The Hidden Habit You Have And How To Set Yourself Free

The Hidden Habit You Have And How To Set Yourself Free

Complaining about complaining

Everybody has it, this toxic habit, at least to some extent. Complaining about the weather, the traffic, blaming the economy, that stupid neighbor, the bad internet connection or just life in general – cause life stinks.

This is not how it “should” be. Have you caught yourself complaining that there shouldn’t be all those regulations, the tax system, or you know, just money in general? Rejecting reality can be exhausting, not only for you, but also for the people around you.

Toxic for the brain

BrainA study from Standford University showed that if exposed to 30 minutes of complaining every day, neurons are damaged in parts of the brain responsible for problem solving and cognitive functioning.

If you are surrounded by people complaining a lot, it becomes more likely that you mimic their behavior. It’s best to think ahead, looking to make the best out of the given to keep full functioning instead of impairing yourself. Even if you are a passive complainer (as in passive smoker) it can be harmful for your mental health.


What is good about complaining anyways?

Research from Clemson University shows: If used effectively, complaining can lead to positive changes in your environment. However, constant criticism isn’t working as people tend to filter out critique of chronic complainers. Awareness of complaining how much, about what and to whom is essential.

As Guy Winch, Ph.D. puts in Psychology Today “Just as ineffective complaining can damage our mental health, complaining effectively and getting results can be incredibly empowering and it can affect our mood and self-esteem for the better.”

Here are some tips on how to break that hidden habit and become more positive instead:

1. Don’t try to change things you simply can‘tLet me change what I can, accept what I cannot and grant me the wisdom to know the difference.

We cannot change the weather, the traffic or the boss’ narcissism. There are things we simply cannot change or control. So it might be helpful to keep this in mind:

“If there is something that you can fix, then there is nothing to worry about. If there is something you can’t fix, then there is nothing to worry about.”

2. Gaze towards the sun

Sometimes we forget about the things we do have and keep complaining about the things we don’t.Quote If you gaze towards the sun the shadow will fall behind you

In those moments of complaint, reminding yourself of those things you already have and being thankful for them can be very powerful.

Not convinced yet? Make a list of those things you are thankful for or good things that happened and you will see that there is so much more to be thankful and that time spent complaining is a waste of time.

3. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Our heaviest complaints often are targeted toward ourselves. Mistakes are there to be made. There is no need to see you as a failure. Notice what happened, learn from it and try something else the next time. Learning from mistakes means to improve yourself.

You are not falling if your are falling forward!

4. Change is the new constant, deal with it!

16 Complaint free bench-731423
old man sitting on bench

Life holds lots of surprises and usually it’s full of changes. So learning to adapt to change is key. Try to find other possible perspectives on how to look at the change you are facing. There has to be something positive about it.

What can you find that is good about the situation, about others and about yourself? It is very likely that we don’t see it at first, but spotting the treasure afterwards will be even more satisfying.

5. Communicating instead of judging

Complaining can be a great tool for initiating change. Complaining about that co-worker of yours who treated you in a way you didn’t like, but without telling her your issue, doesn’t help anybody. Communicating team working together

The co-worker will keep doing it without even knowing that you are annoyed by it.

Instead: Try to put yourself in your co-worker’s shoes to understand the reason for the behavior. This way you can decide whether you want to communicate it to her in a solution-oriented and constructive way or whether it’s even up to you to change your own behavior.

6. Be aware of your words

There really are numerous triggers to start complaining, but is it really worth it? If you feel the urge to complain, take a second to pause and ask yourself these three short questions: 1. Is it kind? 2. Is it true? 3. Is it really necessary?

Sometimes we simply need a listening ear. We want someone to be there to know our pain or frustrations. The tricky one here is to be able to talk about it.

3 steps to see things clearly

These three steps can be helpful to see things clearly:

  1. Make a list: Writing can be a powerful alternative to speaking it out loud. It can help you see your complaints and you might want to rethink them and let them go.
  1. Schedule: This may sound a little awkward, but sometimes it can be helpful to ‘schedule’ a complaining date. You give yourself 10 minutes time to get rid of all your complaints and tell them to somebody. This will ensure to not lose yourself in your deepening spiral of complaints. With the previous two steps you have basically filtered those to the most urgent and important complaints.
  1. Action: Now, find out about the complaints you can actually do something about and find a solution-oriented way to communicate it to the right person.

Happy, complaint-free couple sitting on bench at San Francisco bay

The detox challenge!

I’m up for it! My own 7-day detox program, completely complaint-free. I don’t know about you, but I am complaining way too much. There are certain things that are how they are. So from today on, there will be no more complaints.

Find a friend or challenge partner to keep you accountable for or even better, take on the challenge together. Make sure, you agree on a signal (not as a punishment, just as a signal) you’ll send each other in case a complain slips out – and for sure, this will happen. This might be giving each other a friendly wink (this is what we are going to do), a decent hug or a high five for celebrating that you have made it for a whole hour this time.

Warning: side effects of not complaining are feeling lighter, happier and even more awesome!


Connecting Through Acroyoga: 5 Reasons to Try It (+ Videos)

Connecting Through Acroyoga: 5 Reasons to Try It (+ Videos)

What happens if you combine yoga, acrobatics and Thai massage? Acroyoga is born!

It is a very new sport, with the term used for the first time in 1999 by Acroyoga Montreal in Canada. In its beginning stage it was used in performance arts and dance. Later in 2003, Jenny Sauer-Klein and Jason Nemer from Acroyoga practice incorporated healing arts.

Acroyoga is a type of partner yoga combining concepts of acrobatics with yogic principles. The practice consists of three persons, one taking the role of a so-called flyer, the other functions as a base and a third person is the spotter. The base assists the flyer in various poses and the spotter supervises the movements and can help if the base and the flyer are unstable.

The base can assist the flyer in stretches and can knead him or her – these practices are used during Thai massage. Primarily, the base’s legs, core and arms get strengthened and depending on the flyer’s position their back is released, muscles are stretched and strengthened.

5 reasons to do Acroyoga

1. Every Body can do it! Yes, you too!

Have you ever seen people doing acroyoga and thought it is only for acrobats? Did you think that only flexible, strong and daring people can do it? Nope! Most of acroyoga’s magic lies in the bone stacking technique. This means that basically every body type can be lifted since much of the stability lies in the structure.

2. It’s especially rewarding for beginners!

It can be done by every level of experience. You learn while doing it, so there is no reason to think you are not good enough to do it. Seeing impressive-looking lifts may seem intimidating, but only by trying, making mistakes, practicing more and more you will eventually be able to do these poses!

3. It’s a fun way to get fit!

Doing yoga and acrobatics simultaneously helps to strengthen the body by using the benefits of both sports. The yogic practice of synchronizing the breath with the movement helps to oxygenate the body and increases focus, which in turn helps with balancing to successfully do the poses. The Acroyoga practice helps to build stronger arms, legs and core and it lengthens and stretches the spine.

At yogabarn in Bali

4. Getting out of your comfort zone!

It is not just a workout that will make you more flexible, balanced and strong. Doing new challenging activities helps to boost self-confidence.

Going to an acroyoga class or meet-up does not mean you have to bring a partner. As long as there are more than two people, acroyoga can be done! It is wonderful to see couples, friends and people that just have met trying new, challenging things together. Between people bonds are made or strengthened and a great environment to overcome boundaries together is set.

5. It improves understanding between one another and builds community

You have to feel the other person to form a stable structure and to lift him or her up. Understanding the other person’s body teaches you about him or her. Both flyer and base are dependent on one another to make the movements work. Otherwise the flyer will fall on the base, which nobody wants!

Communication and trust form the basis to successfully doing acroyoga. Many people may agree that those are also the basis for a healthy relationship. To zoom out this understanding, good relationships between groups of people helps to form healthy communities!

Acroyoga session
At yogabarn in Bali


Have a look at these beautiful acroyoga videos:

Ready to start flying? 

Here is an Introduction and a youtube learning series to get started!