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Stop the Complain Game
Complain less and find more inner peace by Sarah Starr
Is it possible to break the old patterns of complaining? How do you stop the “complain game” of whose disease, body, or ailment is the worst?
Complaining about your health can be an addiction, because usually there’s a pay off. When you complain, you usually get attention or sympathy, or it serves to get you out of doing something. “I can’t exercise because … ” “My back hurts, I’m too old, I don’t have enough energy, etc. … ”
Raised in a family of six, I subconsciously knew that if I was sick, I would receive undivided attention and also get out of going to school. Therefore I was sick at least six or seven times a month. I began to believe I was the fragile one and eventually ended up hospitalized for diseases that never came to be.
Complaining is also a way of commiserating, but beware when you begin your own litany of complaints. Whatever you put your attention on will get bigger.
The body is a mirror of your thoughts, judgements, and beliefs. Each cell of your body responds to every thought and word you speak. When the complaining begins, instead of joining in or “one-upping them,” simply offer a few words of ease such as, “I know how that feels and I’ve found great relief when I … ” fill in the blank.
For instance, your friend says, “I’d like to exercise, but the only time I have is before work and I’m too tired. I’ll never get in shape.” Instead of joining in, you could reply, “I know how that feels and I’ve found a great breath exercise I use when I get out of bed. It really jump starts my day. Try this … ” If you don’t add to the complaints, they usually stop. What’s the fun if no one wants to join in the game of “who’s worse off”?
Thoughts are energy and, as you focus on the positive, you will begin to attract more people into your life who harmonize with those thoughts. Know that the less time you spend complaining, the less the people around you will complain.
As it’s the nature of humans to sync up with those around them, here are a few tips to start creating more positive interactions in your relationships with others:
1. Be deliberate with your thoughts and let go of judging others. The more we judge, the more we are glued to the same experience.
2. Choose your words wisely; your words create the life you are living. Do a mental house cleaning and release negative self talk; it will only draw more of that.
3. When your own thoughts of complaint surface, forgive yourself and release the need to be perfect. Harboring judgment within will only create more for you to judge, blame, or criticize and are also some of the most damaging emotions to store in the body.
4. If you have a complaint, tell it to the person who can actually help you create something new. If you have cold soup, tell it to the waiter instead of spending an hour at the table whining about your food.
5. You can’t make other people change. Ghandi said it well, “We must live what we want others to learn.” If you want others to change, you must set the example.
Since 2001, Sarah Starr, host of internationally syndicated “Happy Yoga with Sarah Starr,” has conducted classes such as “Power of Now” and “Breathing Peace” with thousands of people in national workshops and conferences. Sarah encourages her students to relax, breathe, and smile as they become the watchers of their thoughts, worries, and distracting mind dialogue. “If you’re not having fun, you’re not BEing Yoga.” Follow Sarah on Facebook and Twitter.