Life Hacks: 5 Ways to Break the Cycle and Stop Complaining

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Are you crowded by complainers at work or at home?  Do you catch yourself complaining more than you like?  Don’t worry, it’s natural to vent on occasion.  Maybe your co-worker caused you to miss a deadline or you are tired of sitting in rush hour traffic.  However, compulsive complaining can actually cause damage to your overall health.

The good news is that you can train yourself to stop.  Here, the self-help program Landmark Forum reviews how you can complain less and become happier in doing so.

Break the Cycle and Stop Complaining

Keep score

Most people don’t even realize they are complaining.  If you hear yourself use phrases like “he never” or “she always,” try this experiment.  Throw a penny in a jar every time you catch yourself whining.  You’ll be surprised how much you can fill up your jar in a day.

Identify the reason

When we’re complaining, there’s something we really want to be possible.  For instance, if you tell someone, “you never listen to me,” what that really means is “I really want us to communicate better.”  It’s important to identify the real reason behind the complaint before you can work to fix it.

Play to win

Oftentimes our communications with others are set up to fail.  Instead of saying, “hey you never help out,” change your communication to invite people to do things with “would you please help me do this?”  When the dialog actually invites someone to help you with something, you’re playing to win.

Focus on health

The power of exercise and a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in maintaining a positive attitude and help you turn your complaints into gratitude.  If you are hesitant to start, enlist the help of a friend or family member to keep you committed.

Remove yourself from negative situations

One of the most effective ways to stop complaining is by simply walking away from stressful situations and toxic people.  If you’re standing around the water cooler and you find yourself involved in a complaining session, take a walk.  Clear your head.  A little fresh air can improve your mood and reduce stress.  Furthermore, because misery loves company, reconsider spending time with negative friends.  Oftentimes, if you’re engaging with other negative people, you’ll begin to mirror those traits. Focus on relationships with people who are positive and supportive instead.

You can also stop complaining by thought-stopping. That means, as soon as a negative thought enters your mind, visualize a stop sign and then move on to a different thought.  Ultimately, complaining is a sign that something needs to change. Instead of complaining, devote your time and energy to what you can do to change the problem.