Research shows that most people complain once a minute during a typical conversation. This repetition rewires your brain to make future complaining more likely. Over time, complaining becomes your default behavior, which changes how people perceive you. And here’s the kicker: Complaining damages other areas of your brain as well. Research from Stanford University has shown that complaining shrinks the hippocampus — an area of the brain that’s critical to problem solving and intelligent thought.
Complaining is bad for your health, too. It releases the stress hormone cortisol, which raises your blood pressure and blook sugar. Frequent complaining impairs your immune system and makes you more susceptible to high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
There are 2 things you can do when you feel the need to complain.
First, cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Doing so reduces cortisol by 23%, improving your mood and energy while decreasing your anxiety. In time, a positive attitude will become a way of life. Second, when you truly have something to complain about, make it solution oriented: Have a clear purpose in mind; start with a positive; be specific; and end on a positive note.