If complaining was an Olympic sport, the London 2012 Olympics would be overrun with world-class contenders. Ninja whingeing will be the most popular discipline in sporting history!
I like a good old moan, putting the world to rights, as much as the next person. But where does it get you?
If passion and emotion are the drivers behind the moan it can quickly escalate into a full-blown aggravating, stress induced, blood pressure raising, irritable bowel syndrome triggering, life shortening headache!
For example, the petrol (gas) tanker drivers hinted they may go on strike. The government suggested fuelling up our cars "as a precautionary measure", and perhaps filling jerry cans to store petrol "just in case" the tanker drivers went on strike. This led to shortages at the pump and angry queuing drivers in many parts of the UK. The whole country could have ended up in a mass scrum, just to get every last drop of petrol out of the hose.
Petrol prices, road rage, queue rage, punch-ups at the filling station, taxation on petrol and pretty much anything and everything to do with the petrol industry came to the fore, and people up and down the country complained about it.
The opposition party, of course, were in utter elation. Finally they had something to really moan about! Even the cynic in me couldn't help thinking it was a government scam; to induce panic buying and boost tax revenue, as they have been over optimistic in the 2012 budget.
It is easy to see how something that could happen explodes into an all out media circus, which they dubbed a "Fuel Crisis", with the majority of the national news dedicated to the issue.
But, hang on a tick, does it really help? Could we, the everyday person on the street, actually do anything about it? Is there any point in worrying? Is there any point moaning about something that is completely out of our control?
The short answer is no, and the long answer is to question why it should be a "no".
Well (and this applies to a vast array of things going on in our lives) is an escalating argument really something you would want to be involved in? I refer back to my initial thought on emotion and passion, and the channeling of such emotions. Think back to an argument you many have had, at some point in your life. At the height of the mud-slinging frenzy you, and/or your sparring partner, may have said something derogatory, been less than complimentary, and maybe even down right rude.
But it didn't stop there did it? You and your opponent went your separate ways, maybe slamming a few doors, making ultimatums, saying "I quit!", getting the last word in etc. Did it end there? Oh no! You probably went away and stewed for hours, days or even months. You replayed the whole scenario in your head over and over again thinking "I should have said that!", "Why did they say that?", "I was right!", "They were way out of line!" and so on.
Now I feel exhausted!
Any how, the point I am making is that a negative thought about someone or a situation can grow at an exponential rate, getting bigger and bigger, angrier and angrier, uglier and uglier. Research shows that for every complaint, be it thought or outwardly spoken, you need to back it up with ten positive compliments to tip the scale, thus lessening the emotional effect on yourself. I find it fascinating that science has come up with an actual formula, a definite figure, to counter the impact of a negative thought.
But there is a catch!
Let's say I complain about the weather; I have to come up with ten things that I can positively say about the weather, just to cancel out my negative attack. Kind of puts complaining into a new perspective doesn't it?
So the next time you are at the verge of complaining your coffee is cold, think again! It may become an Olympic task just to think up ten happy thoughts about coffee!...........As they say "Misery Loves Company" :)
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