It’s Thanksgiving week here in the USA. The grocery lines are long, the airport lines are longer, the weather or your favorite football team isn’t holding up their part of the festivities, and your aunt/uncle/brother/father-in-law is at it again. Thanksgiving is a holiday to pause and count our blessing yet with all the rush and bustle and doing blessing may not be the only things coming out of our mouths. Try, for this one day, to live up to the challenge issued by Joyce Meyer. For me, that means mustering up an extra serving of patience. Here are tips I’ve learned that may help you avoid complaining.
Tips and Tricks
- Don’t be your own source of frustration. Start your day with a ten or fifteen-minute self-appreciation. Positive thoughts only. Journal, meditate or treat yourself to something that makes you feel awesome.
- Catch yourself. Make a tally mark, put a quarter in a jar, or put a rubber band around your wrist. No, don’t snap the rubber band. When you complain about something move the rubber band to your other wrist. The action (no matter what it is) focuses your attention on the act making it easier to catch yourself before you complain the next time.
- When faced with an obstacle, take a deep breath or count to five. Or use meditation or prayer to help you develop a more patient, less critical attitude.
- If you feel the urge to complain do something physical. Take a walk, do the dishes, climb the stairs, something that will allow you to express frustration physically.
- When you’re tempted to complain switch up your thoughts. Think about something or someone that you are thankful to have in your life.
- Someone else complaining and you want to fix the problem or join in the complaint? Repeat after me: not my circus, not my monkeys.
- When you want to complain about someone, choose to do something nice for that person. Don’t know what to do? Offer the person a cup of coffee, a good book, a warm blanket, or your own seat.
- Feel like you’re going to explode if you don’t complain about something? Be kind to yourself. Take a fifteen-minute nap or give yourself an extra helping of whip cream on that pie.
- End your day with a gratitude list—list three to five things that went well or you were inspired by or
When all else fails—
Breathe into a paper bag ten times. It’s what I do. Then laugh about how silly you look and feel. Laughter cures almost anything.
Have you ever tried to get through a day without complaint? Did you need an extra serving of patience to do so? What tips or tricks were most helpful for you?