I was surprised by the enormously positive response to my post on The Destructive Power of Complaining — it struck some nerves and a whole lot of chords. And I was admittedly overwhelmed by the amount of email I received asking for prescriptions to address the issues of complaining, pessimism, and negative thinking.
So now what?
What is the solution to over-complaining?
How do you change your thoughts?
Thoughts are things; words are their handles. Like most behavior patterns, much of your thinking has simply become a habit.
Negative thinking is a bad habit that can be reprogrammed, in as little as one month, through reframing and affirmation. Honestly, it might seem off-topic, but the 30 Day Exercise in The Money Shift is a reframing technique that can be adapted to focus on any issue.
Before you even get into more sophisticated reframing, affirmation crafting, and neurolinguistic programming, there’s a basic prescription that works great in emergencies or for anyone starting at square one:
(I know, I know. We’ve all heard it before, about the Gratitude Thing. It sounds awfully simple… But, hey — thank the Universe that it truly is.)
When you observe yourself complaining or having negative thoughts, play this game with yourself — look around the room or out the car window (wherever you are) and begin naming things in your immediate surroundings that you are grateful for, that you like, that you think are cool, that you enjoy, etc.
“…the trees, my dog, television, the color green, summer time…”
If you can catch yourself and make yourself do this, religiously, I promise you, it will shift your entire way of thinking. Within a matter of weeks, the momentum can be truly phenomenal.
I challenge you to try this for one month. Write me and let me know what happens.
Image credit Ally213 via Creative Commons on Flickr