Written By Lauren Turville
Complaining may be the easy way out, but it can also cause you to become trapped in a cycle of negativity. Venting does provide a sense of relief for most people, but after repeated bouts of complaint over the same issue, it becomes counter productive, making the problem worse.
A major cause of stress and complaint comes from the workplace and many people think of venting as just another part of their job description. But a recent study published by Harvard Business Review emphasizes the powerful effects of positivity in the workplace. When people focus on the positive experiences they have instead of the negative they are much better off.
“Positive experiences—even small ones—provide you with valuable resources that can be used to reduce stress, including physical symptoms such as headaches or muscle tension,” the article states. “They make it easier for you to detach yourself from work at the end of the day.”
Quit Complaining About Work? Yeah, Right.
To rid oneself of complaining is very difficult because for most people it does come more naturally than being positive all the time. To counteract this instinct, the same Harvard study suggests writing down three good things that happen to you each day. This simple exercise is shown to reduce stress, increase creativity, and improve sleep. With better sleep comes more alertness and better mood the next day, which in turn leads to more positive experiences.
Now, it is unlikely that people will stop entirely talking about bad things that happen to them, but making a conscious effort to focus on the good will provide more balance in one’s outlook on their life. If it becomes too unbearable and you just have to let it all out, be sure to follow your vent sesh with some constructive criticism or point out something good that also happened that day. Although it may be unnatural to be so positive at first, sometimes you just need to “fake it till you make it.”