Most of us whine and complain, hoping to minimize our burdens, but feel worse, nonetheless. In our tale of gloom and doom, we tend to tell tall tales and make whales out of minnows. And as we continue with the complaining and whining, it does not reduce the problems but instead effects our emotional well-being. Is it worth impacting our health for the momentary satisfaction of getting something off our chest?

An old study by Stanford University found that complaining about our lives adversely – more than you think. Complaining, according to the research, shrinks a part of your brain, the hippocampus, which in turn impacts memory and problem-solving ability.

Complaining increases stress hormones and results in weight gain, and enhances your risk for diabetes and heart disease.

You may not be able to stop complaining and whining cold turkey. But through training and other methods will help your tendency to complain and whine.

Top Ten Ideas to Stop Complaining:


Watch Your Behavior.

Research shows that constant whining rewires your brain and in turn, make complaining a habit. Keep track of the times you complain. How about keeping a written journal? In addition to the specific complaints and number of times, you should also jot down the triggers.

Be Grateful.

In addition to the complaints record, also consider writing a gratitude journal. Try to remember all the people and things that you have to express appreciation and gratitude.

Remove Stress Factors.

Trying to reduce complaining starts with lowering your stress levels. They go hand in hand. Exercise, listen to music, meditate – whatever helps you reduce stress.

Be Positive.

Do you complain and whine to get attention? Instead of complaining, how about try a cheerful attitude and see if you can attract positive attention.

Make Better Friends.

Do you have a lot of other whiners and complainers in your social circle? Well, complaining can be contagious. Stop hanging out with people who don’t complain. Try developing friendships and relationships with people that have a positive outlook.

Set Goals and then go to Zero.

You may not be able to stop complaining abruptly. So, set goals and try to keep your complaining to below the limits. And slowly lower the threshold until it gets to zero or close to it. Or you could start with a “Complaint-free Day” each week and see how it minimizes stress and makes you happier.

Focus on Solving Issues.

So, what is the source of your complaints? What outcome were you hoping? On areas where you have control, try to focus on solving issues rather than sulk and gripe.

Complain Right.

For example, if you still need to complain, do it in a way that it does not make it worse. For example, if you want to complain, do it in private with your boss. Don’t post it on the internal collaboration site. Or criticize openly in a meeting.

Be specific about the Complaints.

Don’t generalize your complaints. Make it specific and narrow. For example, complaining, “All drivers on the road are bad and are a menace.” Instead, if you say, “ABCDEF Restaurant service is bad.” You could solve the latter by not going to the restaurant.

Take Necessary Action.

Don’t be passive and complain all the time. Instead, steer your conversations towards coming up with an actionable plan. Do something, and proactive actions will help alleviate the need and urge to complain.
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