Unhappy? Maybe You Are Not Complaining Enough


No one likes being around a constant complainer, and having a mind full of continuous whine is not a prescription for good mental health.

However, when you find yourself stuck in a troubling mood you might want to use conscious complaining as a self-help tool. It is an easy and quick way to get clogged emotions moving again.

Chronic worry, anxiety, depression, and anger can be the result of trapped emotion. If ignored, the feelings will become more intense and eventually wreak havoc on your thought processes and drain your physical energy. The eventual outcome might be symptoms of a mental disorder.

About Conscious Complaining

Author Barbara Sher wrote about conscious complaining in her book Wishcraft. The empathic healer Karla McLaren uses this technique and validates its effectiveness in her book Emotional Genius.

Although habitual complaining can bring us down, conscious complaining can lift us up by clearing away cobwebs and frustrations. It is venting with a purpose, helping us face problems, fears, and the obstacles to our dreams by letting off emotional steam. This keeps our feelings and emotions flowing and lets us view our situation(s) with increased clarity.

Conscious complaining can be done with a complaining partner, as Sher recommends, or it can be a solitary endeavor. Whether done with someone else or alone, it is a way to actively address loss of faith, feelings of hopelessness, “impossible” obstacles, or a growing sense of powerlessness.

Seven Tips for Solitary Consciously Complaining

  1. Find some privacy.
  2. If you are indoors, you might complain to a chair, a mirror, the walls, a pillow, or, as this author likes to do, complain to the universe. When outdoors you might complain to trees, the ground, bugs, the sky, or your idea of God.
  3. If conscious complaining is a tool that you will be using often, consider building a complaining shrine or alter using pictures of grumpy people or animals.
  4. You can start your complaining session by stating your intention: “I need to complain, so I’m going to complain now; listen up.”
  5. When ready, let go and release your hopeless, dark, nasty, sarcastic, bratty feelings and thoughts. This is no time to be polite or politically correct. Give your shadow self (dark thoughts or humor) expression. Be 3 years old again and have a tantrum.
  6. Complain for as long as you wish, or until you run out of things to yell or kvetch about. Then thank whoever or whatever you have been complaining to for listening.
  7. Do something relaxing or fun for awhile.

“If you only make time for work, and you never make time for moaning, whining, and complaining, your inner life will become flat and barren. Your flow will evaporate, you’ll deteriorate into perfectionism, and you’ll have no fun at all. Conscious complaining gives a voice to your struggles, and in so doing it restores your flow, your energy, and your hope.” ~ Karla McLaren

Photo by John Nyboer


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