Everyone complains about something every now and then – it is in our nature to want things we can’t have, have to attend things we don’t want to attend, and yes, even to hit the gym when we would rather watch a show on Netflix with a bag of chips. Complaints are different for everyone, and some people complain more than others (be honest, you know who you are!). But, apart from really not getting anyone anywhere, did you know that complaining itself is actually really bad for you? That’s right – according to scientific studies, researchers have found that complaining is actually bad for your brain, and overall mental health.
Why Is It So Bad?
Aside from being unpleasant to the people actually listening to our complaints, when we complain, our own negativity actually gets to our psyche more than we realize. Whether you’re the one doing the complaining, or listening to someone complain, studies have shown that just a half hour of complaining can actually cause damage to your brain, masking the part of your brain that solves problems with negativity. Needless to say, if you are complaining and you can’t solve your problems, you are probably not getting anywhere.
It Is A Repeating Cycle
When there is something that you are frustrated about, how many people do you talk to about it? Chances are, more than one. Complaining about a gripe to one person might not be so bad, but when it becomes two, three, or even ten people, the wear and tear from complaining on our brains and bodies can really have negative effects. Again, it causes distress to our brains, but the repeating pattern can actually cause a build-up in our bodies of cortisol, which is a hormone that is directly linked to stress. Too much stress can cause major health problems in our bodies, including weight gain, lack of sleep, and even depression!
We Complain The Wrong Way
Believe it or not, there is a right way, and a wrong way to complain – unfortunately, most of us do it the wrong way 99% of the time. Guy Winch, from Stanford University, is one of the main characters behind this study of complaining and our brains, and he says there are several steps to take when it comes to complaining ‘correctly,’ including:
- Every complaint should have a purpose behind it
- Every complaint should start with a positive statement
- Every complaint should be simple, and brief
- Every complaint should end with a positive statement
- Every complainer should consider who they are complaining to
Now, it might not be easy to take all of these steps into consideration if there is something really bugging you that you would just love to complain about, but they are important ways to take a step back and dig deeper into why you might be complaining in the first place. If you can do it the right way, it could become more beneficial, and less harmful to you. Doctor Winch’s final piece of advice on complaining? Let it go!
Again, all of us complain from time to time, but we might not realize what it is actually doing to our bodies, and our overall health. It is not always easy to take a step back from a negative situation and really think about how you can communicate your frustrations in a more productive way, but according to this latest research, it’s one of the most important things you can do for your brain’s health. The next time you feel like complaining about something that’s really getting on your nerves, try considering how to complain ‘properly,’ take a breath, pause, and construct your complaint in such a way that will actually move you forward, instead of getting you stuck in a vicious cycle.
50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions
What are existential questions?
Existential questions are usually deep, philosophical questions that question just that — our very existence.
They can be great conversation starters and they can also sometimes make for a passionate discussion. The following existential questions can be a great way to get to know someone better and perhaps even learn new things about yourself.
The word existential comes from the Latin word “existentia”, which means to exist. Existential questions challenge our way of thinking, our beliefs and our perspective.
Is there a right or wrong answer to an existential question? Perhaps not, as each question usually just asks more questions.
I have put together the following list of thought provoking existential questions so that you can perhaps start an internal conversation with yourself or start an interesting debate with your friends.
50 Thought Provoking Existential Questions
1. Are there limits to human creativity?
2. What makes something beautiful?
3. How do we know if we’re doing the right thing?
4. Who am I?
5. What is one thing that every human should get to experience in their life?
6. Do you believe in a power greater than humanity?
7. Are we given enough time?
8. Is privacy a right?
9. What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?
10. Are we alone in the universe?
11. What is love?
12. How would you define genius?
13. What do you think your purpose is?
14. If babies are considered innocent, when do people cease to be innocent?
15. Is it better to expand your knowledge or to deepen it?
16. Why do you think we are here?
17. How important is ‘play’ in living a healthy and fulfilling life?
18. Do you have a right to be happy, or should you earn it?
19. What happens when I die?
20. What worries me the most about the future?
21. What is a person? Is it the mind, or the body?
22. Would the world be a better place if all leaders were women? If you answered yes, why?
23. What activity have I done that has made me feel the most alive?
24. Does truth exist without evidence?
25. If I had to instill one piece of advice in a newborn baby’s mind, what advice would I give?
26. Does a person have a soul? If so, where is it?
27. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?
28. Is it more important to love or be loved?
29. What would make the world a better place?
30. How should we measure our lives? In years? In moments? In accomplishments? Something else?
31. What is the difference between living and simply existing?
32. If you died today, would you be satisfied with the life you’ve lived?
33. What advice would you tell your younger self?
34. Which is worse: failing or never trying?
35. Is a minimum wage a good idea? What about a maximum wage?
36. What is the most important goal every person should have?
37. Can anything ever really be considered ‘true’ or is everything subjective?
38. Is the world a better place with humans in it?
39. If extra-terrestrial life was discovered, how do you think humanity would react?
40. Is happiness just a mixture of chemicals circulating through our bodies?
41. Where do you think we go when we die?
42. Have I done anything lately worth remembering?
43. Can you ever have full control over your own life?
44. How do you know that you are not dreaming right now?
45. Is one lifetime enough?
46. What matters most in my life?
47. Is a person ever truly evil? If so, are they born that way?
48. What is the meaning of life?
49. Is humanity going in the right or wrong direction?
50. What does it mean to live a good life?
I hope that you enjoyed these thought provoking existential questions. I hope that they perhaps made you think about your beliefs, yourself and the world around you (the bigger picture). If you discuss these questions with a friend, remember, there is probably no right and wrong answers, usually just a matter of opinion.
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