The theme for this month’s practice series is GRATITUDE. We all know that gratitude is good for us—even just on a physical level, it boosts serotonin and dopamine in the brain, helping us feel better and connect more easily with others.
As we explore gratitude this month, we’re starting our journey a little obliquely: by first cultivating awareness of those not-so-grateful parts of ourselves. Complaining carries its own charge. It can be a way to vent, seek support, and connect or commiserate with others. (Here in Minnesota, we love to complain about the weather.) Yet chronic complaining can also undermine our well-being and sense of gratitude in daily life.
This week’s practice aims to free up more space for gratitude by helping you become aware of how and when you complain. As you become more aware of that habit energy, there’s an opportunity to shift, freeing up mental space and carving out more room for gratitude.
- Choose a day this week for this practice.
- Commit to not complaining for that day. This doesn’t mean you can’t express your truth, needs, or desires. But it's an invitation to be mindful about the way you express yourself.
- Throughout the day, pay attention to those moments when you feel an urge to complain. How does it feel in your body? What’s at the root of it?
- If something does need to be voiced, see if you can reframe it to remove the complaint energy. Or consider if there’s an appropriate action you could take, like putting on a sweater rather than complaining about the cold.
- Don’t beat yourself up if a complaint slips out. Let it go and start again.
If a day without complaints feels good, try it for another day! And please share: How did your no-complaints day go? What did you discover about your habit energy of complaining?