The brain is an incredible muscle.
It not only powers our physical bodies 24/7 with non-conscious actions, such as signaling the lungs to breathe and the heart to pump, but it also is what processes our conscious and subconscious thoughts and actions.
Just like any other muscle in our body we can train it and work it to improve.
Or we can allow it to fall into unhealthy patterns.
When we complain every day, we are training our brains to think negatively and develop unhealthy patterns of thought that have other effects on the body.
While venting frustrations and annoyances is important so that we don’t bottle up and repress emotions that can also have negative impacts on our physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing, complaining daily is different.
Complaining about your everyday and not just situations that arise means implies that you cannot find positivity and joy in your day to day and you are training your brain to continue to think and perceive negatively which makes it even harder to find positivity.
Here is what complaining every day does to your wellness:
1. It creates a negative filter
The more you complain, the more your brain begins to filter everything through a negative perspective.
While venting on occasion is healthy, complaining regularly on the daily actually changes your brain’s perspective and how it processes information.
Instead of having a neutral or positive perspective that all events and situations are processed through, complaining daily creates a negative filter that information goes through.
For example, instead of seeing beautiful flowers blooming outside your office and thinking how lovely they are, you will see them and think about how they affect your allergies.
Or, instead of finding it pleasant that someone took the time to greet you in the morning, you will be upset that their volume was too loud.
The negative filter takes every interaction and encounter and puts a negative spin on it which makes it even more difficult to find joy in the little things.
2. It reduces serotonin levels
The more you complain and change your brain to process information through a negative filter, the less it is going to release serotonin or the “happy” chemical in your brain.
Complaining daily literally makes it harder to be happy because your brain isn’t being exercised in the capacity that would prompt it to release serotonin.
Instead of seeing those flowers and getting a rush of serotonin happiness, you get no natural chemical boost and just keep feeling cranky.
3. It causes physical strain on your body
Complaining every day not only creates a more negative outlook on life for yourself, but it also takes a toll physically.
It can cause or enhance tension headaches, muscle fatigue, lethargy, muscle tension and soreness.
It physically drains you and hurts you, making everything feel more unpleasant and even painful.
4. It increases your stress levels
While venting on occasion can help to reduce stress levels when done properly to release emotions in a safe outlet, complaining daily can actually cause higher stress levels.
Because your brain is filtering information through a negative process, you’re more prone to be aggravated and stressed out by situations or activities that normally wouldn’t have that effect on you.
Stress, especially prolonged stress, has many negative and harmful effects on your body, mental health, and emotional health.
It causes unnecessary wear on your organs, strain on your heart, and causes or increases depression.
5. Worsens depression and anxiety
Complaining every day reworks your brain to think negatively and that will worsen depression and other mood disorders.
Depression already makes it difficult to feel like yourself and find joy in the things you typically find joy in, but by complaining every day and conditioning your brain to think negatively, you’re making it worse because now all those good things are being filtered by a pessimistic or cynical perspective.
For people with anxiety, it also worsen it because it makes anxiety triggers more pronounced by heightening your stress levels.
It can even create new anxiety triggers because of the negative thought processes you’ve conditioned your brain to think in.
6. It puts a strain on your relationships
As bad of a mood as complaining every day puts you in, it also negatively impacts the people around you.
You pass your negative mood on to them, and it can put a strain on your relationship.
It is difficult to listen to someone you care about constantly complain about every little thing, and eventually that stress and their negativity will wear you down until you want to distance yourself from that person.
When you complain every day, it not only makes your company less desirable to be around, but it causes your loved ones stress as they try to deal with your negativity and your bad mood transfers to them.
Just as you can condition your mind to think negatively, you can re-condition it to think positively.
If these consequences of complaining daily are affecting your life, the first step to changing the way you think is awareness of the behavior you want to change.
If you catch yourself complaining or being negatively nit-picky about your everyday, conscious awareness and conscious effort to change that will help reduce all of the negative effects that complaining daily has on you.