Written by: | Friday, June 3rd, 2011
Okay, here’s the situation. I’m in line at Starbucks (seems I am always here). Two people in front of me. Nicely dressed. Seem professional. Then I overhear them talk. Complain, complain…about everything – their kids, their jobs, waiting in line, the weather.
All this in the couple of minutes it took to move through a sturdy morning coffee line. There was enough negative energy in these two to power a small city. I really wanted to tap them on the shoulders and say, “ Quit complaining,” but that would have given them something else to complain about.
Studies show a direct correlation between our (positive) attitude and our ability to be healthy and to recover from illness/challenges. Check out the great book by Dr. Robert Sapolsky, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers. He presents that our complaining and negativity (constant stress) activate the fight or flight reactions in us. Fight or flight sets us up to protect ourselves or run – and distracts the normal body functions from doing the required normal and healthy things. Stress harms the body. Constant complaining is stress.
So if knowing that complaining is bad for our health is not enough of a motivation to modify our outlook, then just remember that complainers have fewer friends and fewer significant relationships – at work or in life.
So do two things:
We get what we get in life – success in life is how we use what we get to develop a life that is happy, healthy and successful (on our terms). Most of us compare what we have to what we want and seem to come up short. So maybe we should remember poet Maya Angelou quote, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” It is not about having it all. It is about loving what you have.
Since we get to invent our lives, I imagine we could invent a life of complaints – but why bother? Not only do we do we make ourselves sick, but we aggravate the world around us. Great – sick and alone. Don’t think I want that outcome.
So today is a no complaints day. Try it. See what happens. See what changes for you and for others.