Mary Manz Simon, ALOA Board of Directors
Have you hosted a pity party recently?
Although this singular event respects social distancing – after all, group size is limited to merely me, myself and I – whining isn’t useful. Griping or going totally ballistic drains energy and takes us farther away from the positive thinking of our Christian mindset. Even worse, researchers tell us that chronic complaining can rewire our brains. Simply stated, complaining is habit-forming.
The aches and pains that come with aging offer multiple opportunities for negativity. But dreary self-talk signals the need for an attitude adjustment. Step beyond gloom and doom by taking these steps:
- Honestly face underlying feelings. Merely pretending to be positive is a dead-end solution that can further drain our emotional banks. If you deserve to have a crabby morning, wallow in negativity for an hour or two and then move on.
- Surround yourself with optimistic people. Scientists say our brains unconsciously mimic the moods of those around us.
- Be alert to sudden negativity that signals a significant change. Irritability can be caused by medications, drug interactions, infections or illness. Apply knowledge of yourself to determine the need to reach out.
In the Bible, we read that Moses got so tired of hearing the Israelites complain that this mighty leader begged God to kill him! To avoid God’s complaint threshold, choose gratitude over grumbling. Your brain will be healthier, and you and those around you will be happier.