According to Stanford University researchers, just a half hour of complaining per day can impact your brain. This is because constant griping peels away neurons in the brain’s hippocampus, which is responsible for problem solving among other functions. And the effects are the same even if you’re just listing as someone else moans and groans.
Constant complaining has been linked to other negative health effects, too, including lower immunity, higher blood pressure, and more anxiety.
Certainly, we all need to vent time and again – and it’s often a great release of emotions – but taking steps to be more positive and more conscious about how often you complain can stop this behavior from becoming yet another habit that’s hard to break. Here’s how.
- Take a positive spin. Instead of complaining about having to cook dinner or go grocery shopping, for example, think about how prepping a healthful meal will keep your mind and body ready to tackle all of the tasks of recovery.
- Give yourself a time limit. Again, it’s unrealistic to give up complaining completely. But it is possible to prevent yourself from making it an all-day affair. Set a timer on your smartphone – for instance, 15 minutes for a full-out venting session. When time is up, stop and try to let whatever is bothering you go.
- Distract yourself. The next time you feel like your complaining is spiraling of control, force yourself to do something more positive. Go for a walk, pick up a book, make yourself a cup of tea – whatever helps you calm down and get your mind off of complaining.
Your Path to Better Mental Health
At Aj’s Amethyst House, we focuses on the unique needs of women in recovery, including anxiety, depression, anger, and other emotions linked to substance use disorder. We help our female clients discover new coping strategies and guide them as they reclaim their roles as healthy, sober individuals. Call today: 855-221-1717.