Three Reasons You Should Complain Less

When pressure builds, it needs to be released. Is that why most of us love a little whinge? Something’s satisfying about venting our frustration especially when we feel powerless to change a situation.

But did you know that complaining isn’t healthy? Yes, like a giant cheeseburger or binge-watching TV while slumped on the couch, too much complaining feels good at the time but can have severe health and wellbeing consequences.

Here are just three reasons why you need to complain less:

Sharing is not always caring

Telling others amplifies our complaint. Since humans are empathetic social beings, this isn’t always a good thing. Why? The more we observe others display emotion, the more we try to empathise with them. Hence negative emotions breed a negative environment. Ask yourself, do you want to be the source of bad energy in your workplace?

What if you feel something needs fixing? Complain productively. How? Speak respectfully and thoughtfully with the person concerned instead of talking about it to people who can do little to solve the problem. Be part of the solution instead of magnifying the issue.

Your thoughts shape your brain

Repeated negative thoughts are no good for our mood. The brain tries to make it easy for us to recall ideas that we often use. That’s why the more we complain or listen to complaints that carry negative emotions, the more we wire our minds towards negative thoughts.

Plus, negativity destroys our brain. Research has found complaining can shrink the hippocampus, the central area of the brain damaged by Alzheimer’s.

It’s essential then to surround yourself with positive people because happy people complain less and are more mindful. It’s good company and great for your brain too.

Negative thinking is dangerous for your body

When you feel anger or negative feelings, you release cortisol. That’s terrible news because high levels of this hormone decrease immune function and increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

If you want to keep cortisol at bay, focus on having a positive attitude. A study found that grateful thoughts (in contrast to a complaining) led to a reduction of cortisol by 23 percent.

While there’s nothing wrong with an occasional grumble, a complaining attitude could cost your mental and physical health as well as your team culture at work. So, complain less and your mind, body and colleagues will thank you for it!