Are you willing?

By Nancy S Buck, PhD,RN

Are you willing to take one action step that will improve your Mental Health & Happiness? This isn’t going to involve a lot of time, money or sacrifice? Well, maybe I spoke too soon. For some people this will take more energy, effort and hard work than it will for others. But it probably won’t mean that you will perspire, grunt or strain.

Here’s the proposition: Stop complaining for twenty-four hours. That’s it. Don’t speak or even think a complaint for twenty-four hours. Go ahead, I dare you.

Complaining is a natural and normal part of the human experience. Our brains are biologically driven to seek information in our environment about what will help, support and sustain us and what is interfering with our good biological and psychological satisfaction and survival. Our brain is driven to behave when there is a mismatch between what we want and what we perceive we’re getting. One of the first behaviors we use when there is a mismatch is complaining.

I’m not warm enough. . . . . .  I think I’m getting a cold. . . . . There isn’t enough light in this room.             

Complaining by itself is not a problem. But continuous complaining without constructive and positive action can be debilitating. Complaining certainly can interfere with relationships as well. You probably know someone who is a constant complainer. Debbie Downer can always find what is wrong in any situation.

You can also be your own Donald Downer. I’ve had my own periods in my life where I’ve complained to anyone who would listen about being so tired of listening to my own complaints!

If you decide to take this challenge and give up complaining for twenty-four hours an interesting thing will begin to happen. Since you know you are not going to complain about all you see, hear, and perceive about what is wrong in your world, you will begin to notice all that is right, in harmony, pleasing and beautiful in yourself and in your world. Instead of talking about how bad it is that you’re not getting what you want, you may begin to talk about what you do want. The miserable day that you might have had will become a wonderful day that you are having, simply because you’ve chosen to stop complaining about what isn’t and started to notice what is.

Go ahead, give it a try. Improve your Mental Health & Happiness by complaining no more, or at least for twenty-four hours.

Are you willing?

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