what i learnt this week 2017 :: WEEK 4

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There is a Chilean saying “que rico es quejar” which translates to it’s lovely to complain.

I grew up hearing this saying (being the massive wog that I am) but as it turns out… it is not true. Complaining is BAD (said in the voice of Mr Mackey from South Park who always says ‘Drugs are bad’).

In 2004 I attended a pain clinic to learn how to live with chronic pain. One of the first things they taught us was that pain responds to attention and the more attention you give it the more pain you will have. It is a downward spiral. This is the reason you will rarely hear me complain about how much bloody pain I am in… it just doesn’t do you any good.

I recently read an article in The Huffington Post titled How Complaining Rewrites Your Brain for Negativity and it was fascinating to learn how bad complaining is for your overall health.

Just like smoking, eating sugar and doing other bad stuff… it feels good to complain. Our brains are very efficient and the more we do an action the more likely we are to keep doing it – as neuroscientists like to say “neurons that fire together, wire together.” It’s what makes our brains so efficient. This efficiency applies to both good and bad behaviour and habits.

So if you complain a lot, then you will continue to complain a lot and it will only get worse. Complaining can also shrink your hippocampus (the part of your brain responsible for problem solving and intelligent thought). Think about that for a minute.

Complaining can also lead to increased blood pressure and blood sugar thanks to the release of the stress hormone cortisol. Excessive exposure to cortisol can also impact your immune system, increases the risk of high cholesterol, diabetes, heart attack and weight gain leading to obesity.

So instead of feeling like a failure because you didn’t lose the weight you wanted to, take stock of your complaining habits and start to make some changes. It might be just as important as doing exercise or eating well.

In short, complaining is bad for your health, shrinks your brain, makes you fat and most likely makes you difficult to be around… time to reconsider mindless complaining.

You can read the article here.

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what i learnt this week 2016 :: WEEK 30

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Have you noticed how busy everyone is? Every time you ask someone how they are it triggers a frantic list of things they have done or have to do and how incredibly busy they are.

Aren’t we all busy? Sure some people more than others but I’ve worked on projects with people who complain so much about being busy, that if they had spent that time doing rather than complaining they would have completed whatever they were complaining they didn’t have time to do. It’s a bit mental.

Busy in an addiction. It’s almost as if we need to validate our existence by proving how incredibly busy we are and by doing so we are saying ‘I’m important’.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t complain about things in life that bother us but if busy is all you’ve got going on, it might be time to reassess your life, what is important to you, what you are choosing to take on and what tasks you can say no to so that your life is less hectic and more manageable.

If you feel guilty because you’ve taken a moment to enjoy a quiet cup of tea, chat to a mate or binge watch OITNB then you likely have a busy addiction. It is important to meet targets and get things done in life, but it is also important to look after ourselves and recharge so that we can be the best version of ourselves and not a tired + angry + busy mess.

You don’t have to be productive 100% of the time. Be busy – just don’t wear it as a badge of honour.

Remember the old saying… all work and no play makes you a very dull person.

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