Using H.A.L.T. to a Complaint-Free Life

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Our internal world influences how we see the external world. Some folks are better than others at handling their internal world. What is negative to one person is merely an annoyance or even a non-issue to others.

Have you heard of the acronym H.A.L.T.? These are internal influences I first heard about several years ago from a friend who has been successful in recovery for years and years and years (from alcohol). She said that H.A.L.T. is talked about in A.A.

When we experience certain internal “conditions” we find it harder to calmly address external situations. If we are unaware of their influence, we tend to act out. And in my case, I tend to complain instead of making choices that bring peace.

Because I know about H.A.L.T.’s influence, I can make sure I DON’T let myself get to H.A.L.T. But when I do, I can quickly take the proper steps to address these.

What is H.A.L.T. and what can you do?

Hungry– Eat protein as soon as possible.

Angry – Take deep breaths. Pray. Asses the truth of the situation. Let go of unrealistic expectations. Ask for what you need in a calm manner. Come up with solution oriented answers to what has angered you.

Lonely – Connect with someone. Contact a good friend and talk or put a date on the calendar for a “date.” Execute an act of kindness. Pray. Read something uplifting. Write a letter. Learn to be content.

Tired – Take a nap or go to bed for the night. Eat a healthy snack. Drink a glass of water. Meditate. Lighten your to-do load for the time being. Ask for help.

Another “H” that needs watching out for is Hormonal. Now that I am past menopause and don’t feel the ravages of hormones, I realize how many times I was affected by them. And I realize how many times I complained while under their influence. This is not to say the issues weren’t issues, but sometimes my reaction was stronger than the situation called for.

What I Learned From H.A.L.T.

  • Help myself live a positive life by being aware when I am hungry, angry, lonely, and/or tired.
  • When I am in any of these states, take quick, positive action.
  • Postpone any complaining until after the internal situation has been dealt with.

Your Turn . . .

  • How have you used H.A.L.T. to your benefit?
  • Are there any other internal situations that lead you to complain? If yes, what can you do about it?

Related Resources . . . 

No Complaining Update: I am now on Day 13/21 of no complaining.

Today is Day 15 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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Using Fruitful Words to Combat Complaining

fff-delicate-leavesIt is Friday and so I want to look back at my last week and share five of my favorite blessings.  Filling my head with good news, positive memories, and great outcomes help me stave off complaining. This is my No Complaining Month.

If you’d like to join in with Friday’s Fave Five, write a post and link it here to Susanne’s meme. She writes at Living to Tell the Story.

ONE. I bought a new bottle of shampoo. It smells yummy (coconut) and makes my hair feel so soft. Why is it that I run out of shampoo way before I run out of hair conditioner? Do you have that issue?

fruitfulwords125TWO. This month is #Write31Days. My topic and action plan is No Complaining.

  • My 1st goal is to not complain for 21 days in a row. I had one set back so I am on Day 12 of no complaining. I am wearing a Gratitude bracelet to help me stay alert.
  • My 2nd goal is to have only fruitful words come out of my mouth: praise, gratitude, positive solutions. I am grateful for this opportunity to make sure I keep a guard on my lips and that I have a cheerful attitude especially when times are a challenge (like when I am driving).

THREE. I am connected with a school in the Middle East that accepts kiddos with special needs. I am grateful for Facebook because we get periodic updates. This week one of the youngsters received a wheelchair from a grant. His life is a little easier now. And the smile on the student’s face is AWESOME. And because pf Facebook a bunch of us could share in the joy of this answered prayer.

all-at-ksfFOUR.  Last weekend I went to So Cal with a mom and her teens. Each teen brought a friend and I was the friend for the mom. We went to Knott Scary Farm and Huntington Beach. Both venues were a lot of fun. And I experienced a lot of firsts: funnel cake, white chocolate candy, Knott Scary Farm, and listening to the Bible on DVD. We listened to Mathew-Luke.

FIVE. MY BED. I really enjoy my job – a lot. But I also enjoy vacation days. We had Monday off and I did a lot of sleeping. I caught up from my time in So Cal. So the last item on my gratitude list is my bed. It is so comfy. And being able to wear pj’s ALL DAY added to me feeling sooooo relaxed.

Your Turn . . .

  • What is your favourite smell for a shampoo?
  • What do you do to keep yourself from complaining?
  • If you are on Facebook, what do you most appreciate about it?
  • I haven’t been to a haunted house in decades. The ones at Knott Scary Farm were the right amount of scary and fun. I did scream but not from fear, but because I was startled. When was the last time you’ve gone to a Haunted House? Will you go to one this year?
  • If you had a holiday on Monday, what was the most favorite thing you did?

No Complaining Update: I am now on Day 12/21 of no complaining.

Today is Day 14 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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Colouring Combats Complaining

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Do you color? Do you know an adult who does?

Coloring  books have become popular with adults.

  • One because it is FUN.
  • Two because it helps reduce stress.

The act of coloring can help adults to focus on the moment and let go of ruminating thoughts. Thus it is like taking a vacation from emotionally charged thinking. There is mental and physical peace in that kind of vacation.

I bought a Gratitude Prayer and Praise Coloring Journal. The idea is to help me put more fruitful words into my mind. I’m going with the theory that Gratitude In = Gratitude Out which would mean less complaining.

The first section I chose to color is Friends: Travel the Road Together. The devotional on the left side reminded me of the importance of community. On the right I wrote about 3 people I am grateful for. I spent 30 minutes coloring while listening to Yiruma’s Greatest Hits ~ Best Piano.

color-and-prayHow My Experience Rated

  • The 30 minutes went by quickly.
  • While I normally prefer silence when I am by myself, listening to Yiruma added to my relaxation.
  • For the first 20 minutes it was surprisingly easy to relax and think only about coloring and the beauty of the music. As thoughts came into my mind, I was able to let them pass on through without giving them much attention.
  • Then at about the 20 minutes mark some distressing thoughts kept rushing into my head. These were thoughts from Facebook about how ugly people have been to each other because of their differing political views. It was really hard to let these thoughts go. I have been avoiding thinking about this issue and I guess my freed up mind then took this opportunity to think.
  • I notice that I don’t like to color detailed pictures. First because I don’t want to spend that much time on something that is not permanent. And secondly because the lines are too small. It would take a LONG time to “properly” color these 2 page spreads. I want to do one section each time I color.
  • I will do this again.

No Complaining Update: I am now on Day 11/21. I think one reason I am so successful (now) is because I am really paying attention to my circumstances and words.

Your Turn . . . 

  • Do you color? If yes, what has your experience been like?
  • How do you think coloring (like this) would impact your complaining?
  • Have you jumped on the no complaining band wagon? If yes, how is it going?

Related Resources . . . 

Today is Day 13 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

. at . 1 comment

Gratitude Bracelet Helps Stop Complaints

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How do you guard against complaining? It is so easy to complain. Too many times complaining is our first response. Such words seem to be on auto-pilot.

Will Bowen started this 21 day challenge.  He sells a purple, rubber bracelet stamped with the words, “Complaint Free.” Cute and effective, I am sure.

But I want to be more than complaint free. I want to be filled with solutions and GRATITUDE.

Thus I bought a silver (plated) bracelet with Gratitude stamped on it. And like Bowen’s challenge states, I put it on one wrist. Every time I complain, I switch it to the other wrist. My experiment is over when the bracelet stays on one wrist for 21 days in a row. Hopefully a new habit has been formed by that time.

To counter-balance the negativity coming out of my mouth, I will use fruitful words. If/when I complain, I want to think about the situation and say how I can be grateful because of the situation or in-spite of the situation. And if there is one, I want to state a solution.

Complaining is a basic foundation of many of our conversations. When we greet one another, we often complain about the weather, our busy lives, and how tired we are. I actually thought I was immune to that.

Unfortunately I am not immune to this surface, mindless chatter. On Day 3 (of #Write31Days), I greeted a friend and she initiated our conversation by stating how cold she was. I replied back, “And I am HOT! I hate being hot.” No solutions were offered by either, just the complaint.

I was embarrassed by how easily I added my complaint.

I moved my bracelet and spoke my words of solution and gratitude. . . . I am grateful that I can easily cool down with a fan or iced beverage. . . . I am grateful that in-spite of the heat, I won’t get a sunburn [I was indoors] and soon the weather will cool down.

I am now on Day 8 of no complaining. I started this experiment on October 1st. Because the bracelet moves around on my wrist, I am constantly reminded about my intention to not complain. I don’t normally wear bracelets. If you do, maybe this wouldn’t be a helpful remembering tool for you.

Your Turn . . . 

  1. Do you find that complaining is a mindless, automatic response more times than you’d like to admit? If yes, how do you combat that?
  2. How do the complaints of others impact you?
  3. Do you think something like a bracelet would help you stop complaining? Why or why not?

Related Resources . . . 

Today is Day 10 of the #Write31Days online writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

 

 

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Choose the Complaint That Will Bring Peace

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All complaints fall into one of two categories: Mindless and Justified.

Mindless complaining is problem focused.

  • We vent, automatically respond with our own complaint after hearing other’s complain, and focus on trashing people, products, and companies.
  • The cycle of negativity, hopelessness, pride, entitlement, and lack of compassion is perpetuated with no end in sight.
  • The result is more anger, frustration, and ill will towards others or ourselves.

Justified complaining is solution oriented.

  • It gives others’ the benefit of the doubt.
  • We take stock of the situation and if there is something we can do, we do it. If there is nothing we can do, we let it go.
  • We get off auto-pilot and take purposeful responsibility for our own negative attitudes and words.
  • The results are satisfying resolutions and peace.

How to Get Out of This Cycle

 “The best way to deal with negativity is to create a positive culture where negativity can’t breed, grow, and survive,” Jon Gordon

Jon Gordon in his book, The No Complaining Rule offers Three Suggestions.

  1. BUT. Anytime you catch yourself grumbling, add the word “but” at the end.  Then complete the sentence with a positive solution or thought.
  2. I GET TO. Anytime you complain about all the stuff that overwhelms you, add these two words, I GET TO Do x, y, and z. Ditch the I Have To Do x, y, and z.
  3. SOLUTION FOCUSED. This is justified complaining. You look at the negative situation and come up with a purposeful, positive plan to solve the problem. Talk only to the folks who can help you with the solution.

“Every complaint represents an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive,”Jon Gordon.

No Complaining Update: I am now on Day 7/21 of no complaining. I have even had a couple of situations where I purposefully came up with positive solutions. I made it a game and therefore, it was fun.

Your Turn . . .

  • What do you think about the idea of Justified Complaining? This is a new concept to me and I like it because it gives me a way to handle those negative situations.
  • Respond to this quote from Jon Gordon, ” I don’t like this or I am not happy about this. … What actions can I take to rectify this?  Let your complaints tell you what you don’t want, so you can focus on what you do want.”
  • What are your complaints telling you? What action will you take this week to bring PEACE into your life?

Related Resources . . .

Today is Day 9 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

. at . 2 comments

Why Do We Complain?

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We complain because we  . . .

  • Are Fearful. We feel overwhelmed by the scary situation.
  • Are acting Helpless. We avoid taking responsibility for the situation.
  • Have let complaining become a habitual way to deal with our negative feelings.
  • Are Prideful. Our ideas are the only ones worth considering.
  • Are compassionless. We lack empathy for how people are acting. We don’t give them the benefit of the doubt or appreciate their point-of-view.
  • Want validation for how we reacted to a situation.
  • Are jealous. Complaining about someone knocks them down so we can feel better about ourselves.
  • Think God doesn’t have our best in mind. All complaints boil down to complaints against God (in my worldview).

So How Can We STOP Complaining?

  1. The first step is to acknowledge that we complain.
  2. The next step is to figure out what is causing the complaining. Look at your past week and when you complained. What categories do your complaints fall into?  Which one is most common?

Now go to the post Choose the Complaint That Will Bring Peace.

No Complaining Update: I am now on Day 6/21 of no complaining.

Your Turn . . . 

  • What would you add to the list?
  • Did you identify with any of the reasons to complain? If yes, which one(s)?
  • If you picked one of the above, or added to the list, what action would you like to take to overcome complaining.

Related Resources . . . 

Today is Day 8 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

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Writing about Good Things Decreases Complaints

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If you’ve forgotten the language of gratitude, you’ll never be on speaking terms with happiness. – Unknown

Every gratitude author and gratitude researcher suggests looking at your life and writing about what make you thankful.

Oddly enough you don’t have to FEEL gratitude in order for this to a helpful  exercise. After writing down your list for 10 weeks or so, you’ll feel happier, more optimistic, calmer and even better physically. Studies suggested that you don’t have to write every day in order for it to be beneficial.

As the authors noted in this study, subjects who reflected on the good things in their life once a week (by writing them down) were more positive and motivated about their current situation and their future. Gregory Ciotti

Being aware of our blessings makes it harder to complain. Seeing it in print is “proof” that life is good and that we have a lot to be thankful for.

There are various ways to do this writing exercise.

ONE. Count your blessings – Write a bullet list (1-5 items) in the morning or evening about what makes you thankful. You can write one thing or set a timer and see how many you come up with.

  • You could also use a book like One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voscamp to keep you company. In this book “Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts.” I am not a journaler but I know many who have benefited from this book which is why I am suggesting it.

TWO. Journal – Write about the good things in your life.

  • I have a 365 day Gratitude Journal, There is space for one thorough description or 15ish bullet  points. I’d like to say I will write in it every day, but journal commitments are not usually my thing.

THREE. Thanks You Notes – Send a note to someone who made your day. It can be someone from your past or someone in your current life.

  • Off and on since 2011, I have been involved in a Gratitude Letter Writing Project. I compiled a list of 48 people I wanted to send thank you notes to. I am no where near finished with this project. I hope to write 6-8 letters by October 31st. Every time I do write a letter I am touched again by the recipient’s kindness to me.

FOUR. Friday’s Fave Fave – This is a meme sponsored by Susanne from Living to Tell the Story. Every Friday bloggers link up with a post about the 5 favorite things from their week. These blessings can be big or small.

  • Lately I haven’t been good about sharing in this blessing fest. I will do this, though, through the end of October (and hopefully longer).

Update on the No Complaining Challenge: I am on Day 5. How are you doing with the No Complaint Challenge?

Your Turn . . . 

  • Do you like to journal? If yes, have you ever keep a gratitude journal or list? Do you have any suggestions on how to make this a regular practice?
  • Are you in the habit of writing thank you notes? When was the last time you wrote one? Received one? How did it make you feel?
  • How about joining this week’s Friday’s Fave Five? It would be fun to hear what your week’s blessings are. And it would be cool to get to know you.

Related Resources . . . 

Today is Day 7 of the #Write31Days online October writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.

Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.

Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.

. at . Leave a comment

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