STYLE

Could You Give Up Complaining?

08/08/2014 12:51 | Updated 20 May 2015

Have you heard of the complaining cleanse? It's a detox from negativity and it's catching on.

complaining

New York Magazine writer Melissa Dahl recently decided to give up complaining, or as she puts it "no shit-talking" for one whole week. Inspired by a friend who realised her constant venting was making her life too stressful, Dahl carried out her own personal complaining cleanse.

"I decided to go a week without expressing any dissatisfaction, taking notes documenting when I wanted to complain and what I said instead," she writes on The Science of Us.

It almost sounds easy, doesn't it? But by 10am on day one, Dahl had "already screwed up" and an hour later, she had sent an email to her boyfriend to complain about how tired she felt.

After discovering a clever way to vent ("I started DMing a friend on Twitter, never complaining myself but asking her leading questions that I knew would result in her complaining") Dahl started to "get the hang of it" before she faced her biggest challenge of the week - a dinner date with an old friend.

"Over a couple glasses of wine, we did veer closely into complaining, but I course-corrected by asking her questions about her little family of four," she says.

"How were her daughters? How was the older one's first week at pre-school? What was it like to go back to work with two little ones at home? We talked about everything we'd usually talk about, but without the negativity. It was just ... nice."

Dahl isn't the only one who has put life "without negativity" to the test. In a similar experiment for Good Housekeeping magazine, Ann Hodgman enjoyed a similarly enlightening experience.

"It forced me to take an extra moment to consider what I wanted to say; that's something I plan to keep up," she writes. "Positive words come to me more naturally now, and I like knowing that I can shift conversation to more tranquil channels."

Do you want to feel "tranquil," "positive" or simply "nice"? Start by counting how many times you groan about something in a day before tackling the hardest part - cutting complaints out all together (even on a Monday morning.)

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