When you’ve had a true day from hell, nothing feels as satisfying as a good, long expletive-filled rant, calling out everyone who has wronged you. It generally makes us feel good to curse a blue streak and vent, however, a new study has said that not only is this bad for your health, but complaining is contagious.
Yep, so you’re spreading your unhappiness to others. According to Psych Pedia, author Steven Parton, explained how complaining not only alters your brain in a bad way, but also has serious negative repercussions for your mental health. In fact, he goes so far as to say complaining can literally kill you. Oh dear.
And the reasoning behind this? The first is that thinking negative thoughts causes the brain to wire itself in a particular way. So having a negative thought makes it easier to have more negative thoughts. Voicing these thoughts doesn’t change the fact that you’re having them in the first place. And you can usually do little about the thing that’s causing you to complain, unless you truly plan to murder the person in the Subway line because he, after 10 minutes, still can’t decide which type of bread he wants. The OUTRAGE. So the cycle of negative thoughts continue.
Similarly, being around negative people affects our brains as well, because seeing someone express an emotion causes our brains to take those emotions for a “test drive” of its own. Have you ever wondered why certain internet articles and Facebook posts that cultivate feelings of white-hot anger tend to go viral in such a short amount of time? This is essentially why.
And again, more concerning, is the fact that the stress caused by being angry all the time is truly bad for your health – to the point where it could kill you. This is due to the stress hormone cortisol, a known cause of weight gain, which also weakens your immune system and increases your risk of heart disease.
So the next time you’re about to blow your top, spare a thought for your co-workers and your general health and wellbeing. Your body and friends/office buddies will thank you for it.
Via Psych Pedia