As we were landing into the middle of another year, like everybody else, I did some retrospection and re-evaluated my last year’s journey.
I thought about how it’d be the perfect time to start making the changes I wanted to make a few weeks ago/last month/last year. When I brooded about one habit which I wanted to improve upon and change, the first thing that came into my mind was to stop complaining.
As mindful as I strive to be with my words, I always end up complaining. Whether it’s the weather, my job, clothes, relationships, worldly situations, traffic, high prices, etc. (The list goes on…)
Have you ever thought about the amount of time you spend complaining in a day?
The thing is, we have made ourselves so miserable that we end up finding fault and blaming others for our current situation.
Think about it:
- Has complaining solved any of your problems?
When we complain about things to our family, friends, or spouse, we only bring negative energy into our lives. The energy which we invest in complaining, if invested in something positive, can transform our lives and make us happier.
So this year, I challenged myself to stop complaining and see what happens.
I knew that complaining was a habit and it would take a little bit of time to break. But there was one thing I knew for sure: Habits can be broken with will power and consistency.
Well, it’s been 2 months since I have started practicing the art of not complaining and guess what, I have been pretty successful.
Of course, I cannot say that I’ve never complained in the past 2 months. I did a few times, but it’s OK as I am still on the path to breaking a bad habit and inculcating a good one.
Things I do in order to stop complaining:
1. Express Gratitude
I have often found myself worrying about things which I don’t have rather than focusing on the things which I do have.
This year I decided to say more phrases like, “Thank you”, “I appreciate your help”, “Congratulations”, or simply just acknowledge the fact of how lucky I am to be alive.
Of course, it takes some time to become grateful sub-consciously, so I started setting micro-goals instead of macro goals.
Every morning, I wake up feeling thankful of what I have and remind myself to be more grateful than the previous day, thus slowly building the habit.
2. Change Perspective
Everyone has their own story and their own way of looking at life.
By simply accepting this fact, you will notice that you are more open to people. You will be more open to life. Most importantly, you will open yourself up to possibilities you’ve never even thought of.
It’s not necessary to agree with everyone, but you can always appreciate and accept their thoughts and values. You cannot change somebody else’s attitude and perspective, but you can change yours.
I have always had a strong grasp on what I believed in and what I stood for, which of course led to clashes with the people around me.
So, I promised myself that I would listen to people more and try to understand their perspective. I must say, in the past 2 months, I have been able to look at the world with endless possibilities as this shift in perspective has greatly widened my horizons.
3. Change Complaints Into Solutions
This is the most important point for me.
Whenever I see myself complaining about anything, I ask, “What can I do to change the situation”?
If there isn’t a solution, accepting things the way are kills the urge to complain.
For example, instead of complaining that it’s cold outside and I hate living in this place, I stuff myself with woolens so that I feel warm and cozy.
Use complaints as a catalyst for positive change and positive actions. It will bring peace and happiness into your life rather than frustration.
4. Dissociate From People Who Complain Too Much
Constantly listening to people who are angry, frustrated, and complain too much about family, life, and various situations only adds negative energy into your life.
It’s very important to draw a boundary line and surround yourself with people who are cheerful, grateful, and appreciative of life.
In the past couple months, I have distanced myself from people who complain a lot. It’s not that I did not meet or talk to them at all, but I did not indulge myself when people around me started whining.
When these conversations arise, I distance myself. Doing this has brought a very positive spark to my life. I feel vibrant and full of positive energy.
5. Notice How Often I Complain
By simply being consciously aware of what we say, we can notice how often we complain, and what we’re complaining about.
I started noticing when I’m complaining. Do I complain during a particular time, situation, or around particular people?
Whatever the case may be, I follow all of the above points and try to live my life to the fullest.
6. Practice Meditation & Yoga
Yoga is a positive way of life which helps you to be stress-free, healthy, and happy. It strengthens positive mental attitudes, develops focus and concentration, and increases physical (and mental) flexibility. It makes you feel alive and helps you get to know your true self.
Yoga, along with meditation, will help you tune out all of your negative thoughts and emotions. This will help you feel more connected to yourself and to the world around you.
I started practicing yoga and meditation. However, I can’t do it regularly as I always tend to run away from exercising.
I am still trying to improve on this particular point.
One thing which I can say for sure is that after 2 months of practicing these changes, my life has changed for the better. On the inside, I feel very happy and energized.
Of course, it’s impossible to wake up one morning and completely stop complaining, but by being mindful of what we say, we can slowly change this habit to be more happy and present in the moment.
Never forget that life is all about perspective.
Try these tips for a week and let me know: how has this improved your life?