Existential Psychology

Try Going A Day Without Complaining

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If you want to improve your life without actually doing anything to improve your conditions, just try going a day without complaining. You might find yourself surprised to feel more content and relaxed even though your situation is pretty much exactly the same.

The ostensible reason to complain about our situations is to force some sort of change that is necessary for our happiness, but this rarely occurs and it’s rarely our true motivation for complaining in the first place. We just want to feel better, to have someone else empathize with us, to share our plight for a bit, to take some of the burden off of our shoulders. Most of the time complaining is a way to find emotional relief without having to do any of the hard work of actual change.

If you agree that you complaining is primarily motivated by trying to feel better, then take that next logical step to see that staying mired in self-pity is no way to feel better because it tends to reinforce the bad feelings that are already there as you continue to dwell on them, strengthening those neural channels.

In utterly simplistic language it goes choosing negativity, choosing neutrality, and choosing positivity. If complaining is choosing negativity then not complaining is the next logical step where you are choosing neutrality, and you’re well on your way towards choosing positivity, which is another way of saying that you actively look for and encourage all the good in your life, building upon it until the bad dissipates on its own because there is simply no room for it.

Most of the things we complain about are minor annoyances anyway, and paradoxically isn’t it weird that you rarely hear a peep of complaint out of many people who are facing real and significant challenges? It’s probably because they’ve figured out that complaining is a waste of time, it accomplishes nothing, and they need all that energy to devote towards real action. Try going a day without complaining. It won’t cost you much and you might find some movement occurring in just that short period of time towards a more positive outlook on life.