This was going to be a completely different topic, but I realized, I haven’t written a good “stop it” post in a while.
We are in the middle of a Pandemic and I wanted something that could be seen as a luxury the other day. It was a good cup of coffee, but the places were closed. I don’t really leave the house, and I am fine, but my girls asked me to try to stop by this particular coffee place, and I went to three, and all three closed early. Just a small inconvenience. Not even a big thing, but I started thinking about all the complaints I see on my feed of social media lately, and how that spreads. Just like what’s going on around the world. You see the cynics and pessimists can cause a ripple effect just like the believers and optimists can.
I once challenged my Club to keep a tally of how many negative thoughts they had in a week. Now, you might not think negative thoughts are complaining, but I want you to stop and observe the thought MID-thought next time. Is the negative thought something you can change? Are you tired and just feeling sorry for yourself? How has your energy changed when you start this cycle? Do you notice it? I can immediately feel it when it starts to happen to me. It’s like a magnet and it starts to attract more like thoughts until it feel like the weight of the world.
Every single time you choose a negative thought, a complaint or something that “feels” low, you drag yourself down one more notch. This includes ruminating on the negative energy of people in your life IF you let it consume you. There is simply no space left for the thoughts that help lift you up, or NEW thoughts and experiences to be grateful for. I also want to caution you that trying to change someone’s energy is equally going to pull you down. You can NOT change another person, so work only on yourself for this challenge. You can, however, invite them to try it with you of their own volition.
How to Stop Complaining:
- Don’t let others influence your energy and mood. Yes. This is the big first one. And whoaaa. If you have teenage daughters in your house, let me tell you, this one might be difficult at certain times. You might have to put the whole house on time-out or something. I have a thing I do when i notice the mood shift. I go outside, sit in a special place my husband made me, and I put on my Happy Music. I literally have a station called Happy Music. >> and then I un-clench my jaw, because unfortunately, I do that, and I start to visualize it all going into the ground. Like I am grounding myself, which I really am.
- Ask yourself if you can change it. Don’t panic, or if you do, at least panic a second, but then look for a solution. Inhale and take a deep breath. You control the breath and then you can rationally think and make decisions from a place of calm, not fear.
- Be the listener. I heard this piece of advice on one of my shows last night, and it was interesting. The gal said someone needed a friend more than he needed the truth right now. I was like, interesting. What I took from that is that sometimes people want to be “right” and they want it more than think about how the other person feels. I don’t lie, and if you know me, I can’t stand lying. You can do loads of things, but lying isn’t something I do. But instead of forcing an opinion on someone, could you simply let something go? Could you be the friend? Being kind helps all.
- Be honest with yourself. This one is hard for lots of people until someone brings it to their attention. I am that someone today. When is the last time you exercised regularly? Not only when needed, and yes, again I know what is going on in the world when you read this, but stop putting yourself last. When you are physically and mentally low, what happens? You feel horrible about yourself and everything in the world. You become snappy. You know, anything could set you off, right? Like your neighbor Karen (I literally have a neighbor who is a Karen, named Karen), and one day, a year ago, I snapped so trust me. We might need to be honest with what’s going on in our inner world before we take it out on the outer world. But in my defense, her tree limb crashed on my house and they knew it was falling (another long story involving them not appearing to care about a tree that has also dropped a limb on my car and smashed it). Anyway. Moving on. So sometimes, it is brewing and you can feel it. Maybe you haven’t eaten enough (I literally make myself stop and take breaks), maybe you haven’t had enough water and have a headache, BUT take a good, hard look at how you are treating your body. You are NEVER too old to start working on yourself. That is an excuse.
- Put on rose-colored glasses. If you know me, you know that I am not afraid to look silly. I had these GIANT pink glasses with rose lenses. I put them on as a teacher and would instantly feel the kids moods lighten. I have misplaced those…BUT the lady I worked with, if you are reading this, love your soul, was a Scorpio like me. Two Scorpios in the same room, and then one across the hall was a trip. I could feel when things were off. Some people love to be the boss of you and don’t mean to rub you the wrong way. They do it out of love, but it feels like something else. Put yourself in their shoes, put on the rose-colored glasses and then see what they see. Why are they saying and doing whatever it is? Do they really mean well? I told my mom this once. If you come from a place of love, like genuinely knowing that that person really loves you, you can’t really misunderstand their intentions and it helps me. Wish I knew that in my 20’s.
- Live in the present moment. I got upset once when someone told me, who actually did not know me, that I lived in the times my kids were little. I did. I liked it there. I felt like a good mommy, and that was before one of them started calling me “mother”. It’s not that I am not a good mom, that’s not it at all, it’s that now I have an adult child (adult sounds scary and I don’t know why) and an almost adult child. There are so many things in our past, all of us, that we long to see again, change, or not change, yet stay the same. None of that is healthy, yet we all do it. I feel like I am a good wellness coach and mentor because I have experienced the pain of going backwards. I stayed in a state of pain for 5 years until I realized that I could not, and would not, change my circumstances, or at that time, my declining health, until I faced the present moment. Many of you might have heard that story, but if not, you can read more here. I could not go back and get those years back from pain and suffering, but I could start where I was and move forward. Complaining about what was lost was a waste of time. I had two choices. Change it or accept it. I changed it.