Typically when we think about cleanses we focus on food, alcohol, relationships, or spending. One factor that adds a lot of stress and anxiety to our everyday lives that we don’t usually think about is complaining. Our relationships, jobs, and health aren’t always going as best as we like them, which often leads us to complaints. When we want to vent through complaining we typically call our significant other, friends, or family. This energy adds stress to the ones around us as well as ourselves.
Try a complaining cleanse for 21 days. Once you know you are going to try and complain less or completely eliminate complaints overall you will realize just how much you are doing it.
In 2006 Will Bowen started a movement called “A Complaint Free World” where you wear a bracelet on your wrist, which is your visual reminder that you’re trying to remove the unnecessary negativity that comes out of your mouth. You will not let a complaint leave your mouth for 21 days, as this is the time some researchers believe it takes to anecdotally form a new habit after repeating the habit consistently. If you let a complaint slip you switch your bracelet over to the other wrist and begin your 21 day cleanse over again.
If you are starting to think this cleanse sounds silly you should know that the average person complains about 15 to 30 times a day without realizing it. If you haven’t noticed, when you complain to a friend they typically try to out-complain you so they can feel a connection. One complaint leads to another and then one whole dinner conversation can be consumed by negativity rather than positivity and growth.
Although almost everyone engages in complaining and it is a way for people to confide in one another, it is not the only way to connect with someone, nor is it a healthy one. You will begin to realize complaining adds more stress to your life and can be damaging to your relationships as the negative energy drags down the intimacy you and your partner share.
Once you start complaining about your significant other you will continually be on the lookout for these things and perpetuate the behavior in them as you’re constantly waiting for these behaviors.
Another factor to take into consideration when complaining is your health. People that complain frequently typically talk about themselves and others negatively in general. This can cause your cortisol levels to get all jacket up, which raises stress and blood pressure, weakens your immune system, and impacts your circulatory system because you’re staying in this hyper-sensitive state of upset.
Bowen notes that studies have shown that those who complain continuously tend to have more heart problems, have a higher risk of cancer, and are likely to carry more body fat.
This cleanse is definitely not easy and you will most likely have to start back at square one a few times. It is normal for one to take more than a month to actually make it through one day without voicing a complaint.
The goal of this cleanse is to reach unconscious competence where you simply do not complain and don’t have to constantly think about whether or not you’re complaining. If you successfully finish the 21 day cleanse you will feel a lot happier, your relationships will become stronger, and you will realize how most of your complaints are very minuscule.