Pros and Cons of Complaining

I wanted to write this post, because I recently decided I didn’t want to partake in complaining anymore. I don’t believe it is useful to me, and it permeates negativity. Now there can be some benefits to complaining, which involves venting. There is nothing wrong with expressing our troubles from time to time as long as it is not habitual. I read an article on complaining titled Hidden Benefits and Pitfalls of Complaining (verywellmind). I thought it would be helpful to discuss these benefits and pitfalls.

Pros

Venting is Necessary

Bottling in your thoughts and emotions can take a toll on a person. Sometimes it is necessary to let things out. It can give you relief. It can help you feel heard. When I get to a point when I have to let it out. I always feel much better. It can relieve stress. Letting it all out can finally help you get some answers as well. It can be from the help of the person you are venting to, or maybe now that you found relief. You can move on to figuring out what can be done to help you.

It Provides Validation

Knowing that someone gets it, and that you are not alone can be helpful. Having someone sympathize with you, or agree with you showcases that you have a right to feel and think the way you do, and that something isn’t wrong with you. Complaining to others gives us that validation we need to move forward.

Now this pro can also be a con as well. If you talk to the wrong person who validates complaints that put you in the wrong, or they agree with a distorted point of view. That type of validation can be harmful.

Getting Another Perspective

By complaining to others you may be able to gain some other perspectives on the situation. When we complain, we tend to focus on our perspective, we may see things in black and white terms, or blow the situation out of proportion. Talking to another person may help you see that your perspective may not align with reality. This can help give you new insight to the situation. You may realize things are not as bad as you think, or you shouldn’t really be as angry or upset as you feel.

Finding Solutions

It can be easier finding solutions when you have more people involved. Complaining to others may make it easier for you to find a solution. It can help open you up to others input, and possible solutions you didn’t think of.

Complaining Leads to Action

Sometimes it is important to complain to the right people who can help make changes. I once complained to my bosses about a situation at work. They heard it, and fixed it, problem solved. Sometimes it is that easy. Complaints that are work related, or any situation that is outside your control. It is best to complain to people who can help you. I had coworkers complain to me about work related stuff that can probably be solved by talking to a supervisor or lead. I can’t help them with these problems, so it is useless complaining to me. This is why it is important to complain to the right people. If you do, then things can get done to make things better for you.

Cons

Focusing on the Problem, Not the Solutions

This is a big one when it comes to cons of complaining. Putting your attention on the problem will leave you stuck, feeling hopeless, depressed, angry, and frustrated. You will never be satisfied, and your perspective will only focus on the negative. This type of mindset when it comes to complaining can cultivate misery for an individual.

Pessimism

Constant complaining can lead to a pessimistic outlook. Being a habitual complainer cultivates negativity.

Negative Groups

Misery loves company. Complaining can be contagious. Complainers may gravitate towards others who complain. A complainer may get you going, and get you to complain as well. It may start out as validating each other, but end up turning into an angry mob, or a negativity circle of friends.

Drain on Others

Constant complaining can definitely be a drain on others, and bring others down. People have their own problems. They don’t want to be dragged down by someone else’s problems. We should try to build and lift others up, not bring them down. Constant complaining can push others away from you, leaving you with no support system to help.

I will say this if complaining leaves you feeling worse, gets nothing done, and it is constantly about the same topic. This type of complaining is toxic. It serves no purpose, but to drain you of life, happiness, and peace of mind. Complaining has its good moments from time to time. When you need someone to listen. When there is a solution on the horizon. When you had enough, and need to voice your thoughts.

I am not against complaining if it can help you, or myself in any way. I will only complain if it benefits me, if it doesn’t, I will let it be, and keep moving forward. Sometimes things in life sucks, sometimes things don’t go your way, sometimes people disappoint, that is life. There is no need to wallow in negativity about it. Tell yourself, things may suck now, but there will be plenty of things to brighten your life as well. Life has its good and bad moments. You got to deal with the bad ones, to appreciate and enjoy the good moments.

Source:https://www.verywellmind.com/complaining-why-do-we-do-it-3144857

Mindful Break Time(Mindfulness Reminder)

I needed a break from the information overload I was getting online. I found this lovely passage in my mi dullness book. I appreciate the awareness I have from mindfulness practice to take mental breaks and be mindful.

It does a great job of clearing my mind, and helps rejuvenate my spirit. I absolutely can’t wait for the nicer weather to be able to enjoy the freshness of the outdoors, and beauty of the natural scenery.

Mindfulness is a wonderful thing. It opens you up to opportunities, new adventures, shifts in thoughts and behavior, and creative power. I now feel refreshed and ready to start my shift.

I think it is important to be aware of when to take breaks. Your mind can only withstand so much. A break may be all you need, even if it is 5 minutes. Sit, take a walk, stretch, write etc,. Mindfulness practice isn’t a quick fix, but it can improve your well-being over time with continuous practice.

Sharpen the Saw

I was reading the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There is a chapter about sharpening the saw, and it really resonated with me. I found this concept to be similar to mindful time. The story behind this is that there was a competition between a younger and older lumberjack to see who can cut down the most trees. The younger one continued to cut the trees without breaks, while the older one took breaks throughout the day. The older lumberjack ended up winning, despite being older, weaker, and less energetic. The reason is because he took breaks to sharpen his saw. A sharp saw will win over a dull one anytime.

This story and concept show how important it is to take breaks to sharpen the saw, meaning to gain clarity. Constant working leads to exhausting and cloudiness of the mind. You will be much more effective when you give yourself space. I have to say my best ideas comes from taking time to breathe and be mindful. When I am journaling, taking walks, reading, watching inspirational vloggers, or on vacations. It is important to be present, and in the moment, so that your mind can breathe and gain insight. Our minds need breaks. The mind won’t work well with continuous work and overload. You may think it is a good idea to keep going, but doing that just weakens your clarity and creativity.

I am staying indoors today, due to another snow storm, thankfully not as bad as the last one, but I wanted to be productive and mindful today. This is where this idea came from. I didn’t want to waste my only day off for the next 10 days on distractions only. This is where mindful practices come in handy. I did some reading, some yoga, some writing as you can see. I even found going outside to clean my car therapeutic. Most may see it as a chore or annoying, and I do majority of the time as well, but today I didn’t mind going out. I put some music on, and cleaned the snow off, it was kind of nice. The snow is really fluffy, so it came off easy, and it gave me a nice workout. It was nice to just do something, rather than just sitting inside.

I know this topic has become a recurring theme of my posts, but that just means how important this concept is, and how it never gets old to be reminded of it. Breaks are really important, sharpen the mind, like you sharpen the saw. This can only come from giving yourself the space to think and relax. To be in the moment and enjoy life as it is. Work will always be there, but the moment will not.

Cognitive Distortions

After reading Dr. Burns book Feeling Great. It made me realize how much our thoughts and emotions intertwine with each other. Our thoughts can make things uncomfortable and difficult for us. It can allow us to see our emotions in a negative light. As I mentioned before, emotions just are, how we perceive them is what creates problems for us. He mentions the 10 cognitive distortions that cultivates suffering in our lives. Cognitive distortions can affect how we perceive ourselves, other people, emotions, and life situations.

Cognitive distortions cultivates self-hatred. It lowers your self-worth. It aides in painting ourselves, other people, and our world in a negative light. These distortions allow us to beat down on ourselves. It keeps us suffering longer than we need to. I wanted to discuss these distortions. We all have done these, but being aware of these distortions can help you to learn not to fall into these thought patterns continuously.

All or Nothing Thinking

When you’re convinced that you’re either destined for success or doomed to failure, that the people in your life are either angelic or evil, you’re probably engaging in polarized thinking.(healthline.com).

Life and people work in shades of grey. No one is completely one thing, or the other. Life is not one way, or the other. We will fail at times, and succeed at other times. This type of thinking can lead you down a miserable path.

Overgeneralization

When people overgeneralize, they reach a conclusion about one event and then incorrectly apply that conclusion across the board.(healthline.com).

One situation does not define every other situation. One person in a group does not define all people within that group. This type of thinking process can lead to bias and discrimination. It can also allow people to stay within their bubble, and not branch out. Life is unpredictable, things that happen in one situation. Most likely won’t happen in another situation.

Mental filtering

This distorted thought pattern is the tendency to ignore positives and focus exclusively on negatives.(healthline.com).

It is much easier to put the focus on the negative, which leads to suffering and misery. Life is full of positives and negatives. We got to find that balance.

Discounting the positives

Similar to mental filtering. Ignoring the positives, and putting focus on the negatives.

Learning to appreciate the good, positives, accomplishments, and joys of life is important. Try not to ignore what is good in your life. You may think everything is bad, but if you look more deeply, you’ll find the good.

Jumping to conclusions

Jumping to conclusions that aren’t warranted by facts.

  • Mind Reading-You assume you know what others are thinking and feeling.
  • Fortune telling-You make negative predictions about the future.

We all fall into this trap. This type of thinking leads to anxiety, tension, anger and frustration. We make stories about what others are thinking, and what the future will be, but this type of thinking isn’t helpful. We don’t know the future, and we don’t know how others perceive a situation. We should try to put our focus on things we can control, like ourselves.

Magnification or Minimization

Blowing things out of proportion, or shrink their importance significantly. You perceptions allow things to be bigger, or smaller than they really are.

We think something bad that happened is the end of us, our world is over, but most of the time, as time passes, we move on, and cope. Vice versa something may be important, but you blow it off, which can come back to haunt you. It is important to see the reality of the situation.

Emotional Reasoning

Emotional reasoning is the false belief that your emotions are the truth — that the way you feel about a situation is a reliable indicator of reality.(healthline.com)

While it’s important to listen to, validate, and express emotion, it’s equally important to judge reality based on rational evidence.(healthline.com).

You feel hopeless, so that means your hopeless. You feel sad, so you conclude you are a miserable person. You feel guilt, so you conclude you are a bad person. Your emotions don’t define who you are. Emotions come and go. They are a part of living, but they are not part of who you are.

Should statements

When people find themselves thinking in terms of what “should” and “ought” to be said or done, it’s possible that a cognitive distortion is at work.

I should be better at this. I should be smarter at this. I should know what I am doing. I should have known. I shouldn’t make mistakes. Humans are imperfect beings. We will not be great at everything. Give yourself a break. We can’t do everything. You are allowed to make mistakes. You are allowed to not know everything.

Labeling

Labeling is a cognitive distortion in which people reduce themselves or other people to a single — usually negative — characteristic or descriptor, like “drunk” or “failure.”(healthline.com)

You label yourself and others, instead of focusing on the specific problem.(Feeling Great).

We as individuals are a plethora of things. We are not defined by one feature. It is easier to just put a label on yourself and others, but we as individuals are more complex than that. We have many defining features.

Blaming/Personalization

One of the most common errors in thinking is taking things personally when they’re not connected to or caused by you at all.(healthline.com).

You may be engaging in personalization when you blame yourself for circumstances that aren’t your fault, or are beyond your control.(healthline.com).

Self-blame and blaming others is common, but not everything is your fault, and not everything is someone else’s fault. Life happens. Showing compassion for yourself, and others can help you live a more peaceful life. Just because you make a mistake, or do something wrong. Doesn’t mean there needs to be fault. Mistakes are part of being human. If you didn’t mean bad intentions, don’t be too hard on yourself. This also goes with blaming others as well. Recognize when there is truly fault in a situation.

All of these thinking patterns can create uncomfortable emotions and experiences in our lives. It can lead us away from a peaceful state of mind. These are thinking traps we all fall into, but being aware of them can steer you away from falling into these thinking patterns much less.

Sources: Burns, D. D. (2020). Feeling Great: The Revolutionary New Treatment for Depression and Anxiety. PESI Publishing & Media.

https://www.healthline.com/health/cognitive-distortions

Detach From Thoughts & Emotions

You may think, how can I do this? Isn’t these things part of who I am? Thoughts and emotions are part of our life experiences. They don’t necessarily define who we are.

As taught in spiritual teachings. Attachment creates suffering. Detachment cultivates peace. It is our human nature to attach.

Our souls are boundless, timeless, and limitless. Emotions and thoughts are part of humanity. They are not who we are. They do not define us. It is best to observe our thoughts and emotions.

Tell yourself, I am thinking this thought, or I am feeling this emotion. Be aware and observe. These things are a part of the human experience. They can be difficult at times. They can also be enjoyable.

Just remember that observing creates peace of mind. Attaching to them creates suffering. A thought is a thought. An emotion is an emotion. They just are. Giving them less power creates freedom and peace.

Dealing With Stress(My Personal Story)

We all deal with stress in different. I deal with it by being distracted and mindless. Yesterday I was stressed with lots of things on my mind. Now the best way to clear one’s mind is by being mindful, but as a flawed human being I tend to be programmed to distract and escape.

I filled my day with distractions and mindlessness by scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter a disgusting amount of times. I also watched mindless things on Youtube to escape from my own struggles. I also tried to find answers online to the things that I was stressing about.

None of these things helped. It just exacerbated the problem. It also put me in a negative place. I mean, I know all this, but I still fall into this trap when I am stressed. Stress is definitely the biggest trigger to be mindless for me. For some reason it is hard for me to be mindful when I am stressed.

Anyway, it got to a point where enough is enough. I just couldn’t keep doing what I was doing. I knew none of this was helping, and that I had to pull away and be mindful. I closed the computer, sat for a bit and tried to meditate. I could only do that for a couple of minutes. I decided to journal, and after that listen to some music. After doing all these things I started to feel more relaxed and calm. This isn’t a surprise, I know mindfulness is the answer to calm stress. Being mindless and finding distractions is the habit of being an imperfect human. It is just easy to find distractions, so I continue to follow that path at times.

The important thing is to be aware of when to finally pull away. That awareness will set you free, and allow you to truly find peace. I was also able to get some more reading done as well. I am already almost halfway through one of my books I bought this month.

I decided today I will not go on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter today. I just had too much of them yesterday. I need to be cleansed from them today. I will use Youtube only to watch inspirational things, or things that instill knowledge, also plant related stuff. I will most likely do more reading, before heading into work. I am so happy to get back to work. I can’t deal with being home this much. I am so looking forward to the warmer weather, so I can be out and about.

Anyway, after being mindful I realized the things I was stressing about wasn’t as big of a deal as my mind made it out to be. You get a sense of clarity and reality when practicing mindfulness. I tell myself I will get through it, like the many other times I got through a stressful event. The storm will pass.

I wanted to write this to show you even though you practice mindfulness for years, and are an aware individual. You will have your setbacks, but you will always bounce back much quicker. That is the beauty of mindfulness practice.

A Society of Overstimulation

It just seems more and more difficult to focus, and to do the things that need to be done, be it for work, or for our own self-fulfillment. The digital/technological age has made it hard for us to just focus on one thing. I sometimes find it hard to sit through a 20 minute Youtube video without looking for something else to stimulate my brain.

It has become increasingly hard for us to do the tasks that need to be done, or to just simply sit and be alone, read, mediate, exercise, be creative. We just rather scroll, and watch videos or movies. It is just so much easier to do so. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to do these things. The things that can be beneficial for our mental and physical health takes work, so people tend to choose the latter.

Getting ourselves to focus is hard. Getting ourselves to get motivated and take action takes work. Getting myself to continue writing my book takes work, but I continue to remind myself, or be reminded that the end goal is most important. It doesn’t matter how small the step is, just do something.

I have found reading to be quite easy and pleasurable to do recently. I wanted to read, but never took the steps to read, until recently. Now that I am reading more. I want to read more. So the time I use to scroll. I use to do something more meaningful for myself, which is read. The power to scroll loses its appeal. It is all about learning to build these habits, even starting small makes a difference.

I was just watching a video of how overstimulation is ruining our lives, and it prompt me to write this. I mean, we all know it isn’t good for us to be on social media, watch TV, procrastinate, and do nothing that helps us grow, but we still do it, because it is easy, why not? The things we want in life takes work, and who wants to do that!? No one does, but it has to be done, if you want improvement in your life, if you want inner peace, or if you want to reach your goals.

Overstimulation is ubiquitous in our lives. Doing one task has become incredibly difficult. Enjoying the simple things have become incredibly difficult. People need their quick dopamine fix. Searching for the next thing to entertain them, rather than finding things on their own to entertain themselves. With the likes of Tik Tok(I believe to be the worse SNS platform) that has made it possible.

I fall for this trap, so I am not hear to preach to you all. I am part of this need for overstimulation. It is ingrained in us. I have a TV, computer, Alexa, and phone in my room. So I am surrounded by over stimulating objects. I do try to use one at a time, and be intentional with how I use them to the best I can.

I now have my phone behind me, out of sight for now. I think it is best when working on a task, or doing something mindful that you keep your phone out of sight. It is easy to get dragged into the notification whole. It is also easier to pick it up, and look at it just to check if you have any notifications, man I do this a lot. I was able to do some writing today, and I started reading a new book as well. I also did my Saturday morning plant maintenance routine as well. I believe it was a successful proactive Saturday morning.

I am just trying to be more mindful, and trying to focus on one task at a time. This isn’t easy, especially watching videos, but it can be done with a certain amount of will. We can easily be distracted. I know I can, so I want to take this day to be intentional with how I put my focus on to things. One thing at a time. Be proactive. Be intentional. Keep distance from overstimulation. Things to remind myself, and hopefully I can remind you as well.

Motivation

Recently I haven’t had much motivation. I was on a high weeks ago, but fell to a low this week. This happens. Motivation to do things comes and go, but what actually motivates us? I am sure we all asked that question. You may think why am I never motivated? You may also ask how do I get motivated? I will try to answer these questions to the best of my ability.

Definition

-the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

-the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

-Motivation is the desire to act in service of a goal.

There are 4 types of motivation:

  • Extrinsic Motivation-Comes from outside of us. We do it, because we feel we have to, or there will be consequences to the decision. It is done for external reasons.
  • Intrinsic Motivation-Comes from inside us. Doing something important or valuable to us. It is done for internal reasons.
  • Introjected motivation-If the action is not done, one will feel guilt.
  • Identified motivation-Where a person knows something needs to be done, but hasn’t done it yet.

What motivates us?

I came up with five, there could be more, but I felt these five were factors that help motivate us to get things done.

  • The end goal must be meaningful and important to you-You got to really want this thing to happen for your well-being. My example is, I eat healthier and exercise, because I really want to be healthy as I grow older. This is important to me, and keeps me motivated to stay healthy.
  • You prefer the positives over the negatives-To put it simple, the positives outweigh the negatives of doing something, so you choose to do it.
  • For the sake of your happiness/peace of mind-This is when life is unbearable not taking action, or not doing anything creates suffering and unhappiness. This pushes you to do something. For example, if I don’t write, I feel unaccomplished, this pushes me to write. I think this is one of biggest motivators.
  • Listening, or watching others/Reading-Other people can help motivate you to get things done. I recently watched Amy Landino’s Youtube video on Motivation, which pushed me to write this post, and write more in general. All you may need is some words of inspiration or knowledge to get you moving.
  • Life experiences-Situations that happen in life can get someone motivated to do things. For example, my grandma passed at a young age, due to diabetes, and poor health. This pushed my aunt’s and Mom to live a healthier lifestyle.

How do you get motivated?

It takes two things, effort and action. Motivation doesn’t just come to you. Waiting around for it to strike will do you no good. You got to push yourself to do the things you want to do. It isn’t always easy to start, but once you get going you may not want to stop. I don’t want to go for a run today, but I know how important it is for me to get a workout, so I push myself to do it, which keeps me motivated. The important thing is pushing yourself to take action, and get it done.

Motivation is a wonderful thing, but it takes work. It doesn’t come easy. You don’t just wake up, and become motivated. You got to do the work. You got to push. You got to really want change. The short-term may not be fun, you may struggle, and you may not enjoy it, but you will eventually see a whole lot of benefits in the long-term, which will cultivate a more happier, healthier, and peaceful you. Remember, short-term pains lead to long-term gains.

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