How many hours in any day can you be complaint free? Note that being disappointed, worrying, being fearful, anxious are actually forms of self- complaining. This is an interesting exercise to do with oneself, which brings forth one’s awareness around one’s habitual negative thinking patterns.
Some years ago, there was a church minister from Kansas City, USA who was encouraging people to embark on a twenty-one day no complains challenge. Apparently more than ten million people tried this, each wearing a rubber bracelet on one wrist and when the person complained they were to move the rubber bracelet onto the other arm. What resulted in this challenge, for most people, was people gained an insight into how regular complaints happened, taking most people four to eight months to complete the twenty-one-day challenge without complaining!
I recommend doing such an exercise yet reducing the time to just an hour. Challenge yourself to observe how many times within an hour you experience a negative thought. When you have a negative thought, write it down so you can merely keep track. Writing down what you observe, makes you more conscious, and your written list gives your brain neural feedback. It is important in doing such observation exercises to not blame yourself, of feel guilty or disempowered. Every day we all experience between thirty-five to fifty thousand thoughts per day. There is no need for you to be alarmed about having as many as twenty-five negative thoughts / feelings in a single hour. It matters more about you having insight into your thinking patterns and then choosing to embrace a training approach to shift your current negative thinking patterns to more supportive thought patterns. An effective method often used to help shift negative patters, is working with gratitude and kindness. Write down an observed negative thought you may be working with and next to that write down three things you are grateful for. Additionally, write down something you can do, an act of kindness you can do for someone within the next few hours. Get yourself into a relaxed state through breath work, long, slow breath work inhaling and exhaling slowly, gently closing your eyes and get into a calm, meditative, contemplative even reflective state of being. As you open your eyes, look at what you have written down, and move your eyes from the negative, to the gratitude to the act of kindness back and forth and observe how your negative state begins to diminish. This exercise is a great way you can begin to increase empathy and self-love and turn off circuits which generate negative thoughts and feelings.
Becoming conscious of what you are thinking, helps you to assess what you need to work on with regards to your beliefs. Training your brain to engage with more supportive thinking patterns will assist you to move towards shifting paradigms which no longer serve you. If you would like to make it easier, reward yourself with something pleasurable for completing an hour, or several hours, or a day without complaining. The more aware you become of the type of thoughts you have, the more you give yourself a choice what thoughts and feelings you want to keep experiencing through your own process of thought selection in relation to what serves you more. With choice you can literally start training your brain and reducing the number of negativities you have in each day. When you catch yourself being negative, immediately consider three positive thoughts you can generate to help you overcome what you have identified as a negative thought.
The goal in this exercise is not to try get rid of all negativity. There is a part of your brain the default mode network which constantly produces subconscious negativity which is done to ensure the rest of your brain is kept alert. So recognise the focus is to become aware of the negative thought patterns you are experiencing when you observe that occurring, which helps you to become more conscious and then to engage with training to educate yourself to learn to manage and begin to shift what thoughts you think.
Through your own observation skills and by stepping into training your brain, yes you can have a complaint free day filled with more positive thoughts which support you to take inspired action towards achieving the goals you have set for yourself and your life.
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