Yesterday I shared some final thoughts about “Words Gone Wild” – the disastrous effects of an untamed tongue. This morning, I read this excellent blog post by David Murry that shows the other side of words – what happens when your tongue is tamed.
The antidote for complaining is gratitude. Isn’t it interesting that study after study shows that people who are thankful are more relaxed and joyful. From Murry’s article:
Consistently grateful people are more energetic, emotionally intelligent, forgiving, and less likely to be depressed, anxious, or lonely. When researchers pick random volunteers and train them to be more grateful over a period of a few weeks, they become happier and more optimistic, feel more socially connected, enjoy better quality sleep, and even experience fewer headaches than control groups. By noticing more kindness you’ll experience more of it in your life. Counting kindness interventions involve taking daily tallies (mental or physical) of kind acts committed and witnessed, and have been shown to increase people’s levels of positivity. Gratitude encourages moral behavior and helps people cope with stress, trauma, and adversity. It also inhibits negative comparisons with others and pushes out and replaces negative emotions. When we express our gratitude to others, we strengthen our relationship with them. Studies show that consistently grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives. Thankful people feel more physically healthy and spend more time exercising.
The best part of Murry’s article is a list of practical activities that can actually increase your gratitude, and can help you to get your complaining tongue under control. This is definitely worth a read!