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Is It Worth Crying Into A Vest? Why The Brain Is Bad When We Complain About Life - Self-development, Society
Is It Worth Crying Into A Vest? Why The Brain Is Bad When We Complain About Life - Self-development, Society

Video: Is It Worth Crying Into A Vest? Why The Brain Is Bad When We Complain About Life - Self-development, Society

Video: Is It Worth Crying Into A Vest? Why The Brain Is Bad When We Complain About Life - Self-development, Society
Video: 8 Habits That Will Change Your Life 2023, March

Each of us probably has acquaintances who are constantly pulling those around them into the abyss of hopelessness. Often such people find themselves alone, because negativity can drain those who are nearby. How to communicate with amateurs to complain? And what if you are such a person?

Obviously, we all like to complain from time to time about life, neighbors, bosses, or the weather. Our entire society is rather negative - watch at least the morning news bulletin or the school curriculum on literature.

There is a certain illusion that we should be happy, otherwise we live somehow wrong. But if you look at a person from the point of view of evolutionary psychology 1, it becomes clear that it was sensitivity to dangers, anxiety, disappointment, shame and other cool things that we so want to get rid of in a psychologist's office that made us human and helped our biological species survive … Our perception "by default" is tuned to the negative - it is natural that it is difficult to keep this to ourselves and we often want to share our pain with someone who is ready to turn his ear.

Negative styles

We are all different from each other in how we express our experiences. We have different families, different cultural contexts: someone was taught to always keep his face, while someone had constant streams of criticism and unrestrained hopelessness before their eyes.

As with any other personality trait, pessimism can manifest itself in different ways depending on the motive that drives the person. What motives could these be? And how to communicate with the person who pours out his soul to you, and even so that both of you feel better?

1. Let off steam

There are people who just need to be listened to. They look for opportunities to speak, but reject any advice, even sensible ones. It happens to each of us that we just want to speak out, but this does not always work out.

What does not work:

  • ready-made solutions to problems (“What are you complaining about, you just need to talk to your boss and everything will work out”);
  • depreciation ("I found something to be upset about, this is sheer trifles!").

What works:

  • active listening ("Oh, really? Are you upset because of this or because …?" or "Wait, do I understand correctly what happened like this …?");
  • validation ("I can imagine how difficult it was for you in this situation", "If I were you, I would also be very angry").

2. Get sympathy and support

Surely you can remember the moments in your life when it was unbearable to face difficulties one-on-one and it was important that someone was there. We all sometimes need to be encouraged, helped to see the situation from the other side, or to provide all possible help.

What does not work:

  • reducing the significance of the situation ("Maybe you just take it too close to your heart? This is not the end of the world!");
  • comparison with other people or situations ("But my neighbor in the country has cancer, and nothing, does not complain!").

What works:

  • interest and offer of help (“I would so much like to help you in this situation, I see how difficult it is for you - tell me what can I do to make it easier for you?”);
  • a story about my similar experience ("Yes, I can imagine how you feel - I remember that I felt about the same when …").

3. Understand the reasons and find a solution

Our mind has an amazing ability to analyze, plan and calculate different variants of events. But this superpower is only good when it really leads us to a solution to a problem, such as in chess or when assembling furniture. But if these thoughts go in a circle, become obsessive and worsen the mood instead of bringing relief and indicating a way out of the situation, this is called rumination. Her anxiety and hopelessness only increase, and I want to complain even more.

What does not work:

  • adding fuel to the fire (“But your boss doesn’t know about it yet… When the gossip reaches him, there will be horror!”);
  • increasing the importance of the deliberation process (“You need to figure it out properly, think hard about what went wrong”).

What works:

  • a clear plan of action ("Let's try to make a list of what you can do and choose the most realistic option");
  • focus on what makes the mood better ("Maybe we'd better think about what are the advantages in this situation?").

How pessimism programs the brain

Why bother trying to change anything? Why can't we just keep on stewing in thoughts and stories about how bad things are? The trouble is, negative thinking is a downward spiral that gradually makes things worse. The more you focus on problems instead of solving them, the more you become aware of the negative side of life.

Of course, all people sometimes have thoughts about the futility of being or universal injustice. It would be strange if in the modern world you lived in an impenetrable dome of daisies and unicorns. But it's important that negative thoughts either find expression (spoiler alert: words through your mouth) or lead you to problem solving. Why is it important?

It turns out that negativity physically destroys your brain. Dr. Rick Hanson, psychologist and senior researcher at the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley, explains this 2 by the influence of stress hormones: “… People who regularly experience stress, especially acute, traumatic stress, produce the hormone cortisol. It literally, almost like an acid, eats away at the hippocampus - the part of the brain that is involved in visual-spatial memory, as well as in remembering context and setting."

The hippocampus helps us learn new things, remember information and cope with stress, but cortisol disrupts neural connections in the hippocampus. At the same time, cortisol makes 3 work hard for the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for the threat response. The more we see danger, the more we see it, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. And the saddest thing is that this danger can be both real and fictional - but the body does not care. It can only be a negative thought or word - but our body perceives this as an irrefutable fact and gives out a physiological stress response.

In addition, negative thinking reinforces 4 neural pathways that are associated with emotions, with the result that they become an automatic reaction to what is happening. If you tell ten times about how the ending of your favorite series upset you, then the next time a similar situation will cause exactly the same emotional reaction and you will not even think about how you can look at it somehow differently.

This happens with any repetitive thoughts and actions: the more often we do something, the more often it happens by itself. But the same effect can play into our hands if we want to change our brain.

Smile and wave

You can train your brain to do just about anything, even when it comes to your worldview. The more effort you put into finding the positive aspects of any situation, the more often 5 this will happen automatically. At some point, you may have to sweat to find something to complain about!

4 easy steps to intentionally reprogram your brain

1. Be grateful

Every day, find reasons for gratitude, because it has a healing effect on the processes of neurohumoral regulation. If you keep a diary, write down two or three things every morning, actions, events for which you can say "thank you." If you start to get discouraged and worried, pause specifically to write these points down again. If it doesn't help, then you can challenge yourself and write down 10 reasons for gratitude, the main thing is to be honest with yourself. See how you feel at the end of this exercise.

2. Catch yourself if you can

Don't wait for friends or family to tell you that you are complaining again. Learn to pay attention to your thoughts and words. If you find yourself starting to complain, put all your energy into finding solutions and conclusions that can be drawn. And every time it works out, it is important to reward yourself for it - let the reward be at least a cup of your favorite tea.

3. Change your mood

If you feel yourself being sucked in by the swamp of negativity again, it's time to pull yourself out of there by the hair, like Baron Munchausen. Pause and switch to another activity. Sit down and start reading a book. Get busy preparing food. Go to the bathroom and wash your face. Listen to your favorite song. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and listen to the sounds outside. Focus on the smallest nuances of pleasure and relaxation. Try, as far as possible, not to splash this state, returning to daily activities.

4. Practice wise effort

Wise effort is the practice of letting go of whatever is not good for you. If your anxiety doesn't improve your life situation or serve as a lesson for you, it's time to let it go and continue doing what is valuable. In words, this is much easier than in real life - but why not give it a try? Each of us can turn to friends for real advice or write down design options. It takes a little more perseverance and awareness, and you will definitely succeed.



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