2020 wreaked havoc on almost everyone around me, including myself. From never-ending news cycles, doomscrolling, a pandemic, an uprising, and general global upheavals, one constant theme last year was “worries,” and with worries come complaining.
Complaining is a way for your brain to cope with a constant influx of bad news, but it also gives you a false sense of control. We all think that we’re doing something good when we’re venting, however, venting can easily turn into constant complaining. Well, did you know that complaining completely rewires your brain, and makes future complaining more likely? Like all thought patterns, complaining can easily become a habit: it’s a given, the more you complain, the more you bring forth energies that attract more things to complain about. What happens over time is that your brain finds it easier to be negative rather than positive—which, as we all know, is not a great way to live.
But here’s the trick: if you are unhappy about something, you are faced with two options. Either you complain about it to no avail, or you can try and make changes to the situation (if it’s in your control). Many people often complain about an event, an experience, or a person, without trying to think of next steps or plans to fix the problem. While most things are out of their control, there are steps that one can take to move from negative energy to positive energy.
In the long run, complaining damages other areas in your brain, shrinking your hippocampus (the area of the brain responsible for critical problem-solving and intelligent thought). When you know better, you do better, and that’s why the next time you feel inclined to complain, direct your brain instead to find a solution to your problem. Surrounding yourself with negative people is also as bad as being left alone with your own negative thoughts, so try to think about your environment, and surround yourself with positive distractions and positive people.