COMPLAINING AND YOUR HEALTH

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COMPLAINING AND YOUR HEALTH

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psyche-thumbWhen I realized that there was going to be a blackout tomorrow (this was written Friday evening), I began to feel frustrated, and angry, and venting to the air why it has to be the whole day. I usually submit my article early Saturday morning and spend my Friday evening relaxing with family.

We all have moments of dissatisfaction and frustration. But there are people who go beyond bounds. They feel frustrated and complaining all the time.  They always see a dark spot in the white paper, so to speak. We have them as a colleague, a neighbor, or even part of our family.

To complain for legitimate reasons is valid but it may not be very good to our health if it is perennial. For some of us, we think that complaining or venting out our emotions will make us feel better. But it appears that is not the case.

Research suggests that not only does expressing negativity tend not to make us feel better, it will also make others feel worse and it is contaminating. But not only that, complaining actually alters brain wirings and can have serious repercussions on one’s health.

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The brain consists of neural connections that are strengthened depending on its degree of stimulation. A single thought creates a bridge between neurons and the more you think of this thought, the closer and stronger the bridge becomes between neurons, rewiring its own circuitry in the process.

Now, if you are gloomy and complaining, it will make that particular part of your brain circuitry active and stronger, and makes these negative thoughts very easy to trigger by virtue of the well placed wiring for that particular thought.Not only do repeated negative thoughts make it easier to think yet more negative thoughts, they also make it more likely that negative thoughts will occur to you just randomly walking down the street.

In thinking, like attracts like. A negative thinker and complainer will also likely attract negative thinkers. But even if you are not, hanging out with people filled with negativity will have the same brain effect as thinking negatively on your own.

How? When we see someone experiencing an emotion, our brain tends to mirror it to imagine what the person is going through. Our brain mimics the brain activity of the other person. That is what we call empathy. This is exactly what happens during festivals or events where we practically share the same sentiments and emotions.

So, if you surround yourself with people who are gloomy, pessimistic, and complaining, then you will also become one. So, be wary of who you hang out with. Chances are, you will become like them. Indeed, birds of the same feather flock together.

But of course the opposite is also true. You hang out with loving, caring, altruistic, generous people, you also become like them.

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Complaining is also bad for the health. When the brain is always complaining and angry, the body releases cortisol, or the stress hormone. Elevated levels of cortisol interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase wait gain, increase blood pressure, cholesterol, heart disease, and so on.

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So, stop complaining and be more positive. Go with people who are grateful, generous, loving, and happy. Otherwise, you shall reap the fruits; a sickly body and soul.

P.S. Enrollment for Summer 2016 has started in Bohol Child Head Start. Program offerings include Therapeutic Play for 2-4 year olds, Creative Arts, Subject Tutorials, etc. For further inquiries, please call or text 416-1248/09295571136. (By Kit Nemenzo Balane)

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