About a week ago, I made a declaration to myself: It was time to stop moaning. It’s funny—from the outside, you might think I was one of the most positive people ever. And while it’s true that I make an effort to look on the bright side, and have even been criticized for my starry-eyed view of the world, that doesn’t mean I’m above complaining.
Don’t look all coy, now. I know that you know exactly what I’m talking about! Sometimes, having a whine about how things just aren’t going your way can feel delicious, like letting out a breath you’ve held for too long.
But eventually, there comes a point where you realize that your petite protests and pocket-sized peeves are effecting everyone around you. When I finally became aware of the fact that every time I had a gripe, it dragged down the energy of the room, I decided I had to do something about it. I issued myself a challenge: one week without complaining.
My week was not without incident. I had many moments where I tried to justify my bellyaching as “just stating the facts,” and even times where I’d catch myself mid-moan and say, “Oh, I’m complaining, I’m going to stop that now.” On the very first day, I was astounded by how many times I would find myself swallowing my words in an effort to stay positive.
One of the most illuminating things about this experiment was realizing how often we use misery to identify with others. In a slow moving line at a grocery store, strangers bitch to create connection; and family members use historical grief as a way of rekindling old memories. Those things have their place, I suppose…. But wouldn’t the world be a happier place if we could just give it a miss?
I’m now—theoretically—done with my assignment, but it really opened my eyes, and it’s a challenge I’m bringing with me into the future. Avoiding complaining was at least as effective in managing my mood as a regular gratitude practice, and, best of all, I was no longer sucking the energy out of a room with my little grumbles!
If you’re interested in learning how to turn around a bad mood on a dime, I believe your sign can support you. Here's how:
CARDINAL SIGNS: Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn
Your Bad Mood Rx: Change Your Focus!
Cardinal signs are so energetic and excitable that for you, the easiest way to slip out of making a stink is to simply think about something else! Make the most of your ability to get new things popping and literally shift your thoughts. Sure, you might be annoyed in the moment, but you have an uncanny capacity to drop one notion and move onto another. So why not use it to its maximum potential? For a cardinal sign, this can be as easy as: 1. Take a deep breath in, while thinking, I choose love. 2. Exhale, while thinking, I surrender [name your negative thought]. Now, you're free to think whatever beautiful thoughts you like!
FIXED SIGNS: Aquarius, Taurus, Leo, Scorpio
Your Bad Mood Rx: Flip to Gratitude
It’s true that one of the fixed signs’ best and worst qualities is being too, well, “fixed.” It can help you get things done, but sometimes, when you’re in misery mode, it can feel almost impossible to change your mindset. Instead of trying to do a total about-face, why not focus on gratitude? Despite your irritations, there’s always an upside to your problems, so start making a practice of looking for the silver lining.
MUTABLE SIGNS: Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius
Your Bad Mood Rx: Focus On What You Can Fix
Nimble-minded and versatile, mutable signs (including me, a card-carrying Virgo!) are able to see the multiple facets of most problems. Take advantage of this! Next time you find yourself on the cusp of a complaint, take a breath and ask yourself, What's one thing I can do to resolve this? When you take ownership of your problems, then you can begin to change them. And nothing feels better than that.
Stop complaining and start living!
Photos by Made U Look Photography
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