“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” Maya Angelou
Have you ever met whiny people? Those that just cannot stop complaining; who find fault in everything? I have met quite a few and honestly, all I could think while interacting with them was how to escape from there. Such people can complain about everything. From the weather, to their job, to their friends. Nothing in their life is ever perfect.
Then there are those who always see the glass half filled. Are always fine no matter how crappy life is. Not that they are breezing through life but just that they’d rather focus their energy on solving the problem rather than throw a tantrum.
So whom would you want to meet on your lunch date? The second one right?
I remember once meeting a friend of mine – a total complain box. As usual he started ranting about everything that was going wrong in his life.
So, after listening to 10mins of his verbal diarrhoea, my conversation with him was something like this:
Me: “So what is going well in your life?”.
Slightly taken aback he said: “nothing much”.
To which I remember listing down atleast 10 things he could have been thankful for.
To which he said “oh but these have always been there”.
Me: “What if they wouldn’t?”
Friend: “hmmm” … and then he went on complaining.
Sighh.. atleast I tried!
I understand it’s natural for us to think often think negatively. This world isn’t exactly perfect right? Actually, most of us, prefer not talking about things that are going well in case they get affected, you know the “touch wood” concept.
But the problem is, negativity has a far higher ripple effect in today’s world than positivity. I have seen amazing teams get demotivated with the presence of just one negative person.
Another issue is that we affiliate good times to larger events in life, like a birth or new car or taking a vacation etc. The little things are largely forgotten in the myriad of negative and sometimes downright toxic emotions we feel.
So what can we do about it?
Now, am not saying I don’t complain. Of course, I do! A lot sometimes. But in this journey I’ve also realised the importance of self-talk. What are we telling ourselves constantly? You know, the mind is funny, it can believe things that don’t even exist. If you keep telling yourself that life is shit, even if it isn’t, your mind will believe it and will keep manifesting things to prove you right.
Whom do you surround yourself with: It’s also necessary to surround yourself with people who have a positive attitude to life. When I think of most of my friends, they are all born fighters. People who don’t take things lying down, who want to make the most of any situation; who have the ability to bounce back. The ones who can shut you up if they think you are over dramatizing things in your head. Such people are important for your overall well being, because most often than not, they are the ones you will call when you are upset or going into a spiral.
Count your blessings once in a while. As you guys are aware, I have started yoga and meditation classes. In both, the teachers often speak about thanking your body, thanking your mind and so on. Of course, I am aware of the importance of gratitude to maintain a healthy outlook to life, but to see it being done across different forms of health practices is quite an eye opener. It helps you regain some of the focus to what’s most important in life.
Focus on action rather than being constantly critical: Look at your problem and try to figure what you need to do to resolve it. The action is more important than consuming your energy on crying about your fate. I remember while giving birth I was tired, hungry and just wanted to end it, go the c-section route. The nurse with me started talking to me, telling me how lucky I was to be able to deliver normally and with epidural (what relieves the pain). C section came with its problems and longer healing time. She told me she had given birth in the same hospital, and it was without any pain killers. Further, she couldn’t make a noise since she also worked there. So, she just sucked it up and gave birth silently! And here I was crying despite being on pain killers! It radically changed how my next 2hrs went.
Ending with a lovely quote I read…
“Happiness comes a lot easier when you stop complaining about your problems and you start being grateful for all the problems you don’t have.” Anonymous