Can you go for four hours or more with no complaining? Join me for this 4 hour no complaining challenge to take a step towards more happiness in your life. If you successfully complete this challenge, you could win a fabulous prize!
What Complaining Does
Chronic complainers tend to be an energy suck on the people around them. So while it is well-known complaining may drive your friends and family away, it may surprise you to learn that chronic complaining can also deplete your health.
Here are some surprising things repeated complaining does from a neuro-biological perspective to your body:
-Your brain becomes rewired with new neural connections to make complaining an ingrained habit
-A part of the brain critical in problem-solving, the hippocampus, shrinks in chronic complainers (this is from studies done at Stanford University)
-The stress hormone called cortisol will rise. High cortisol levels lower immune function in the body, raise blood sugar and have many other negative effects.
The Link Between Focus and Happiness
British happiness researcher and psychologist, Dr. Robert Holden, has an excellent book on happiness called, Be Happy!: Release the Power of Happiness in YOU.
In that book, he describes research that shows the link between what we focus on and the level of happiness we experience.
He described a study in the book which shows that people who rank as very happy on psychometric tests had about the same number and extent of negative experiences in their lives as those who tested as miserable. What was the difference? How people focussed their attention. Chronic complaining tends to keep you focused on the negative. This means even if your life is pretty good, you may not even be able to see it if you are feeding your habit of chronic complaining. It is pretty impossible to live a life of happiness and be a chronic complainer.
Complaining is Dishonoring to God as a Believer
God was very displeased when the Israelites He led out of Egypt in the Old Testament started to not trust Him and began complaining against Him. As children of God, it is important that we praise God in all circumstances. Not necessarily because we love our circumstances, but because we trust He is good and has our best interests at heart. If you want to see what the bible says about complaining here are a few scriptures:
Philippians 2:14-16 “Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”
James 5:9 “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold the Judge is standing at the door.”
Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths only such as is good for the building up as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
Now for The No Complaining Challenge
If you accept this challenge, over a four hour period, you are not allowed to complain.
Please Do These Things for the Challenge-
a) Guard your words and your thoughts.
Do not let negative things come out of your mouth for four hours. (There are some caveats below!)
b) Catch yourself if you find yourself moving towards judging someone else’s behaviour or a situation in your life.
Try just accepting people and situations as they are.
c) Focus on the good in your life.
I have a “whatever is good list” of excellent things to think about. It is like a gratitude list of wonderful things in my life.
It derives from this scripture in Philippians 4:8 “Finally brothers, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things and the God of peace will be with you.”
I keep it handy and whip it out to read when I start to veer down a negative road. Give it a try during your 4 hour challenge to see if it helps.
d) Get rid of these phrases for the challenge- “I should” and “I have to”.
The undertone is a lack of choice and is very negative. These phrases are a subtle way of complaining. Try instead phrases such as “I choose to” or “I get to”. It emphasizes you have choices and gets you flowing in a more positive vibe.
e) Make good use of your “but”. 🙂
For example, if you are stuck in traffic on your commute to your job, you may sense yourself thinking something like “I hate this traffic”. Instead of flowing with that negative thought try adding a “but” to it. For example, “I am not enjoying this traffic BUT I am so glad I have a car and a job.” This will help to reorient your thoughts before you start complaining.
f) For this challenge stay away from your chronic complaining friends or family members if possible.
It will be easier to fall into the negative habit of complaining around people who complain all the time.
g) Launch it off by doing something very fun or enjoyable for yourself.
My favorite thing in the world is to be out in nature. Whatever that fun thing is for you, do it to start this challenge off in a positive vibe. Even if you do something enjoyable for yourself for just a few minutes as you start this challenge, it sets you up with a positive flow as you start.
These are OK on the Challenge
-Feel free to feel all your emotions. If you feel sad or stressed or whatever, that is ok. This is not an exercise in emotional repression! Acknowledge how you feel. Then take action to resolve the problem related to those emotions (so you can feel better) OR reorient your thinking so you can focus on something positive and remain positive and non-complaining for four hours.
-If something very bad is happening, and you have to take action with your words to protect yourself or someone else, you are free to speak up. That does not count as complaining! For example, if someone tries to hit your dog, saying “no, get away” is not a complaint.
-Making a simple neutral observation is ok. For example, if it is raining and you say so, that is not a complaint. Saying “I hate rainy days and it is raining again” would be a complaint. That is not just a simple observation.
-Taking a problem-solving approach to any issue that arises during the challenge is fine too. For example, if your roof is leaking, observing it and saying you will be calling a roofer to patch it is not complaining.
A Fabulous Prize Draw For Those Who Successfully Complete the Challenge
If you do this challenge and complete it successfully before 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time September 15, 2018, you are eligible to enter a draw for a prize. To enter the draw, please leave me a comment below letting me know you were successful, what you learned, and indicate you want to enter into the draw.
If you win, I will contact you and ask you to select the water bottle of your choice from her site, and I will purchase it and have it mailed it to you. I am sorry this offer is only available if you are in Canada or the U.S.A.
Since meeting Dayna, I have been amazed at the great health benefit to me of being intentional about drinking more water. Having a lovely water bottle may encourage you to do this more too.
This article briefly describes the risks of chronic complaining. It then challenges the reader to follow some steps to stop complaining for a mere 4 hours. Cutting out chronic complaining is an important step to having more happiness in life. Those who successfully complete the challenge are eligible to win a prize.
Let Me Know
Let me know if you do the challenge by leaving a comment below, please. Include how it went for you, even if you were not successful. If you successfully completed the challenge and want to be included in the draw, indicate that in your comment too, please. Here is to a successful no-complaining half day for all of us!
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