How to Stop Complaining: 7 Ways to Change Your Attitude

Amber Murphy
Amber Murphy

Think about how you feel when you are with someone who is complaining, after a while, it becomes tiring just to listen to them. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what you’re are complaining about. It could be about your relationship, work colleagues, family problems, a recent bill, or even something as mundane as the weather – after some time, you may start to feel your own mood change. Once you’re finished complaining, you’re left with a host of negative feelings. Knowing how to stop complaining can help avoid this.

Now imagine that happens to your mind when it is you who is the one complaining. Being around this kind of negativity is bad enough. Still, when the source of the complaints, the put-downs, and the pessimistic attitude is you, this takes a significant toll on your physical and mental well-being.

At the moment, it might feel good to complain, you feel like you are just blowing off steam rather than causing any harm, and you have never seriously considered before how to stop complaining. However, every time you complain, you are training your brain to do it again and again, and you can end up in a cycle that you will struggle to break. You say negative things, your mind hears negative thoughts, and your attitude shifts onto focusing only on negative things, this is a sure-fire way to leave yourself feeling down and bitter regularly, even about things that never would have bothered you before.

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7 ways to stop complaining

Physically your body also reacts each time you complain; a stress hormone called cortisol is released, this signals to your brain that you need to enter fight-or-flight mode, oxygen, energy and, blood is now directed around your body to any part of you that requires it to have the best chance of survival. This action increases your blood pressure and compromises your immune system, and the more times this happens, the more likely you are to suffer health problems such as strokes and heart disease.

Clearly, it’s fundamental to your well-being that you learn how to stop complaining. Therefore, we have offered some advice below on how you can do just that.

Accept changes

1. Learn to accept changes

A huge step in learning how to stop complaining is to accept that sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want it to, you don’t always get the life you have dreamed of or worked hard for, life gives us unexpected bills and problems, and things change even when we don’t want them to. The fact of the matter is that you just have to accept this and adapt as best you can whenever something like this happens.

The vast majority of people in the world have to deal with issues and changes in varying degrees year after year, it is literally just part of life. The sooner you make peace with that, the quicker you can adjust your mindset. So, the next time a plan falls through, you don’t get the job you deserve, your best friend moves away, or your car breaks down, don’t complain about it. Accept it and move on, Find a way to way to see the silver lining in the situation if you can, but in the very least just understand that things like these are going to happen regularly during your life. If people complained every time, well, then the world would be a very negative place indeed.

Mentally strong people are those who are able to accept and either move on or address the issue head on instead of dwelling on it or complaining.

2. Think about how you affect others

Remember earlier when we talked about how it makes you feel to hear someone complain, well, you need to always bear in mind how you’re making other people feel when you are the one doing the complaining. When you are talking to people such as your friends, family, or colleagues, don’t cross the line between having a genuine rant and full-on complaining. You shouldn’t leave people feeling drained just from talking to you, and I’m sure that you would be horrified if you knew you had made someone feel this way.

Using verbal and non-verbal cues during conversation is an excellent way to gauge how you are making the other people think, and if you are picking up signals that your communication is actually just you complaining, then immediately stop. If you’re not great at reading signs, then just don’t start the conversation in the first place. If you cannot be sure, then it is better not to say anything.

Loving-kindness meditation: Build some empathy through a guided loving-kindness meditation practice. Loving-kindness is a way to build empathy and self-awareness, which is important when it comes to thinking about how you affect others.

3. Remind yourself to be grateful

No matter what life throws are you, I can guarantee that you will always be able to find things in your life to be grateful for. Sure, this may seem more difficult during times of stress, but if you take a few moments, you will always be able to come up with a list. Maybe you are grateful for your family, your pets, your good health, the fact you have enough food to feed yourself. Whatever the reasons are, make a list every time you feel like you need to complain.

Often, we all have lots in our lives to be grateful for, no matter how small, but we get so caught up in the bad that we overlook the positive. Reminding yourself of all the good things you have in your life will help you immensely when it comes to learning how to stop complaining; sometimes, we all need a gentle reminder that the situation is never as bad as it feels.

Don't associate with negative people

4. Don’t associate with negative people

You know the saying misery loves company, well the same can be said for complaining. Complaining breeds complaining, and if you are not careful, after a time, the toxic and negative people you associate with rub off on you, and you will find yourself wondering who you have become. Humans have a tendency to follow the crowd or mimic the people we spend the most time with, so it stands to reason that if you spend a lot of time around these kinds of people, it won’t be long before you have unknowingly become one of them.

If you find yourself realizing that the people in your social group are continually complaining and encouraging you to do the same thing, then distance yourself. Furthermore, if someone else points out to you that your attitude has changed since you have started spending more time with certain people, then listen to them, often people on the outside can see changes in us much more evident than we can see them in ourselves.

While it’s always a good idea to stop comparing yourself to others, it’s always good to pause, reflect, and see if your complaining habits come from the people around you that are always complaining.

Don’t let negative and toxic people rent space in your head. Raise the rent and kick them out.

Robert Tew

5. Exercise

I’m sure you heard a hundred times that exercise and keeping active is great for your mental health as well as your physical, and it is because it’s true. This is a significant step in learning how to stop complaining, and you will see considerable changes through exercise. Activities such as running, boxing, and aerobics are good options for getting rid up built-up energy you may feel during times of stress, release your energy in the gym rather than during conversation.

Yoga is an excellent choice for keeping your mind at ease, mindful exercises that focus on reaching inner peace and calm will go a long way to help adjust how to react to a situation that would have typically caused you to complain immediately.

6. Stop being judgmental

Most of the time, when we complain, it is to complain about other people. And we complain about other people because we think that how they are behaving, what they are doing, or what they are saying is wrong. But that doesn’t mean it is wrong, it is just wrong in our opinion. If you’re quick to judge other people’s words and actions, then you are also likely to be someone ready to complain about that person vocally.

After all, it is very satisfying to feel like we are better than said person feel like your complaint is justified. Well, of course, this isn’t the case. Being judgmental and forming complaints about other people is a poor quality to have, and it only reflects negatively on you, not on the person you are complaining about. Stop judging, and you will immediately notice that you have less to complain about.

Lead by example

7. Lead by example

Quite simply, how can you expect other people to stop complaining if you are not also learning how to stop complaining. Don’t be the negative person who is bringing others down or encouraging your peers to do the same. Don’t find a problem when there isn’t one, don’t be snappy and quick to find negatives. Just focus on being the kind of person that you would want to spend time with.

When you start to understand how to live a good life, and you start living it, others will follow.

Stop complaining

Now that you fully understand the effects that complaining has on your mental and physical health, it should be the wake-up call you need to start your road to stopping complaining, seeking self-improvement, and reaping the benefits of changing your mindset. All of the pieces of advice above are small changes you can make that will have meaningful consequences on your life.

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