Madissyn Fredericks, Licensed Professional Counselor

Life can throw us some curve balls and complaining can feel like an effective way to get through them. While it can feel good to complain about the situation, it is also not the best thing to do for our mental health. Complaining includes judging yourself or others, looking at the negative side of things, being hard on yourself, and sitting in the hard stuff rather than pushing through it. Over time, excessive complaining will have a negative impact your mental health and outlook on life. Below are a few ways to minimizing complaining on a daily basis in order to better cope with life’s difficulties.

Look on the Bright Side

When you are having a bad day, hear some bad news, or are stressed out, it is normal to feel down or frustrated. Naturally, life can get you down but it is important not to sit in it. After awhile, it is crucial to try to see the positive to turn it around. Try spotlighting the good things going on in your life, what you learned from this situation, or things you are proud of yourself for. Choosing to see the positive along with the negative can help reduce the amount of complaining you do on a daily basis.

Adapt with Healthy Coping Skills

It is always good to evaluate how well you adapt to change or “failure”. While many of us do have good techniques to help us get through difficult times, a lot of us also utilize complaining, judgment, defensiveness, blame, and avoidance to cope. Instead of these unhealthy mechanisms, try something new. Some common healthy coping skills include physical self care, dedicated time to be upset, engaging in activities that fill you up, and acceptance. Change and challenge are inevitable. Finding healthy ways to cope will benefit you in many situations the lie ahead.

Judge Less

One of the first things we do when something doesn’t go as planned is to blame ourselves or others harshly. We all make mistakes and being critical leads to complaining. Leave all of the “I should’ve done better”, “If they would have done their part”, or “They could’ve done more” phrases behind and try to learn from all mistakes.

Be Mindful

We can get caught up in what will happen next rather than what we can do in the moment. In the moment try to focus on what is in your control, what you can change, and what is best for you in the situation. When we live in the present, one may experience less rumination and thus complain less as well. Being mindful helps with anxiety, negativity, and complaining.

If you are finding it difficult to reduce the amount of complaining into your life and would like some support, it may be useful to connect with a therapist. Contact Symmetry Counseling at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment with one of our very skilled therapists today!