A half hour of complaining every day physically damages a person’s brain, according to research from Stanford University. Whether you’re the one griping or you’re the one listening, exposure to negativity peels back neurons in the hippocampus—the part of the brain used for problem solving and cognitive function. Over time, complaining becomes a habit. If you’re surrounded by complainers, then you’re more likely become one.
“As a society, we complain too much, but more importantly we don’t complain effectively,” says Guy Winch, PhD and author of The Squeaky Wheel. “We’ve lost a sense of what complaining is for; instead, we use it as an exercise for venting and that has consequences.”
Winch explains venting causes two problems. “Research has found that 95% of consumers who have a problem with a product don’t complain to the company, but they will tell their tale to eight to 16 people,” he says. “It’s unproductive because we’re not complaining to the people who can resolve our issue.”
Venting also floods the bloodstream with cortisol, the stress hormone. “We tell ourselves that we need to get it off our chest, but each time we do, we get upset all over again,” he adds. “We end up 10 to 12 times more aggravated.” read the full story here