There was a time when I thought being happy at work was something that only happened to delusional people. People who did not have a firm grip on reality or had a job at a company that was run extremely well by people who never got upset or over promised someone something (intentionally or unintentionally). You know - those companies that don't really exist.

At this period in my life I was sure that there was absolutely no way to ever get to a point of having less items on my task list at the end of the day then at the beginning. And I spent all my energy just trying to survive the work day. So, there was no energy left for anything when I got home.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. I wasn't happy and didn't think it was possible to be happy.

However, after living like this for a while, I really started to wonder if there was anything I could do to just be a little happier. I was so tired of everything and, more importantly, tired of being unhappy and tired.

So, what does a person do when they're feeling like this and looking for a solution? Search the internet of course! Between what I found on the internet and what I learned on my own I found a couple things that made a huge difference to my happiness.

The one that made the most difference is this: stop complaining. You probably read that and thought: “What! How the heck am I supposed to make it through the day without complaining? It’s my only release. It’s the only way I talk with some people at work!” Stick with me though and continue reading.

Complaining generally comes in two forms – internal and external.

Internal complaining is when your phone rings, you look at the caller id and immediately start thinking “UGH! She’s calling again and we’ve gone over that issue three times already. I don’t want to go over it again!” It’s the negative running commentary in your head about people, situations or yourself.

External complaining is generally what happens at work anytime you’re gathered with other people. Some of it is gossip, some of it is letting off steam, but it’s all negative and generally at someone else’s expense (deserved or otherwise).

The problem with both of these types of complaining is it lowers your energy. Think about how you feel when you’re complaining. You’re back reliving a moment that you’re not thrilled with (or reliving someone else’s moment) and pointing out everything that went wrong. You’re frustrated and upset all over again and by the end of the conversation you’re more upset and angry than when you started. Complaining was supposed to give you a way to let off some steam and instead you’re upset about it all over again.

So, instead of spending all that energy to feel worse than you started, why not skip the complaining? You’ll have more energy to do other things and be happier.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to send you off without some strategies to use.

The first thing to do is identify where you complain the most and then come up with some strategies for how to handle it.

One strategy is to avoid those situations or people. However, that might not be entirely possible or even something you want to do.

Another strategy is to find something else to talk about (and check that you’re not complaining about non-work stuff instead!). Maybe you talk about your family or hobbies instead of work. Or, maybe you talk about what’s going well at work or the highlight of your day so far.

You can also not respond or say nothing when others complain or you feel yourself ready to jump in.

One really effective strategy is to make requests instead of complaining. For example, instead of complaining that you didn’t get all the information you need to research something, request the additional information.

I know this all might sound really simple, but it can take some work to change your thought patterns (it did for me!).

One last important piece of information: If you find yourself complaining, internally or externally, note it and move on. There is no reason to beat yourself up over it, just note the thought or comment and then recommit to not complaining. You could also find something nice to say about the person or situation that you just had the complaint about.

To sum up:
• Identify the situations you complain in the most
• Avoid those situations
• Find something else to talk about in those situations
• Say nothing when you feel a complaint coming on or hear someone else complain
• Make a request instead of complaining
• Say something nice about the situation or person the complaint is about

What have you found to be the most useful way to stop complaining?

Author's Bio: 

Evie Burke is a Certified Professional Coach who specializes in working with people who get a knot in their stomach when they think about going to work each day. They’re ready for the knot to go away, but maybe not the job. She has a special place in her heart for these people because she used to be one of them. You can find Evie at