Today is the 4th day of my No-Complaining Challenge. I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve slowly become more mindful of all the little ways I sneak in complaining into my life. Yes, I’m still complaining!

I like talking, anyone who knows me that if you give me 5 minutes and catch me in the right mood, I will talk your ear off about whatever I’m fired up about, whether it’s a dear passion of mine, something exciting I’ve done, a new place I’ve been to, or something that’s ticking me off for whatever reason. IE, complaining.

If I’m feeling the desire to complain, there’s obviously something in my current reality that isn’t making me happy.

I know I’m not alone in that. Complaining, venting, ruminating upon things we’re not happy about is practically a national pastime. Get a group of friends together, or start a conversation with someone and eventually the conversation goes to something unsatisfactory about one of the lives of the people gathered together.

But complaining is an acceptance that my current situation sucks and there’s nothing I can do to change it.

Energy goes where my attention and awareness goes. My reality is created by my thoughts. If my thoughts create my reality and if my thoughts are focused on things I complain about, then my reality is shaded by this more negative outlook, thus enforcing what I’m complaining about is my reality.

On day 4 of this challenge, I’m finding that I do complain. A lot. It happens despite my intentions not to, and I realize that I need something to prevent and redirect my attention once I find myself having the urge to vent, complain, and whine. I’ve noticed how often I’ll grab my phone to shoot a text to a friend about something that I’m not happy about. But this time, I’ll stop myself, thinking “wow, this is complaining.”

I’ve come up with a list of things to do once I find myself having the urge do vent and whine. You know COMPLAIN. Because it’s going to happen.

Here’s the list of options that I’ve come up with once I find myself complaining:

  • Counter the complaint with a positive affirmation. This one is a little “say what?!” But stay with me here. In most situations, there’s many different ways of looking at things, and with complaining, I’m choosing to take the lower vibration outlook. For example, right now I’m in San Diego on vacation, and it’s 55 degrees and raining. One of the reasons why I’m visiting is because I wanted some sun, away from Chicago, which happens to be 66 degrees and sunny. A usual reaction would be upset, that I don’t get to experience what I thought I was going to experience, but I’m happy, it’s a slower pace here, and it gives me the chance to read a book I normally wouldn’t give myself the time to read.
  • Take Action. Is there anything that can be changed about the situation? If I’m complaining about the cold, can I put on a sweater? Turn up the heat? I know that’s a small example, but I have infinite power over my situation than I give credit for.
  • Or move on from the situation, refusing to give it any attention. This one is the type I’d categorize under what I’d typically grab my phone to send a whiny text to a friend about something I’m not happy about. Yes, in the moment, i’d be bonding with someone over something that’s not making me happy, but in the long run, I’d be creating this negative vibration when I could be focusing on something else.