How to Stop Complaining and Start Feeling Grateful!

Last September, I watched the news predict the path of a category 5 hurricane that was headed straight for central Florida…and my upcoming retreat.

I had two choices:

  1. I could sit on my butt complaining about how unfair it was that the weather was wrecking an event I had spent more than a year planning, or…
  2. I could be grateful that none of my Life Editors had arrived yet so they were safe.

I took a deep breath and contacted all the attendees to tell them the event was canceled. Then Chris, Skyla, and I jumped into the car and drove out of the state.

It’s still painful thinking about how I had to cancel Life Editor Weekend, but I knew that focusing on the negative wouldn’t make the situation any better.

That’s the thing about complaining. We like to point out all the little injustices we encounter because maybe if we say them out loud to our friends and family or just ourselves, then they won’t seem so bad.

But that’s not how it works! Thankfully, there’s a better way to stay positive even when things aren’t going your way.

In today’s video, you’ll learn how to stop complaining and start feeling grateful.

The video transcript is below for your convenience.

Video Transcript

Oh my gosh. This is sooo annoying!

Do you ever get that feeling that nothing will go right for you? Your clothes are old fashioned, your boss hates you, you’ll never save enough money for that vacation you want, and I don’t know what you’re trying to do with your hair, but honey, it ain’t workin’.

Before you go on a rant about how everything stinks and you should go live under a rock, let me give you an alternative that will help you see the sunshine again. I promise.

Today, you’ll learn how to stop complaining and start feeling grateful. Let’s go!

Hey there! I’m Sage Grayson, a former book editor turned life coach. I help ambitious career women edit their habits, routines, and mindsets to balance their happiness at work and home. I’m a Life Editor and so are you!

No one has the perfect life, and it’s human nature to complain.

We like to point out all the little injustices we encounter because maybe if we say them out loud to our friends and family or just ourselves, then they won’t seem so bad.

But that’s not how it works. Complaining is like spilling a full mug of coffee on your favorite book. There’s no saving this story, and the mess just spreads and spreads.

Thankfully, there’s another way to live your life that doesn’t involve becoming a Debbie Downer that no one wants to be around. You can train yourself to stop complaining, and when you do, you’ll invite the warmth and satisfaction of gratitude into your life.

Here are 3 easy steps to stop complaining and start feeling grateful.

First, recognize when you’re complaining.

Awareness is the key to making any change. You might think you already know how often you complain—all the time, right?

But do you really?

Create an action that is triggered every time you complain.

When you’re complaining about the weather or your workload or whatever, move a bracelet from one wrist to the other for each complaint you make. I got this amazing trick from the fabulous book A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen. I’ll leave a link to the book below this video.

Moving your bracelet is a visual cue that shows you how often complaints are escaping your lips. Try to go an entire day without moving your bracelet. Alternatively, you could carry around a notebook and make a tally mark every time you complain. Try to make fewer marks every day as you go through your week.

Next, create a treats and rewards schedule.

We’ve talked about treats and rewards before and why they’re essential for your success.

As a refresher, treats are free or inexpensive and you give them to yourself simply because you’re a human being. You don’t earn treats. Rewards do cost something, they’re larger, and you earn them through concentrated effort.

Create a treats and rewards schedule to reinforce your new good habit of not complaining.

In the morning, give yourself a small treat such as a fancy coffee drink or 15 minutes of watching funny animal videos. Then try to go the whole day without complaining, and if you do, reward yourself with something you want like going to the movies with your friends.

Finally, go for the easiest gratitude wins.

Once you’re aware of your complaining problem and you’re reinforcing good habits with treats and rewards, then start to build your gratitude foundation.

This is Step 1 of the Life Editing Process.

It’s easy for newbie Life Editors to get overwhelmed when they start a gratitude practice because they see so many things to be grateful for that it’s too much to process so they don’t do anything, not even a simple gratitude list.

So go for the easiest gratitude wins.

Narrow your focus more, and more, and more, until you’re just focusing on yourself where you are right now. Be thankful for your eyes that see, your heart that beats, or the fact that you woke up this morning. Thousands of people did not.

Concentrate on those smaller blessings and you won’t get overwhelmed trying to force yourself to be happy about everything.

That’s it! This week choose a complaining action that will keep you consciously aware of how often you complain. You could try the bracelet trick or keep a running tally in your planner.

Give gratitude a chance in your life. Fill your thoughts with so many blessings that you don’t have any room for complaints.

Thanks for watching. I’ll see you soon.

This post focuses on Step 1 of the Life Editing Process, Create a Foundation. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

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