Here’s the thing.
I’m the type of person that can endure a lot of crap. I can be in situations that I don’t like, and stay in those situations for as long as I need to be. I’m so grateful that I’ve learned how to persevere, because that quality has turned out to be one of the key themes of my life. That being said, the fact that I can persevere through a negative situation doesn’t mean that I always am positive about it. I can “persevere” yet continue to “vent” (AKA complain) every single day that I am in that situation. You know what I’ve found? Complaining about a situation doesn’t help the situation at all, in fact it makes your attitude, and therefore your circumstances, far worse than is necessary, and overall can make you just flat out miserable.
A few years ago, a coworker gave me some advice I’ll never forget. I was at work, and I don’t remember what situation I was “venting” about, but I remember he stopped me mid-sentence, and asked what I was doing to change my situation. I was caught off guard, but he continued into this simple and epic one-liner I’ll remember forever. “Either change your situation, or don’t complain about it.”
Since that day a few years ago now, I have done my best to follow that principle. It has forced me to take action when a situation is unhealthy and I need to get out of it, and also has forced me to shut up when I am complaining, yet not really taking any action to make my situation what I want it to be. In short, it took me from being a complainer to a changer. Of course, we can’t always change our situations, even if we want to. (All my auto-immune disease buddies said “AMEN.”) BUT, it does cause you to stop and think about your situation before you bubble out all your frustrations to the world and realize you’ve made yourself and everyone around you unhappy. This doesn’t mean you have to be fake, nor does it mean you’re not ever allowed to vent to people you trust. It does mean, that you do your best to have a positive outlook in the situations you are in, that you do you very best in each situation to make it a positive, healthy environment, and that if you are in situation that is very unhealthy and you should get out of—you do that, rather than just talking about it.
If you suffer with hashimotos, you probably are somewhat aware of the correlation between a healthy mind and a healthy body. Personally, I’ve found that I find myself feeling physically ill if under a heavy amount of stress. This is true for not only those who suffer with chronic illness—but everybody! Being positive is healthy. Being negative is unhealthy. Having a positive outlook on your life isn’t just good for your mental health, but your physical health as well.
Are you a complainer? Next time you find yourself complaining about a situation, first stop and ask yourself if you are doing everything you can to improve that situation. Ask yourself if you are really venting in a healthy way, or just feeding off of negativity like a leech. Have you fallen victim to a complainer’s attitude? Many of us have, but it doesn’t mean you can’t change that.
Taking the focus off of somebody else’s actions and putting it on your own is absolutely life-changing. It will help turn you from a complainer to a changer. It can take you from ineffective to effective. It can take you from negative to positive, unhealthy to healthy. It can take you from being a talker to being a doer. It can help you asses your situations and make the appropriate changes where needed. Try it, and see what happens!
How’s your outlook on life? Have you worked to develop a positive perspective? What are the ways you stop yourself from complaining, or steps you have taken to reduce your own negative outlook on your daily situations?