Green street signs that say "Quit Complaining".

Is Complaining Bad for Health?

Complaining can be bad for your health

How many times per day do you think you complain? I bet it’s more often than you realize. Think about it, we complain about the weather, we complain about the cost of gas, we complain about someone taking our parking spot, and the list can go on and on. Did you know that complaining can be harmful to our health? All of the extra cortisol (your body’s stress hormone) that is released by frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. It also could make the brain more vulnerable to strokes.

If it’s out of your control, stop complaining about it

Most, well really all, of the complaints I mentioned above are out of your control so complaining is not going to make it change. You can’t change the weather or gas prices by complaining, and road rage about a parking spot is not worth the stress. Instead of complaining, how about putting a positive spin on those things you have no control over. We should be happy the lawn is getting watered and our wells are getting filled when we have several rainy days. If someone takes your parking spot instead of complaining, think positively that it is helpful to that person because they are closer to the door, and you get more exercise because you had to park further away.

If it’s in your control, stop complaining and do something about it

The other complaints that are heard over and over again have to do with things that may be within your control. So instead of complaining it’s best to come up with a plan of attack. These complaints tend to be more about yourself, your ability to do or not something, maybe how you look or feel, or even about reaching goals you have set for yourself.  Again, the list can go on and on.

An example of this would be the inability to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. You could complain all you want but complaining is not going to make it any easier.  Instead of complaining, come up with a plan of action that will help you improve your ability to climb the stairs. Exercising, on a consistent basis can help improve your ability to climb the stairs. There are a couple of other complaints that fall into this category like your clothes not fitting well or not sleeping well, these are also things exercise is likely to help.  It is within your control to do something to make it better so stop complaining about it and take action.

When complaining is actually good for you

It is good to vent every now and then and getting it “out of your system” can bring you relief and reduce your stress. You know the saying “don’t sweat the small stuff”.  That’s what you need to think about.  Don’t let the small stuff build up. Having a good vent once in a while may make you feel better. Just make sure you are not constantly venting because your family and friends may start complaining about how you complain too much!

Work on turning those complaints into positive thoughts and come up with a plan of action to be healthy BEFORE you NEED to be healthy.

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