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Effects Of Complaining On Human Mental Health (Freewrite)
Have you ever felt spiritually and physically drained out, after a brief conversation with a person that brags about how bad things are? Have you ever wondered if the feeling is real, or just a fruit of your imagination?
What I discovered while reading GRIT by Martin Meadows shocked me! For years, people were telling me I'm just "imagining" cycles of depression, and fatigue, that would often eat me up in the presence of relatives who are continuously complaining. In fact, some of you may have read my articles, on the effects of silence (I quit talking). In my opinion, silence is one of the key factors, that determine the level of creativity. On the other hand, people that talk too much hardly ever complete any worthwhile task.
Anyways, in his book (GRIT - Chapter 9), Martin shared the discoveries of Mr. Robert Sapolsky from Stanford University's School of Medicine. Aside from being a sure way to get discouraged, complaining affects the hippocampus, which is a part of the brain that is highly sensitive to negative stimuli.
Sapolsky discovered that exposure to the so-called "stressors", to which "negative" people are included, elevates cortisol levels to extreme levels. Cortisol is being produced naturally by our bodies. We are designed to withstand short intervals of extreme stress, but in the long run, being exposed to high levels of stress all the time, as many people are these days, can lead to hampered synaptic connections, death of cells, aging, shrinkage of gray matter (means, it literally eats up our intelligence), and shrinkage of the hippocampus. The more the hippocampus shrinks, the fewer cognitive functions a person possesses. It is quite common for children which were exposed to extreme levels of stress during their early days, to remain "silent type of people" for the rest of their lives. I know a case of a child that developed dyslexia and dysgraphia, due to extreme stress which was created by his parents.
As Martin stated in his book when we let other people complain around us, we are not only allowing them to stir up our cortisol levels but also, we are allowing them to make us less intelligent. Most people are controlled by their thoughts and emotions. I don't know why is it so hard for the majority to wake up from a dream of being slaves to their own minds. We are supposed to be masters over our minds, not vice-versa. 🤔
So, if you ever find yourself feeling uneasy around negative people, the answer is NO, you didn't think yourself into fatigue and/or depression. The feeling is the mirror of the profound effect their attitudes, thoughts, and words have on your wellbeing. I simply quit talking. Turned off the phone, moved away from everyone, and started life far away from the "progressive" and "advanced" society. Most people can't afford to do that. Well, in that case, explain to them (complainers) why you do not want to participate in such conversations. Do it politely, but firmly. It is always a good idea to ask the person "what are you going to do about your problem?". In many cases, that question ends the story. They come to the realization that their thinking and behaving are habitual, and that the problem actually isn't there.
If, however, they continue to drag you down with them, simply, walk away for your own good. You're not obliged to become ill, both, mentally and physically, to make someone happy.
Have a great day! 😊 Stay safe, healthy, happy, and blessed.