The Power of Complaining

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I have been noticing how negativity resonates with many of us. Even though I hate to admit it, there is something addictive to complaining about how things are not going as well as expected. Have you ever experienced the lure, when others are complaining about their current situation and life challenges, and the need to chime in and add your own two cents? That’s why gossip is a silent killer that always leads to betrayal, especially when you don’t share something nice about another. It’s better to keep your negative judgments and thoughts to yourself, than to share it with others to hear.

Why is complaining so addictive? Part of the reason is that we are wired, through evolution, with a bias towards being negative. According to Rick Hanson, Ph.D., neuropsychologist, “Our minds naturally focus on the bad and discard the good. It was much more important for our ancestors to avoid threats than to collect rewards: An individual who successfully avoided a threat would wake up the next morning and have another opportunity to collect a reward, but an individual who didn’t avoid the threat would have no such opportunity.”

Understanding the fact that our brains are inclined towards negative thoughts helps to explain our inclination to complain versus being happy and focusing on the positive. This by no means determines a dire future, but lends to the importance of staying present and conscious of our thoughts; choosing to focus on the positive versus letting the negative fester in our minds. Take this time now to take a look at where you complain, and search for the benefits of the past and current challenges you face. Also listen to your body’s signals, which are constantly giving feedback to let you know that you are in rhythm with yourself and your life.

Complaining is not bad, but owning your negativity and feeling the freedom to express anger, frustration, and disappointment is healthy to your overall well-being. Owning and taking responsibility of your choices, even if they failed to meet your expectations, will ultimately determine happiness or satisfaction in your life. Make a conscious choice to see how everything that is occurring or not happening in your life is serving you. Appreciating the life that you have currently, the good and the bad, helps you to stay balanced, making choices instead of reacting to life experiences, leading to an overall sense of wellness and ease. Once again everything comes back to your perception and how you choose to see and live your life.

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