It’s a fact that nobody’s life is perfect. The truth is that indeed everyone has ups and downs and everyone is waging their own battle most aren’t aware of. However, there are those who keep up the positivity and know that life is tough no matter what; and there are the complainers.
While it’s natural to vent your stress when things get tough, these people choose to turn a blind eye to the positive things in their life and obsess over the odds they face. Hence, they use every possible opportunity to vent their stress over these things by complaining to whoever is willing to listen.
Complaining won’t help, though. On the contrary, not only will it eventually chase away the person who is forced to listen, but it will rewire your brain to be depressed and anxious. Because of this, it’s best to see why people tend to complain, the way it affects the brain, and how the negative thoughts behind complaining can be reversed.
There are 3 types of complainers:
- Those who complain to get sympathy
- Those who ruminate over all their problems
- Those who want to vent, but don’t really search for any real solutions to their problems
Whatever the type of complainer, the psychology behind complaining goes to early childhood, with the child learning this habit from someone in the family. Living and growing up with a person who constantly sees the worst in everything is something that affects the child’s perception of the adult world.
In other words, the child will learn this negative behavior from a parent or a relative as something which is normal to do, and they will perpetuate the habit later on.
What complaining does to your brain
Constant complaining trains your brain to behave in the way it has been used most. Neuropsychologist Donald Hebb explains that complaining, like any other activity, activates the neurons in the brain and trains them to remember the pattern.
So, in a way, the complainer teaches his/her brain to fire the same cognitive pattern every time they complain, and this negative set of emotions and recollections eventually triggers depression and anxiety.
As a result, any effort to change the mindset to a more positive outlook will be difficult, and the person will be stuck in a loop of negative emotions and attitudes toward life, as their brain is most familiar with this pattern. (1)
How to retrain your brain to be more positive?
Luckily, every habit can be changed and all the negativity can be reversed. This process does take some effort at first, but it gets easier with practice and constantly reminding yourself that not everything is as dark as it seems.
The aim is to adapt your brain into creating patterns of thoughts other than the negative set which it’s so used to. However, one needs to want to change in order to change. And who wouldn’t want to get out of that grim loop of dark thoughts? (2)
You can start off by focusing on these 5 things:
1.Be aware of your attitude – complaining can come as a default reaction to any thought. You need to become more aware of your attitude toward things and understand that everything has its positive and negative sides.
2. Let go of all the bad stuff – some things can’t be changed, it’s just the way they are. Letting go of the negative things is better than holding on to them and this is all for your own sake. Instead, focus on what cheers you up – all things come to an end, even the bad ones.
3. Focus on the positive – of course, there is something positive in everything! If you can’t see it, look closer. Focus on what makes the true virtues, such as honesty, love, the positive lessons out of it, your personal growth out of the experiences. (3)
4. Be grateful – always remember that you have been blessed with many wonderful things in your life – you just need to look and see just how many there are. Be grateful for those things, not resentful of the challenges that come.
5. Be humble – arrogance and the thought that everything should belong to you are a poison to the mind. Instead, focus on your true values and don’t put yourself on a pedestal for anything. Focus on your happiness instead.
And then – when you are obsessed with negativity and you can’t let go easily, take a quick trip to nature and relax. Nature, sport, and any creative activity serve to vent out all the negativity you have gathered. It’s natural that we all face negativity in our lives, and it’s important not to get caught in a negative loop and rise above it.
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.