A Stress Relief Technique that Turns Your Problems into Satisfying Solutions


Have you ever noticed how much time people spend complaining? If so, you may have noticed that the worst part about complaining is that it eats up a great deal of time and mental energy, leaves us [tag-tec]feeling stressed out[/tag-tec] and doesn’t getting much changed about the situation. Complaining also has physical effect, leaving you feeling tense and uncomfortable and people who are chronic complainers often end up becoming very cynical and negative assuming nothing will ever change.


From the time we are small children, our parents have taught us the difference between right and wrong. Everyone knows the “good” and “bad” ways to act.  When someone notices something they don’t like, often the first impulse is to make a judgment about whether it is “right” or “wrong.” This can lead to judging people as inappropriate or unacceptable, based on their actions we observe.

For most people, this judgment acts as a defense mechanism to keep ourselves and our feelings safe. If we can feel that our actions were “right,” then it’s far easier to assume the other person is “wrong.” We assume that if our actions are “right,” then others will not have any reason to judge us, therefore keeping us safe.

All these internal judgments inevitably turn into complaints, and we end up spending our time complaining to ourselves about the situation or the person involved.  However, because complaining actually makes us feel bad—and, as human beings, what we want most is to feel good–we end up sharing our complaints with other people. Our hope is that if we talk to others about our complaint they will agree with us and we will feel better and find the [tag-tec]happiness[/tag-tec] we are actually looking for.


There are two possibilities that can occur when we complain to other people. One possibility is that they may agree with us and join in with the complaining, which leads both parties to feel tense, agitated, and uncomfortable. The next possibility is that the other person disagrees with us, which can lead to additional conflict and more uncomfortable feelings. Regardless of which way the complaining leads, it rarely leads either person to feel better about the situation. Additionally, any time spent complaining is time that is not spent finding a way to make the situation better.

“If you don’t like something change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.” ~Maya Angelou

It is hard to remember the reality of a situation when we spend so much time complaining. The facts get clouded by our blaming, judging, and complaining, which makes us feel more stressed about any situation and less able to find a solution. When we continue to complain about something, we often forget why we even started to complain in the first place.

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” ~Mark Twain


One way to stop complaining is to really think about why you are complaining in the first place. Approaching every situation that you had a complaint about as an opportunity to start taking action to change things may help you relieve stress and find more peace and happiness at the same time.

How is this possible? Complaints can actually be the key to your happiness if you use them to unlock the deeper meanings about your judgment and irritation. Complaining is almost always a reflection of your true underlying values and what you want to see happening in this situation. When something you really want is not happening, it will lead to complaining. But, the complaint is merely a distraction from the true situation unless you use it to make a change.

“Now, 10 years later, the person who talked and complained is still talking and complaining and still remains in the same position. The person who took the initiative and found solutions has been promoted several times.” ~Catherine Pulsifer

Here’s the [tag-tec]stress relief[/tag-tec] you’re looking for…


1) If you are looking to find solutions begin by downloading a free Values worksheet to help you identify what is most important to you.


2) After completing the [tag-tec]Core Values[/tag-tec] Worksheet, think about what came up as important topics, and what is missing from the situation that is currently a problem. Identify these using value words.

3) When you catch yourself complaining about a situation, ask yourself:

  • “What would be different if I did not judge this situation as right or wrong?”
  • “What is very important to me that is missing in this situation?”
  • “What can I do to experience what is missing for me?” “What can I change here?”

As an example, you might find that you were hoping for more connection in relationships or more self-discipline to complete tasks and projects.  If you find yourself complaining about being too busy, perhaps what’s missing is balance or relaxation. If you find yourself complaining about your partner nagging at you all the time, then maybe what’s missing is understanding or better communication.

4) Take some time to reflect and ask yourself, “If I could change the situation to include things that are important to me, would I be complaining about the present situation?”

5) Lastly, consider, “How can I act to make a change in this situation to make it include what I want most?”

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Victor Frankl


Want more Happiness in your life? – Don’t Stop, Just Start!

Tag: Happiness,Personal GrowthBeth and Neill

stop stoppingStop Stopping

Do you ever feel uncomfortable when you are surrounded by people who are complaining and seem unhappy all the time? Studies show that having a positive attitude can lead you toward greater happiness. You probably know this is true. Don’t you feel better when you have an upbeat outlook on life?

Now the questions become: How do you stay happy, positive, and stop reacting to the negativity of others? And how can you still be a good listener and at the same time avoid being bombarded by complaints?

“Nothing can bring you happiness but yourself.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The first thing to understand is that you can never stop doing anything, you can only start doing something else.

So what can you can start doing that will help you stay positive and continue to be a good listener?

You can start learning how to be more self-connected–use your discomfort as a warning that it’s time to turn your attention towards something you enjoy. Then practice the art of empathy–listen under the surface of any complaint for the values hiding within it.

Once you learn these skills and begin practicing them, you’re bound to find more of the happiness you’re looking for.

With Love and a Commitment to a Happier World,

Beth and Neill

Why We Complain and How to Shut Us Up

Tag: Happiness,Personal Growth,Stress ReliefBeth and Neill

Feeling Dissatisfied?

Have you ever thought about all the time people spend grumbling about what they don’t like? Are you tired of hearing yourself and other [tag-tec]people complain[/tag-tec]? What if all the time and energy people spent complaining could be channeled into fixing what it is that they’re dissatisfied about?

[tag-tec]We all have complaints[/tag-tec]. Whenever we’re irritated or frustrated, it often seems like the first course of action is to complain. While it may seem that voicing our complaints is a way to relieve stress, complaining actually distracts us from the cause of our dissatisfaction and prevents us from improving the situation. Over time, [tag-tec]constant complaining [/tag-tec]can create a feeling of hopelessness that keeps us from experiencing the happiness we seek.

“Realize that if you have time to complain about something, then you have the time to do something about it.”
~ Anthony D’Angelo

Feeling unhappy is a signal that something important-something we value-is missing in that situation. The key to finding authentic happiness is learning to dig beneath the surface complaint and discover what you value that’s missing. Then you can decide which actions you can take to do something about it.

Next time you hear yourself complaining–Stop–Identify what’s missing for you in this situation and decide on one action you can take in that moment to experience what you want. Give it a try and let us know what happens.

With love,
Beth and Neill