Last week, I set myself a challenge – to stop complaining for one whole week. Every day for the past week, I’ve kept a small journal entry with how my challenge was going, and today I’ll be sharing exactly how it went, whether I actually managed to stop complaining and what I learnt from this experience.
If you want to discover what made me want to stop complaining and set myself this challenge, check out last week’s post.
Day 1 started off pretty well. The challenge I’d set myself was still fresh in my mind. I felt tired on the way to work in the morning and started to grumble about HOWWWW TIRED I FELT, but I managed to stop myself just in time and made an effort to shut up about feeling tired in the morning (I mean, who doesn’t!? – If that’s you then I’m very jealous!). I also made the bold decision to mention the challenge I’d set myself to some of those around me, which meant that I really had to make an effort with this no complaints thing! By the end of day 1, I’d already learnt something about myself. Complaining comes very easily to me (a bit too easily, actually!) but on the other hand it’s not that hard to stop myself from complaining as long as I’m aware of it.
Once again, I’d almost started my day off with a complaint about feeling tired (it seems like mornings are a weak point!) but I stopped myself just in time. I noticed that it’s the little things I complain about most – such as how tired I feel, how hungry I am, how dry my hands are feeling, etc.. However as soon as I was about to complain about something, I tried to change this into something positive. For example, instead of complaining about my dry hands, I found the words ‘oh my hands aren’t as dry as they were yesterday’ coming out of my mouth and it made me realise – there’s a positive to (almost) every negative. It’s not all that hard to put a positive spin on something that might otherwise be negative!
I spent most of the day working on my own on my laptop and didn’t really have the opportunity to complain (what an opportunity, hey!?). This meant that the negative vibes brought about from complaining were missing from the day – and I wasn’t going to be complaining about that! Today made me aware of just how much expressing negative thoughts sets us up to have a bad day. Not only does it make us hyper aware of anything small that goes wrong throughout the day, but it also affects the people around us, putting negative thoughts into their minds. It’s important to replace negative thoughts and complaints with spreading positive ones, which makes you a much more pleasant person to be around!
Today was QUITE A CHALLENGE and not complaining had pretty much failed by lunch time. After misjudging the weather and wearing a jumper that was a bit thicker than required I moaned and moaned about how hot I felt.. which led to how tired I felt, how I had a headache, etc.. It was like a snowball effect where one thing led to another and then everything seems to warrant a complaint. But not all was lost! I learnt a valuable lesson here too, and that is how complaining generally leads to more complaining and so it’s better to avoid it right from the start, and focus on what’s going right in your day instead (I went out for lunch and really enjoyed it!)
Day 5 was a Sunday and I’m pleased to say that I did pretty well. I found myself stopping myself from complaining about the day’s little annoyances. I was actively aware of the things I would normally complain about and managed to stop myself in time, and this in turn helped me to feel much happier – WINNING!
Monday was another challenging day. I started the day off having a panic attack while in a shop (which at the time made me feel faint) and the shop assistant was really rude and unhelpful when this happened. In turn, this made me feel worse and also really annoyed me. Once I was out of the shop and feeling slightly better I complained to my mum/dad/boyfriend/colleagues/anyone who would listen about what had just happened and I honestly couldn’t care less about my challenge at the time. I guess it’s understandable to feel the need to vent after something bad happens. However, my lesson learnt from today was that there’s no point in complaining about something that happened over and over again. Let the annoyance happen, express your annoyance if you have to, then shift your thoughts onto the more positive things that happen during the day. That’s something I’ll definitely be keeping in mind for any future bad days!
I’m pleased to say that my ‘one week of no complaining challenge’ ended on a good note! After a disastrous day 6, I was adamant to make the final day of my challenge a positive one, and I managed! However, I felt like my challenge ended a bit too soon. Making an effort to complain less made me feel like a better person, and a more pleasant person to be around. I want to keep on challenging myself to put a MUTE button on whenever I feel a complaint brewing inside my brain and making its way out of my mouth. Although I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, I definitely want to make 2018 the year I start to complain less and feel more grateful for all the positive things in my life!