In his article “How Complaining Rewires Your Brain for Negativity” (published on LinkedIn, August 3, 2016), Dr. Travis Bradberry explains that complaining is addictive, it is bad for your health, and it is bad for the health of those around you. Gratitude, on the other hand, reduces stress hormones in the body, improves mood and energy levels, and reduces anxiety.
Are you a chronic complainer? Or do you cultivate an attitude of gratitude? What would those who work or live with you say?
We all have things we can complain about. My son once joked that he was going to get a me a T-shirt that said, “My joints hurt. I’m tired. What did you say?” The truth is, my joints do hurt, and I frequently am tired, and, well, I don’t hear as well as I used to!
But you know what? Commenting on the fact that my joints hurt, that I’m tired, or that I can’t hear well…that doesn’t change my circumstances. My complaining doesn’t make me hurt less or have more energy. In fact, according to Dr. Bradberry’s article, my complaining actually makes me hurt worse and feel more tired!
Time to trade in my complaining for gratitude!
Yesterday, I exercised at Caroline’s studio in Troy for the first time in several weeks. Today, my arms and my back and chest muscles are sore (I’m not complaining now, just stating a fact).
Now, I could stop right there: simply sit down on the unpleasant reality that I am sore, and complain about it.
Or – I could think, “I obviously got a good workout at Caroline’s yesterday! It is so good to be using these muscles again! Thank you, Jesus, that I finally made it back to class!”
I think I’ll choose the latter – say “Thank you” instead of complaining – because just typing that last paragraph made me smile. I LOVE exercising with the other women at Caroline’s!
How about you? What are you thankful for today?
(You can read Dr. Bradberry’s complete article HERE.)