to complain about such and such…” The strange paradox about not complaining is, we think our tendency to do so, lies in the actions of other persons.
After all, if someone does something to offend us, we HAVE to react, right?
Unfortunately, it requires us to painfully be the bigger person (kind of like forgiveness) and recognize that the justified reaction to an offense can hurt us more than the offending party. It calls upon inner strength and resilience to be the mature person but also it calls upon a little selfishness. Hmm.. selfishness? How? Well, if I decide that my peace of mind will not be moved by your petty offense, then I am thinking about my own well being.
I am putting me first; my state of mind, my happiness, my joy, my peace, my blessings.
If we could see the amazing, tangible benefits of remaining positive even in the face of catastrophes, we would consider it a selfish decision not to complain. Here are just a few of those benefits:
- Increased creativity
- Improved circulation
- Improved resistance to disease
- Improved problem solving skills
- Improved resilience when facing of stressful situations
- Increased lifespan
- Better athletic performance
- More friends
These are just a few. The next time you start to complain, ask yourself if you are willing to give this all up just for one minute of venting.
What Actually Happens – The ‘Sciency’ Stuff
According to the psychological principle of cognitive dissonance, our thoughts must line up with our actions to prevent mental discomfort. So, every time you utter a negative comment (complain), the section of your brain involved in finding creative solutions, shuts down. We, in effect, send a message to our brain that there is no solution, so the brain agrees and doesn’t even attempt to look for one.
Wow! Now, not only have we closed off our possibility of escape from the situation but we are still stuck in it AND in a bad mood as well. Complaining solves nothing. I haven’t even begun to touch on the principle of the law of attraction. Whereby, the words that you speak act as magnets and attract more of the same negative situations each time you complain.
Also, when you complain you are being ungrateful for what you do have and are setting yourself up for losing the blessings you already have.
Try to see the positive side of each situation. We can’t control everything that happens to us but we are in complete control of how we react. That is the most empowering thing we could come to terms with. In every moment of every day, we have a choice. We can be negative and complain or try to find humour and/or the positive side of the situation and trust that everything does indeed happen for a reason.
Take a deep breath… Distract yourself… Be grateful – The antidote of negativity. Once we are focusing on the things in our lives that ARE going well, the negative things tend to fade away in the grand scheme of things. A mental shift occurs and we maintain our peace of mind. So, this is your challenge for this week: Think of something to be grateful for whenever the urge to be negative arises.
Start by trying to go through one whole day without complaining. You will feel the amazing benefits immediately. Thank me later!