5 Reasons Complaining Is Ruining Your Life and Crushing Your Happiness
December 13, 2022 9:00 AM EST | 6 min read
What would your life be like if you could stop complaining and move forward?
It is easy to justify our complaining as simply venting.
Or, in more deluded minds, we might even see it as a healthy way to motivate people to make needed changes.
But complaining for any length of time only keeps us from moving forward and prevents us from ever being truly happy.
What are the benefits of not complaining?
Complaining might seem like something natural, but it can have some negative effects on your life.
Some of the biggest are:
- an increased chance of depression
- reduced cognitive function
- increases cortisol (which can lead to blood pressure, sleep, and digestive issues)
Here are a few more reasons to stop complaining so it doesn’t ruin your life.
1) Stop complaining because keeps us stuck in the past.
Abraham Lincoln failed multiple times.
In 1832, he was defeated in his quest to get into the Illinois state legislature.
That was just the beginning of his failures.
He failed at business, becoming the house speaker and for the senate twice before he was finally elected president.
We know he struggled with depression, so these failures could have easily deterred him from having any level of success.
No one would have blamed him for sitting around after a long day of splitting rails, complaining about all the things he would have done or could have done.
However, if that had been his attitude, he would never have become president.
All leadership has momentary setbacks and failures.
We must not allow those things to define us.
Accept the setback, learn from it, and press on as quickly as possible.
It will not push you past mistakes or other difficulties.
Failure follows complaints.
2) Complaining keeps us stuck in judgment.
While we are busy pointing our fingers at others, the real-world changers are making a difference.
Whether it is an election or a business failure, nothing is being done if we look at everyone else as being at fault.
To be honest, we cannot change anyone.
Our control is really limited to ourselves.
If you want to improve your life, it is up to you to make changes.
The easiest change is to transform your attitude.
We must get past what others have said or done.
Stop complaining! Dismiss old mistakes and drive on to succeed in the future.
Getting unstuck starts us toward the goal.
3) It keeps us from being whimsical in the present.
Former Navy Seal, David Rutherford, refers to the overwhelming hopelessness that so often haunts us, the negative insurgency.
It seems to sneak up on us and tear us down in a heartbeat.
When we don’t stop complaining, we feed the insurgency, and it gets stronger.
When we choose to become whimsical, we feed the forces of good.
We get encouraged and motivated to move forward toward a better life.
Find the humor in those negative situations.
My family went camping in the same spot for five years in a row.
Regardless of what the latest weather app said, we knew it would rain simply because we were camping.
Five years in a row, our prediction proved true.
By the third year, we came prepared with umbrella hats and warned the other campers that it will rain.
We hoped they were prepared.
We made it fun.
Sure, most people hate camping in the rain.
But the rain has made a great story for our family that will be passed on for many generations.
Seek humor in a situation.
The worse the situation, the better the story will be when all is said and done.
While we would have had fun with perfect weather, we would not be talking about it still ten years later.
The pain makes it better, somehow.
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4) Complaints keep us from looking into the future.
Complaining makes your world tiny.
When we stop complaining, it can make our world bigger.
Negativity puts all of your life into a tiny past-shaped box that keeps you from dreaming and loving the future.
One of the greatest happiness I consistently experience is daydreaming of what tomorrow will look like.
When things seem to spiral in the wrong direction, I envision what life will be like when I experience success as a speaker when my house is paid off, and I own my new Jeep with the Captain America Logo on the doors.
But if I get stuck, I cannot see any solution.
The walls are simply too close.
Depression is waiting for me.
It consumes my energy when I cannot envision the future.
Complaining brings in too much fog.
No longer can I find my way toward those dreams that used to help me get out of bed in the morning.
5) Stop complaining because it keeps us from having allies.
In this world, we really need other people if we are going to multiply our success.
Let us find others who can help us achieve great things and enjoy life.
I once knew a guy who could find the negative in any situation.
If his team won the game, he would list their multiple mistakes.
He had the uncanny ability to notice the flaw in a painting from across the room.
This man was the human version of Eeyore.
Nothing and nobody was ever good enough.
Even though I was privileged to call this man a friend, I knew he would only notice the flaws in my life.
This kept us from being close.
If I were getting ready to go into battle, I would not want this man by my side.
Those who stop complaining will keep people at arm’s length consistently.
Today is a perfect day to stop complaining
Choose today to evaluate your mistakes and move on.
Stop complaining and strive for victory in your life.
Thinking back to my childhood, I remember my great-grandmother and me waiting in the hospital waiting room.
We took turns visiting my great-grandfather, who was in the last hours of his life.
While we were all moaning and groaning, she looked us all in the eyes and said in a thick German accent, “You must be optimistic.”
That has become a rallying cry in my soul that keeps me from getting trapped by the negative insurgency that wants to take me out.
Today, I will stop complaining.
Instead, I will be optimistic and work to make our world better.
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December 14, 2022 at 7:37 AM
All so true, great article to share.
Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
December 14, 2022 at 12:56 PM
Thank you! We are glad you found it helpful!