How Complaining Physically Rewires Your Brain to be Anxious And Depressed

Surely, we all know some person in our life which is always negative and keeps complaining about some problems in life.

For those kind of people, life is always against them and they can never seem to catch a break.

They are always victims, they face injustice, they are not satisfied with nothing and usually the things are never good enough for them.

And sadly, they find themselves alone because their negativity can be physically exhausting to be around.

And over time, usually you get used to those people, but their perpetual negativity takes you a lot of energy and drains you totally.

Everybody complains once in awhile, especially in our overly negative society. And for the most part, Dr. Robin Kowalski, professor of psychology at Clemson University, insists that complaining is perfectly normal.

Negativity is a kind of download spiral, meaning that the more you focus on problems instead of solutions, you eventually start to see the negative side of everything in your life.

While bouts of negative thinking happen on and off, it’s important to let yourself vent, but quickly move on to find the solutions.

And this is really important to do because, negativity physically destroys your brain.

According to Rick Hanson, Ph.D., a psychologist and Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, people who routinely experience chronic stress, particularly acute, even traumatic stress, release the hormone cortisol, which literally eats away, almost like an acid bath, at the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that’s very engaged in visual-spatial memory as well as memory for context and setting.”

We must also mention that negative thinking strength neural pathways associated with that emotion, eventually making it an automatic reaction. And the same can be said of any repetitive thought or action.

Several Types of Complainers

Not every person with a negative state of mind experiences and expresses their worldview in the same way. Almost like every other personality trait, pessimism has its own variations.

Venters: Venters are usually very displeased people who just want to be listened to. They are looking for someone to listen to their complaints but are quick to shut down solutions, even when it’s good advice.

Sympathy Seekers: Everyone’s meet one of these before. They are looking for attention all the time. These kinds of complainers always one-up your misery. They always, always have it worse than you and are quick to see the fault in situations and others.

Chronic Complainers: These people complain all the time about everything that happens to them, and researchers call it “ruminating.” This actually means thinking and complaining about a problem again and again. Rather of feeling a release after complaining, this sort of complaining can actually make things worse. It can cause even more worry and anxiety.

According to the neuropsychologist Donald Hebb, neurons which fire together, wire together.

He actually explain that groups of neurons connect in our brain as a result of particular life experiences. For instance, whenever we think a thought or have a feeling or physical sensation, thousands of neurons are triggered and they all get together to form a neural network. The brain learns to trigger the same neurons with repetitive thinking.

It means that if you are only focused on problems, worries and negativity, your brain will bring up the same negative and bad thoughts for similar situations.

Here are four ways how to avoid negativity and to stay more positive in your life:

You can constantly work and train your brain to do anything that you want! The more you work hard to find the positivity in every situation, the more it becomes automatic!

  • Catch yourself: Catch yourself in a complaint and stop it immediately. Congratulate yourself for being aware!
  • Practice wise effort: Wise effort is to let go of that which is not helpful and cultivating that which is skillful.
  • Be grateful: You should be happy and feel gratitude even for the smallest things.
  • Make a new groove: We can create a brand new groove for pleasant feelings. The more often we allow our minds to remember the good things and memories, the easier that kind of thinking becomes.