Complaining is draining. It’s a passive tool we all use. Sometimes it’s necessary and refreshing, but if you complain all the time it creates negativity.
Think this article doesn’t relate to you? Reflect on the last 24 hours – how often did you complain? If you can answer never then you’re in the minority. Our recent Employment Monitor found that 68.52% of workers find co-workers who complain draining. That’s why it’s important to be aware of complaining and consciously try to break the habit.
Not sure how? We’ve collected some ways to help you cut down.
If you love your job but find yourself complaining about your surroundings, the commute, the weather or daily work routine then you should consider remote working. The Future of Work Institute has found that working from home a few days a week, or going totally remote and working from a different country, is becoming more common.
Not all jobs offer this but if your work could be done as easily from home, or a café in Italy, as it could from your office then it’s worth considering.
Mindfulness & meditation
Some people get a bit apprehensive when mindfulness is mentioned but it’s really just about awareness. If you find yourself on a complaining rampage take a minute and be aware of the situation. Remind yourself that there are worse problems in the world and there’s likely to be a solution to your complaint.
Download a meditation app, such as Headspace, and introduce it to your daily routine. Scientists have proven that a few minutes of regular mediation increases the gray matter at the front of the brain – which in simple terms means an increase in positive emotions, longer-lasting emotional stability and daily focus.
Get enough sleep
A poor night’s sleep will make you more negative. It’s scientifically proven that lack of sleep makes people more hostile towards others, less empathetic and overall less friendly. Sleep deprivation also makes it difficult to concentrate or think creatively.
Basically, if you don’t sleep you’re more likely to complain more at work. Combat this by avoiding evening coffees and excess alcohol and setting a good night time routine.
Take a break
If you feel yourself getting agitated take a break. Spend your work break with a colleague whose company you enjoy, or call a friend and have a laugh – rather than a moan.
If you feel like you’re in a bad mood and don’t want to be around people the worst thing to do is sit in isolation. Laughing releases endorphins and sends dopamine to your brain, making whatever it is that’s bothering you seem less significant. But if nobody is around, a brisk walk can have a similar effect.
Meet with HR or your manager
If your complaints are serious go to HR, to your manager or someone you’re comfortable talking to within the company. They can offer you advice on what steps to take to solve the issues.
Don’t be worried about approaching HR with a complaint. They will appreciate your honest feedback much more than if you complain in secret to other colleagues or friends.
Everyone complains. Whether it’s about the weather, their partner, their favourite breakfast scone being sold out, inconvenient banking hours or in this case – work. Try to avoid being the office complainer by taking a breather and implementing these little changes.