Complaining. We all dislike it in others but find it a habit in ourselves. Whether it’s because we want someone to know we have suffered and express sympathy for us or because we have become accustomed to focusing on the things that don’t go our way and grumbling about them or have been taught that communal moaning about the world is a way to connect with others, unless we are releasing tension or pent up trauma or venting in order to let go, complaining is a waste of time and energy and gets us stuck in an unhappy mindset.
The wonderful thing about complaining is that it is a choice and the moment we decide to stop doing it, we can. The morning after a bad night’s sleep, rather than turn to our partner to complain about it, we can instead bring our focus into the present moment and use our energy to create a happy and healthy space from which to start the day. We can reflect on our experience and make choices in the future that may lead to a better night’s sleep or a more restful time even if that doesn’t happen.
Those endlessly optimistic people we meet who dance in the rain and laugh when things go other than planned are those who don’t complain; those who reroute that energy to avoid the negative and instead embrace the positive.
We all know what it’s like when we have moments of anger or frustration or unease and turn those moments into hours or days. We feel so much better when we decide to let go and give way to feelings of peace and happiness instead.
There is nothing wrong with feeling down or being annoyed about circumstances or expressing those feelings but when constant reflection on what’s not right with our lives becomes our habit, we are programming ourselves for pessimism, negativity and an unhappy experience.
Whether it’s a paradigm learned in childhood or a habit picked up later on, all we have to do is bring the light of awareness to our complaining in order to stop doing it. When we notice how it feels to relive the things we haven’t enjoyed rather than learn from them or easily move on from them, it no longer makes sense for us to keep doing it. We might also find that from there we are more prone to experiencing a new perspective on the things that we once complained about or noticing what we can change for future experiences.
Complaining never helps. It takes the place of reflection and expansion and instead of growth, we experience stagnation. We are evolutionary beings designed to enjoy higher states of wisdom and consciousness as we age and complaining hinders this.
So, next time we feel the urge to start complaining about something that hasn’t gone our way, noticing the feeling this creates within us and deciding we want something better for ourselves is all that is required to give it up and utilise our energy for more creative and life enhancing practices.