Complaint free day

What if you spent an entire day without complaining? How would that change your perspective?  How uncomfortable would it be to refrain from voicing a complaint and accept the reality of a situation and continue to move forward?  I’m not suggesting that we all become passive and not speak up about unequitable, unjust, or unacceptable behaviors, I’m suggesting we think about how to voice our feelings and thoughts in a more productive and healthy way that result in either a reasonable solution or follow up plan of action.

We all have our moments of complaining and it’s totally understandable.  Especially when we feel frustrated, upset, fearful, confused, and overwhelmed.  At the end of the day we have to ask, what is the point of complaining?  Are we seeking validation from other people?  Maybe.  Do we need to complain about how tough our day was in order for people to understand that we are struggling?  Or are we looking to excuse our own behavior through the fault of something/someone else?  Maybe we complain to connect with others.  I’m sure many of us have complained about another person or event to someone and it made us feel closer and more connected than before.   Are we complaining often because we don’t feel that anyone hears us otherwise?  Or are we complaining because we are fearful?  The next time you hear yourself complaining or feel the need to air out a complaint, ask yourself these questions:

What is the purpose of my complaint? Or What do I need right now from this situation? 

Is this something that serves me well or can I let it go?

If this serves me well or I feel strongly enough about it, what can I do to positively impact the situation or create change?

Once you realize those answers you can more easily determine how to frame your thoughts and feelings in a productive and helpful way instead of simply complaining about it with no means of appeasing your emotions tied to the situation.

The challenge is not about complaining, it’s the discovery of what is driving the complaint.  Ultimately if we approach our struggles with more self-understanding and awareness we are more likely to find a solution that not only helps our own sense of well-being but promotes more peace and contentment within our immediate environment.  I do not envision a world without complaint, but I love the idea of changing our personal space and space around us to a place where complaints are less frequent and ideas of action/resolve are the common theme.

There is an important disclaimer about increasing your awareness of your own complaining:  once you become aware of how often (and honestly, how easy) it is to complain within yourself….you will start noticing it much more in everyone else around you.  This is not an easy thing to navigate because as you begin living with an intention to complain less and act more, it can be incredibly taxing to be more attuned to everyone else’s complaints.  The best advice I can offer in those moments is to practice love, understanding, compassion, and kindness for both the other person and especially yourself and to remember that it is not your place to learn lessons for other people.  After all, lessons can be helpful but the models of those lessons are way more powerful.  Be a model of Love, Understanding, Compassion, and Kindness and enjoy the space that you create around you.

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Monday attitude check

Happy guys

I rarely approach a Monday with the same enthusiasm as a Friday.  Maybe it’s because I have more restless sleep on Sunday night, maybe it’s because my mind can’t turn off the ever-increasing ‘task list’ for the week, or maybe it’s just because I’m not quite ready to release the sweet but so short weekend.  There are a variety of factors at play here, but it is not lost on me how lack of restful sleep and a stressed mind impacts my overall sense of well-being and my attitude to approach the pending day.

The problem is that it’s not just me who feels this energy.  When I am overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated the people in my life can tell and feel this energy too.  I spend a lot of time exploring things that improve my well-being and working on my self-awareness, but things still don’t always work out the way I would like sometimes.  Some days I am simply in a foul mood or just don’t feel my best and being hopeful and enthusiastic doesn’t come so easily. I have to practice self-compassion on these days and remind myself that nobody is perfect and being happy or at peace doesn’t mean living in some delusional state that is void of frustration or challenges or even heartache.  However, when I am feeling frustrated, tired, or otherwise discouraged; it is important for me to pause and think about who I am subjecting all of this awesomeness to and what is my motivation in sharing this kind of energy? Do I just want everyone to know that I’m in a bad mood or am I looking for help and support right now? And most importantly, what can I do to change my outlook on things?

All of that said, I am not suggesting that everyone suppress bad days, gloomy moods, or emotional challenges…I am suggesting that we think about why we feel the way we do and what we can do about it ourselves instead of falling into the habit of using complaining as our primary coping mechanism.  And if you are having a bad morning or entire day, own it.  State that you are in a bad mood, but don’t just complain about it to people.  Assert your problem then figure out what you are going to do about it.  Otherwise it makes for an endless cycle of complaining and bad energy.  And that makes for an exhausting day, any day of the week.

My goal for today is to reduce my complaining and focus on solutions and healthy outlets.  I am not so unrealistic to say that I won’t complain at all….could you imagine?  But at least I’m increasing my awareness and maybe instead of continuing to complain, I will respond and resolve my feelings before it turns into a full-fledged bad mood!  Of course, it may mean that I do nothing more than pause, breathe, and repeat.  Who knows, with enough practice, maybe someday I will bookend my week with TGIM and TGIF!

Hope everyone has a Happy Day! 🙂