Ever have a vent session? I’m talking about a full-blown, 30 minutes to an hour of venting. It might be a great feeling, getting all of that stress off of your chest, but there are some scientific flaws that go with it. It might make the person expressing how they feel better, however the listeners will feel worse. So it’s bad for your mood and the mood of your friends/loved ones, but that’s not all. Research shows that it’s bad for your brain and your health, too. Author and student of human nature, Steven Parton, explains that complaining alters your brain and causes negative repercussions for your mental health. With that in mind, we’ve created two settings that relate to Parton’s argument on linking complaining to health issues.
- You and the people you hang out with are the same.
If you think it’s bad to spend time with your own negative thoughts, spending time with negative people does have the exact same effect. Parton explains: “When we see someone experiencing an emotion, our brain ‘tries out’ that same emotion to imagine what the other person is going through. And it does this by attempting to fire the same synapses in your own brain so that you can attempt to relate to the emotion you’re observing.” What we can take away from this is that you want to surround yourself with happy people and wire your brain towards love.
- Stress has a negative effect on your body.
Eliminating the habit of complaining not only protects your sanity, but it also builds up your armor and is essential for your physical health. Parton argues, “When your brain is firing off these synapses of anger, you’re weakening your immune system; you’re raising your blood pressure, increasing your risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes, and a plethora of other negative ailments.” When you are negative, you release a stress hormone called cortisol and elevated levels of this can lower your immune system, bone density, and increase weight gain.
If you need help or ideas on how to make every glass half-full, check out our post on the Top 4 Ways to Boost Your Positive Attitude. What do you do that helps you stay positive? Let us know what we missed.