fbpx

Why Complaining is Bad For Your Health

Cindy Tsai, MD, tells us why complaining is asking for what you don’t want.

July 16, 2022

How often do you complain? What do you complain about the most?

What does it mean to complain anyway?

According to Google, complaining is “the expression of dissatisfaction or annoyance about something.”

Notice that complaining is not neutral. It has an inherent negative energy/quality to it.

 

According to Google, complaining is “the expression of dissatisfaction or annoyance about something.” Notice that complaining is not neutral. It has an inherent negative energy/quality to it. Click To Tweet

 

I used to complain a lot.

I used to enjoy complaining.

I would look forward to getting together with friends and taking turns moaning and whining about why this new policy change was not great or why that person was so annoying to deal with.

Until I realized that complaining was useless.

It was a waste of my time, energy, and resources.

I thought it would feel better to commiserate. That I would feel “heard” and “understood” and “validated.”

 

But complaining begets complaining.

It made me feel like a victim. Like I was helpless and had no control or choice over the situation. And that maybe by complaining and wishing on a lucky star that the problem would magically go away somehow.

 

complaining begets complaining. It made me feel like a victim. Like I was helpless and had no control or choice over the situation. Click To Tweet

 

But the truth is, it just pulls you deeper into a vortex of negativity. This is because of our brain’s inherent negativity bias.

The negativity bias is the brain’s natural tendency to focus on anything that’s bad, scary or dangerous so that we can avoid it to survive. This was useful in caveman days when the threat of being eaten by a saber-toothed tiger was very real. Not so much today.

 

When we complain, we are focusing on what’s not working.

Complaining is actually asking for what you don’t want. It also triggers our stress response and the release of the stress hormone cortisol.

There are countless studies demonstrating the effects of acute stress and elevated cortisol levels on the body such as impacting our working memory and inhibition. Not to mention increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and weakening of the immune system.

So if you’re ready to quit this harmful habit, try out the following techniques below:

 

  1. Express your feelings in a healthy way.
    Learn how to process and release your feelings. As I mentioned in my video about how to be unstoppable, you must learn how to feel your feelings. Or you can try out one of the journaling practices I share in my bestselling self-help book, So Much Better.
  2. Make a commitment to go “complaint-free” for 1 week.
    7 days. It might be challenging in the beginning. It will require you to pay attention to your words, feelings, moods… Notice anytime you are falling into “complaining mode”. Simply pause, take a breath, and re-align your attention. Be curious about why you complain as a coping mechanism. See how you can neutralize your tone and response instead. Share and recruit friends to join and keep each other accountable!
  3. Take control of your mind.
    Realize that you are not your thoughts as they are simply words in your head. Just because you have the thoughts doesn’t mean it’s true! This is why mindfulness coaching is so powerful and helpful in shifting your mindset.
  4. Practice gratitude.
    Remember, what you focus on grows. Being in a state of gratitude is what will bring you more abundance and ease. Ask yourself every morning or evening what are 3 things you’re grateful for and why? Adding the reason will help deepen your gratitude practice and make it more fun!

 

As you start to pay more attention to your words and habits, you might think everyone else around you complains too much.

Share this article with them and help them break this habit!

And just because other people are complaining DOESN’T mean you have to complain too.

Choose the high road. Repeat after me- “I am not available for it.”

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This learning experience is powered by CMEfy - a platform that brings relevant CMEs to busy clinicians, at the right place and right time. Using short learning nudges, clinicians can reflect and unlock AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Of Interest

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Side Ventures [SERIES]

COMING SOON: Side Ventures [SERIES]

Coming Soon: Guests will discuss the side ventures they’ve taken on, from the books they’re writing, to the podcasts they host, to other extracurriculars they’ve taken on.

Side Ventures [SERIES]

COMING SOON: Side Ventures [SERIES]

Coming Soon: Guests will discuss the side ventures they’ve taken on, from the books they’re writing, to the podcasts they host, to other extracurriculars they’ve taken on.

[SERIES] Stigmatized

COMING SOON: Stigmatized [SERIES]

Coming Soon: Dr. Jay Joshi hosts this limited time series, in which he brings other healthcare professionals to the discussion table, to cover a stigmatizing topic.

Nisha Kuruvadi, DO, DABOM

Nisha Kuruvadi, DO, DABOM

Dedicated to holistic wellness, combining expertise in Internal and Obesity Medicine for individualized, transformative care.

Eva Mackey, MD

Eva Mackey, MD

Direct Primary Care Physician: I take care of patients, not the insurance company.

Linda Bluestein, MD

Linda Bluestein, MD

My patients with Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes (EDS) and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders (HSD) inspire me every day!

Want More?

Be a part of our healthcare revolution. Don't miss a thing SoMeDocs publishes!

Disclaimer: SoMeDocs assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, claims, or content of the individual experts' profiles, contributions and courses. Details within posts cannot be verified. This site does not represent medical advice and you should always consult with your private physician before taking on anything you read online. See SoMeDocs' Terms of Use for more information.

follow us

© 2024 SoMeDocs. All Rights Reserved.

Soak up our content & grow

Earn CME

Drop your email address below and we’ll email you the link for earning CME (through CMEfy). Please check your spam folder if you do not receive our email. We’ll also add you to our Sunday newsletter, so you can earn more CME credits reading our content!

Support A Platform that Celebrates Real Doctors

For just $10 a month, you can help keep this openly accessible site available to all & help us sponsor in more doctors.

Interested in subscribing
to our unique content?

Interested in subscribing to our unique content?

Play Video
Our Founder Answers Your BURNING Question

SoMeDocs

“Why should I become a member of SoMeDocs if I already have my own space online?”

Site SoMeDocs Logo, square

WANT TO STAY IN THE LOOP?

DON'T MISS A SINGLE CONTENT PIECE.