When I was in Florida attending the HypnoBirthing Practitioner certification course, one of the instructors said in passing that she allows only a minimal amount of time after work to complain to her spouse about negative circumstances that happened throughout the day.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately; thinking about the magnitude of our attitudes and how they really affect those around us. They affect our children, our partners, our friends, they even affect strangers.


I am not normally a negative person or a complainer, but isn’t it so normal for all of us (even me) to go to work and say “Ugh… guess what happened to me today?” or come home from work and say “You will never believe the day I had?”.  I don’t think I have ever truly thought about how it might make someone else feel to hear about the “rough” parts of my day. Why do we seem to only focus on those. Why don’t we talk in length about all of the small wonderful things that happened throughout the day?

Anyone who knows me knows that I truly believe that talking about our emotions is vital for our health, and complaining is a form of emotional release… but maybe it is more about how we complain than about complaining.

So this is my charge to you…

Be a 30 second complainer

Here is how you do it:

Step 1
When something rough has happened during your day and you are ready to share it with someone, set your watch for 30 seconds. Talk about it for a mere 30 seconds, and when 30 seconds is over don’t give it anymore energy than that. Even if prompted to keep going… STOP!

Step 2 
Talk about 3 things that happened during your day that made you happy (even if it was a cup of coffee or a quiet moment alone). Talk about these 3 things as long as you would like, but make sure to give them each more than 30 seconds.

Step 3
Repeat steps 1 and 2 until there is nothing more to complain about.

By being a 30 second complainer you are:

  • Not deflecting your negative energy on others
  • Combatting negative with positive (one of my keys to living happily)
  • Only focusing on a small amount of negative energy
  • Realizing that there really is more good than bad
  • Training your mind to recognize and appreciate the positive moments in your life more than the negative


The next time you are tempted (or just need to) talk to someone about a bad moment or a bad day, try to be a 30 second complainer.  Remember how powerful your attitude and words are. They affect everyone that hears them.

I hope being a 30 second complainer makes you feel as wonderful as you truly are!

Thanks for your time,

Liz (check out Creating Your Calm on Facebook here)