8 Ways to Reduce Complaining in Your Life.

Like any bad habit, complaining has a way of starting simply and eventually spiraling out of control.

Before you know it, it becomes easy to let every other word that comes out of your mouth be negative.

At times, we can justify complaining — after all, there’s much evil in this world. However, there’s a difference between griping for griping’s sake and recognizing a problem in order to solve it. Here’s how to stop being a Negative Nancy and cultivate more positivity and goodness in your life.

1. Use a Rubber Band

One simple tip for breaking the cycle of negative thoughts is to wear a rubber band around your wrist. Whenever you feel a negative thought intrude, snap it. This serves as a tangible reminder that negative words hurt your psyche.

Take a clue from cognitive-behavioral therapists, and each time you think something negative, try reframing that thought more positively. For example, if you find yourself thinking “I’m always such a failure” after something goes wrong at work, try thinking, “What can I learn from this experience so I can improve?”

2. Enjoy a Deep Belly Laugh

Complaining is hard when you’re laughing fit to burst, so when you find yourself in a blue mood you can’t break, try watching a video or even looking at a meme that never fails to crack you up. Share a joke — even a dad joke — with a co-worker.

Make a humorous, self-effacing quip about yourself, but avoid doing so about others unless you have the kind of friendship where roasting each other constitutes terms of endearment.

3. Spend Time in Nature

A recent study revealed the environment does humans a valuable service in terms of protecting their mental health. Researchers found exercising outdoors improved mood and reduced anxiety and depression naturally. The key is getting moving in nature’s beauty, preferably somewhere with a water feature. Taking a walk or a bike ride along a local stream can boost your mood significantly.

4. Eliminate Energy Vampires

Some people can turn toxic, and if you’re already in the complaining habit, you may gravitate toward other negative types. If you’re an empath, narcissistic people may seek you out to feed their egos. Sometimes, cutting these people out of your life preserves your sanity.

This isn’t saying to turn your back on a friend in her time of crisis, but it does mean limiting your exposure to small increments of time. It also means taking care of your own needs, including reaching out for advice or therapy if dealing with tense situations like threatened suicide leaves you reeling.

5. Perform a Random Act of Kindness

It’s difficult to feel down on yourself when you’re performing an act of service for others. In fact, helping other people can alleviate mild depression. In what can feel like a cold world, you never know the impact your actions may have.

Buy coffee for the person behind you in the drive-through. Give $5 to the person with the cardboard sign on the freeway exit. You’ll drive away smiling.

6. Focus on Your Friendships

When you’re feeling down, it’s easy to feel like no one really cares. Chances are, lots of people in your life love you and would willingly lend you a shoulder to cry on when need be.

Avoid the temptation to isolate yourself, and give a friend a phone call. Ask if they’d like to meet up for coffee and a chat. Ask a co-worker to lunch — socializing reduces feelings of isolation and lightens moods, especially if job stress is the source of your bleak outlook.

7. Look at Challenges as Opportunities

Every challenge holds within it the kernel of a solution. Make a game out of trying to think of innovative answers to problems. Are you short on rent for the month? Is there something you could create and sell to make up the difference?

Businesses appreciate employees who demonstrate solid problem-solving abilities. It’s one of the most valued soft skills on the market today. By developing this, you can take your career to new heights.

8. Keep a Gratitude Journal

It’s easier to re-frame negative thoughts if you keep a running list of all the things you have to be grateful for. Make a gratitude journal and write in it daily. Strive to think of one thing to be happy about each day — it need not be a major deal. Maybe you’re thankful for the rainbow that brought a smile to your face during your commute — on some days, if that’s all you can think of, that’s enough.

Becoming More Positive and Grateful

Few people enjoy associating with negative whiners. If you’ve fallen into the habit of complaining all the time, you can break the cycle. Follow a few simple tips to start on the path to more positive living today. It will take time and practice, but the results are worth it!


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Kate Harveston
Kate Harveston is a freelance writer and blogger. Her work focuses on health and culture. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found curled up in her hammock with a book or exploring the city for trendy coffee shops. You can visit her blog, So Well, So Woman to read more of her work and receive a free subscriber gift!