Seriously. Stop it.

OK, allow me to rephrase that. In a world of high stress, complaining can be a useful coping strategy for us.  It can help us to vent frustration as well as connect us to others by allowing us to feel validated.  Complaing can also be very detrimental to us. If we continue to “stew in our own juices” continuing to complain can actually make us feel worse.  It can prolong our feelings of misery and lead us to feel more helpless. Who knew?

I have a 15 minute or less rule about complaining. If something makes me angry, anxious or sad, I allow myself to experience the emotion. I try to figure out why I feel that way. I might even call a friend to share my story or ask for an idea/help. Then I get down to doing something about it. I’m able to talk about what’s going on for 15 minutes or less, then I have to stop and come up with a solution. It can feel empowering and lead us to be more in control of what’s going on because we’re focusing more on how to make things better and less on feeling defeated.

Try applying this to the next situation that arises and see how you do. Tell a close friend or partner your plan and ask for help keeping to your 15 or less time limit.

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