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What if 4 hours could change your life? It can. This happiness hack is a must-try for any woman who’s tired of the constant barrage of negative thoughts and frustrations.
While the Bible never promises eternal happiness, there are some things we can do to be happier in this world.
And they are indeed Biblical. In fact, this is a practical application of several Scriptural principles.
The Happiness Hack You Need To Try
Chronic complainers tend to be an energy suck on the people around them.
And while it is well-known complaining may drive your friends and family away, it may surprise you to learn that chronic complaining can also deplete your health.
Here are some surprising things repeated complaining does from a neuro-biological perspective to your body:
- Your brain becomes rewired with new neural connections to make complaining an ingrained habit
- A part of the brain critical in problem-solving, the hippocampus, shrinks in chronic complainers (this is from studies done at Stanford University)
- The stress hormone called cortisol will rise. High cortisol levels lower immune function in the body, raise blood sugar and have many other negative effects.
If you want to learn more about the power of your brain and thoughts on your body from a Bible believing neuroscientist, check out this book.
Complaining is Dishonoring to God as a Believer
God was very displeased when the Israelites He led out of Egypt in the Old Testament started to not trust Him and began complaining against Him.
As children of God, it is important that we praise God in all circumstances. Not necessarily because we love our circumstances, but because we trust He is good and has our best interests at heart.
If you want to see what the bible says about complaining here are a few scriptures:
Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.Philippians 2:14-16
Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold the Judge is standing at the door.James 5:9
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths only such as is good for the building up as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.Ephesians 4:29
Will You Take The Challenge?
If you accept this challenge,you are not allowed to complain for four hours.
That’s it. Simple, right?
You’d be amazed (I was!). It’s harder than you think, and more rewarding than you can imagine. A woman who loves the Lord recognizes that godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6)
Please Do These Things for the Challenge-
a) Guard your words and your thoughts.
Don’t let negative things come out of your mouth for four hours.
b) If you find yourself moving towards judging someone else’s behaviour or a situation in your life, hit the STOP button in your mind.
Try just accepting people and situations as they are…and praying for them, extending godly grace, and loving them.
c) Focus on the good in your life.
I have a “whatever is good list” of excellent things to think about. It is like a gratitude list of wonderful things in my life.
It derives from this scripture in Philippians 4:8 “Finally brothers, whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things and the God of peace will be with you.”
I keep it handy and whip it out to read when I start to veer down a negative road. Give it a try during your 4 hour challenge to see if it helps.
d) Get rid of these phrases for the challenge- “I should” and “I have to”.
The undertone is a lack of choice and is very negative. These phrases are a subtle way of complaining. Try instead phrases such as “I choose to” or “I get to”. It emphasizes you have choices and gets you flowing in a more positive vibe.
e) Make good use of your “but”.
For example, if you are stuck in traffic on your commute to your job, you may sense yourself thinking something like “I hate this traffic”. Instead of flowing with that negative thought try adding a “but” to it. For example, “I am not enjoying this traffic BUT I am so glad I have a car and a job.” This will help to reorient your thoughts before you start complaining.
f) For this challenge stay away from your chronic complaining friends or family members if possible.
It will be easier to fall into the negative habit of complaining around people who complain all the time.
g) Launch it off by doing something very fun or enjoyable for yourself.
My favorite thing in the world is to be out in nature. Whatever that fun thing is for you, do it to start this challenge off in a positive vibe.
Even if you do something enjoyable for yourself for just a few minutes as you start this challenge, it sets you up with a positive flow as you start.
These are OK on the Challenge
-Feel free to feel all your emotions. If you feel sad or stressed or whatever, that is ok. This is not an exercise in emotional repression! Acknowledge how you feel. Then take action to resolve the problem related to those emotions (so you can feel better) OR reorient your thinking so you can focus on something positive and remain positive and non-complaining for four hours.
-If something very bad is happening, and you have to take action with your words to protect yourself or someone else, you are free to speak up. That does not count as complaining! For example, if someone tries to hit your dog, saying “no, get away” is not a complaint.
-Making a simple neutral observation is ok. For example, if it is raining and you say so, that is not a complaint. Saying “I hate rainy days and it is raining again” would be a complaint. That is not just a simple observation.
-Taking a problem-solving approach to any issue that arises during the challenge is fine too. For example, if your roof is leaking, observing it and saying you will be calling a roofer to patch it is not complaining.
Let Me Know…
Let me know if you do the challenge by leaving a comment below, please. Include how it went for you, even if you were not successful…and let me know if you’re doing it again!
If you’re a mom, invite your kids to join you once you’ve done it a few times yourself.
This post originally appeared on Faith It Like A Boss and has been modified and shared here with permission from Rosemarie Ramsingh-Blackaby.