How to Stop Complaining and Claim an Attitude of Gratitude
I never thought I was much of a complainer. Huh!! That was proven wrong! I heard a sermon about complaining. The pastor recommended that on your right arm, you put 5-10 rubber bands. (In Pittsburgh rubber bands are called GUM BANDS- true story) Throughout the day, every time I complained, I took one from the right and put it on the left. On that particular day, I found myself murmuring about all kinds of things like the mounds of laundry, a cranky client, the long phone wait with the insurance company, and so on. I started with ten bands, and by 11 am, I had to add more.
Well, as disgusted with myself as I was, I continued for a couple of weeks. Some days pride set in, and I felt pretty self-assured. Then the next day, God would allow as it seemed extra little annoyances. He has a sense of humor.
Eventually, I began to complain less and less. The rubber bands came off, and something amusing began to happen. If I found myself not grumbling at all, I began to replace it with a gratitude statement.
From Complaints to Gratitude
Why is there always so much laundry in this house?
Replaced by- Thank God I have a washer and dryer and clothes to clean!
The insurance company is awful. What do they think I have all day to sit on the phone?
Replaced with- Thank God I can afford insurance at all! (Especially these days)
Why is this lady always so miserable and never tips? Doesn’t she know how hard I work?
Replaced by- Thank God I have a business at all! WHY is she miserable?
And Lord, what are you trying to show me through this client? Is there any of my personality in her?
Murmuring and Complaining is a thief of gratitude!
Gratitude brings so much! Bring joy, contentment, compassion, forgiveness, peace, and love for others into your life. Stop complaining!
Gratitude Takes Practice
I wish I could say that a couple of weeks of wearing rubber bands on my arm changed my life forever. It didn’t!
Just like the Israelites roaming in the desert for forty years, unfortunately, it is the human condition to forget how great we have it!
I find myself now more than ever being reminded that if my family and I have our health, there is a roof over our heads and food to eat. WE ARE BLESSED! COVID took our jobs, we have not received a dime promised by the government, but my confidence is in God Himself. He is providing and protecting.
I want to be a better version of myself, living with intention, and not just continuing to go through the motions and calling it living.
I am choosing not to murmur or grumble, and instead have an attitude of gratitude, and find ways to be a blessing to others like God has blessed me.
1.) Create a Gratitude Journal
Every day, write three new things that you are grateful for
Focus on the POSITIVE.
Why? Gratitude changes our attitude. If we are engulfed in negativity, jealousy, and a bad mood, it holds us back from reaching our goals. A bad attitude can lead to depression. When we are feeling bad, we are unlikely to be motivated to change anything in our lives. By asking ourselves every day, what we are grateful for, we can’t help but be transformed in our minds and our hearts.
2.) Get A Happy Light!!
Sunlight therapy lamps can increase your happiness. Years ago, a doctor suggested this for me, especially in the fall and winter months. Because there is less sunshine, you may find you are a little more down this time of year. You probably have less energy. Many people suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Sitting by this lamp for about a 1/2 hour a day can make a huge difference in how you feel. I like to use mine while reading my Bible in the morning. It has made a big difference for me.
3.) Let The Sunshine in
Be sure to open all your blinds and curtains in the morning. By having natural light, it helps your natural melatonin. Your body begins to follow the natural flow of morning, noon, and evening. All of this can lead to a better night’s sleep and a happier mood. Shedding light on the darkness will always make us feel a little better about things. (Even the bad stuff)
4.) Give up the news!!!
So many people are paralyzed in fear because they are addicted to the news. I don’t care which camp it is. What your political views are. The program will spend an hour scaring the heck out of you and throw a 30 sec “feel good” in at the end. We have quit LIVING and seeing the good in others. A lot of it has to do with the negative images and stories that are repeated over and over again. It’s depressing. Give it up for a week, and I believe you will feel more optimistic or slowly ween off of news watching. Cut back a little each day and see if you are happier. You will begin to see that most people are decent human beings. You can’t do anything about the big stuff anyway. (other than vote!)
5.) Make a Happy Playlist!
Remember a time in your life when you always had some music playing? Play some music. Play it LOUD! Happy music. Not depressing music. Music makes us feel emotions. If you want to feel better, make a Happy Playlist. Put every song on it that relates you to good memories. We all have good and bad memories; let’s FOCUS on the GOOD ones.
6.) Essential oils.
I know essential oils are trendy now. People have used and trusted Essential oils for thousands of years. Our household has used them for close to twenty. Friends and family have always commented on how good our house smells. The truth is, I change up the oils seasonally. We need more uplifting scents in the fall and especially the winter. I never use artificially scented plug-ins, candles, or sprays. The chemicals in them are linked to too many diseases. We use natural essential oil candles, mists, and drops for diffusers to increase mood and make our home smell lovely.
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