Rather Than Complaining Today, Think Of Everything That You're Grateful For

Rather Than Complaining Today, Think Of Everything That You're Grateful For

Praise yourself for what you've accomplished and smile about everything going right.

89
views

Complaining is a hard habit to break. It doesn't take much effort and it actually has a pay off (in the short term). You get to feed your ego and ditch all responsibility for your own happiness, success, and well-being. Haven't had any luck finding a job? Complain. There must be something wrong with the hiring managers. Is there a long wait time at the restaurant you just got to? Complain. Obviously, the workers are too slow and incompetent. Got a speeding ticket on your way home? Complain. Clearly, that police officer has nothing else better to do with their life than badger you.

What happens when we complain, though, is that we weigh ourselves down with negativity, regret, and a general dissatisfaction with our lives. We harp on what we don't have, what we did wrong, or what others did wrong to us. We forget to think about everything that we do have, what we did right, and things that others have done to help us. Most importantly, we forget to be thankful. And truthfully, there is always something to be thankful for, especially when others have it much worse.

Haven't had any luck finding a job? That sucks, but at least you still have some money saved up. Long wait time at the restaurant you just got to? That sucks, but you and your friends can bond while you're waiting. Got a speeding ticket on your way home? That sucks, but at least you got home safely. It's okay to be sad, upset, hurt, or angry -- we shouldn't try to mask our emotions behind fake optimism; however, we should always try to see the good in our situations, not because we're playing 'misery Olympics' and since there are people dying of cancer, we should never be upset about what we face in our daily lives, but simply because being grateful feels good. It keeps us happy and helps us extend that same grace to others.

If you're feeling bitter today, think of South Sudan. According to Oxfam International, "This year's harvests [in South Sudan] will be poor or non-existent for many, this is an extremely worrying sign for the long dry months ahead. 4.8 million people — nearly half of the population — are facing extreme hunger." South Sudan has had a tough break since the onset of their civil war, which started in December 2013. More than 4 years of constant battle has destroyed their economy and threatened the lives of many, causing over 1 million South Sudanese people to flee the country, opting to go to neighboring countries such as Uganda and Ethiopia. In an article from Panntv, Nyabolli Chok, a local South Sudanese woman, reminisces about how she was unable to feed her three children, causing them to ultimately leave the country. "We were eating leaves off of trees," she cries.

Now, I don't know about you, but I think I'd rather have one hundred speeding tickets than to have to eat leaves off of trees. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty damn glad that the worst tragedy I've experienced this summer is having my study abroad plans fall through (long live the RU screw). When I think about the children in South Sudan that are hungry and in poverty, and the parents that feel like shit because they can't do anything to provide for their kids, I don't have it in me to complain. I don't have it in me to dwell on life's bumps and obstacles; because let's face it, we all have them, but we have the power to not let them control our thoughts and feelings.

If you're feeling bitter today, think of what you're grateful for. Praise yourself for what you've accomplished and smile about everything going right. And most of all, don't forget to help others.

If you'd like to support South Sudanese People, you can donate to a few organizations I trust, like Africare, American Refugee Committee, and International Rescue Committee.

Cover Image Credit:

Unsplash

Popular Right Now

Yes, I Had A Stroke And I'm Only 20

Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
25507
views

Recently, I read an article on Cosmo that was written by a woman that had a stroke at the ripe old age of 23. For those of you who don't know, that really doesn't happen. Young people don't have strokes. Some do, but it's so incredibly uncommon that it rarely crosses most people's minds. Her piece was really moving, and I related a lot -- because I had a stroke at 20.

It started as a simple headache. I didn't think much of it because I get headaches pretty often. At the time, I worked for my parents, and I texted my mom to tell her that I'd be late to work because of the pain. I had never experienced a headache like that, but I figured it still wasn't something to worry about. I went about my normal routine, and it steadily got worse. It got to the point that I literally threw up from the pain. My mom told me to take some Tylenol, but I couldn't get to our kitchen. I figured that since I was already in the bathroom, I would just take a shower and hope that the hot steam would relax my muscles, and get rid of my headache. So I turned the water on in the shower, and I waited for it to get hot.

At this point, I was sweating. I've never been that warm in my life. My head was still killing me. I was sitting on the floor of the bathroom, trying to at least cope with the pain. Finally, I decided that I needed to go to the hospital. I picked up my phone to call 911, but I couldn't see the screen. I couldn't read anything. I laid down on the floor and tried to swipe from the lock screen to the emergency call screen, but I couldn't even manage that. My fine motor skills were completely gone. My fingers wouldn't cooperate, even though I knew what buttons needed to be pressed. Instead of swiping to the emergency call screen, I threw my phone across the room. "Okay," I thought, "Large muscle groups are working. Small ones are not".

I tried getting up. That also wasn't happening. I was so unstable that I couldn't stay standing. I tried turning off the running water of the shower, but couldn't move the faucet. Eventually, I gave up on trying to move anywhere. "At what point do I just give up and lie on the floor until someone finds me?" That was the point. I ended up lying on the floor for two hours until my dad came home and found me.

During that two hours, I couldn't hear. My ears were roaring, not even ringing. I tried to yell, but I couldn't form a sentence. I was simply stuck, and couldn't do anything about it. I still had no idea what was going on.

When the ambulance finally got there, they put me on a stretcher and loaded me into the back. "Are you afraid of needles or anything?" asked one EMT. "Terrified," I responded, and she started an IV without hesitation. To this day, I don't know if that word actually came out of my mouth, but I'm so glad she started the IV. She started pumping pain medicine, but it didn't seem to be doing anything.

We got to the hospital, and the doctors there were going to treat me for a migraine and send me on my merry way. This was obviously not a migraine. When I could finally speak again, they kept asking if I was prone to migraines. "I've never had a migraine in my whole life," I would say. "Do you do any drugs?" they would ask. "No," I repeated over and over. At this point, I was fading in and out of consciousness, probably from the pain or the pain medicine.

At one point, I heard the doctors say that they couldn't handle whatever was wrong with me at our local hospital and that I would need to be flown somewhere. They decided on University of Maryland in Baltimore. My parents asked if I wanted them to wait with me or start driving, so I had them leave.

The helicopter arrived soon after, and I was loaded into it. 45 minutes later, I was in Baltimore. That was the last thing I remember. The next thing I remember was being in the hospital two weeks later. I had a drain in my head, a central port, and an IV. I honestly didn't know what had happened to me.

As it turns out, I was born with a blood vessel malformation called an AVM. Blood vessels and arteries are supposed to pass blood to one another smoothly, and mine simply weren't. I basically had a knot of blood vessels in my brain that had swelled and almost burst. There was fluid in my brain that wouldn't drain, which was why my head still hurt so bad. The doctors couldn't see through the blood and fluid to operate, so they were simply monitoring me at that point.

When they could finally see, they went in to embolize my aneurysm and try to kill the AVM. After a successful procedure, my headache was finally starting to subside. It had gone from a 10 on the pain scale (which I don't remember), to a 6 (which was when I had started to be conscious), and then down to a 2.

I went to rehab after I was discharged from the hospital, I went to rehab. There, I learned simple things like how to walk and balance, and we tested my fine motor skills to make sure that I could still play the flute. Rehab was both physically and emotionally difficult. I was constantly exhausted.

I still have a few lingering issues from the whole ordeal. I have a tremor in one hand, and I'm mostly deaf in one ear. I still get headaches sometimes, but that's just my brain getting used to regular blood flow. I sleep a lot and slur my words as I get tired. While I still have a few deficits, I'm lucky to even be alive.

Cover Image Credit: Neve McClymont

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

5 Ways To Cope With Anxiety

For those of you who need some helpful tips, this article is for you.

10
views

Anxiety sucks. Unfortunately, it tends to pop out its ugly head during stressful times (*cough cough* new semester *cough cough*). Not only that, but not everyone has easy access to a therapist or other medical means. Don't fret, though! There are plenty of ways to help yourself when your anxiety feels like it's at its peak.

Disclaimer: I'm not a mental health professional, I'm just sharing some tips that help me whenever I'm dealing with excessive anxiety. Hopefully one of these tips can help you too!

1. Take a breath and meditate

Patrick meditating Giphy

Meditation is actually fairly simple to do, and it can be done basically anywhere. It's not just for spiritual enlightenment — the simple act of solely focusing on your breathing can do wonders for your anxiety. If it's your first time meditating, you may find your mind trying to wander; it's important to bring your thoughts back to your breathing when you catch yourself wandering. There are some really great apps that help users with breathing exercises for meditation just by typing "anxiety" in the App Store search bar (and most of them are free!).

2. Stay away from caffeine

Futurama coffee Giphy

This one is hard to stick to, but it really does help. Coffee is great when you're running on three hours of sleep, and you've got five classes and eight hours of homework to get through. For people with anxiety? It'll get your adrenaline going and your mind raising. Save those milk tea or coffee runs for low-stress days.

3. Drink hot, herbal tea

Chamomile tea

Tea is not only great for your physical health but for your mental health, too. A hot cup of chamomile tea is soothing and a good way to start your day or prepare for a night's rest. It relaxes muscles and helps with insomnia. If you're not a huge fan of the taste of chamomile, there are a lot of different herbal teas with different flavors to choose from, such as peppermint or fruit teas, like lemon and hibiscus.

4. Distract your mind

Relaxing

If your mind is racing with random fears, it's hard to focus on anything else. It's difficult to do homework or get some sleep when your anxiety kicks in. Try putting in some earphones and listening to something. Some people require complete silence when working, sleeping, or whatever it may be, but sometimes it really helps to have some background noise. Personally, I like to listen to podcasts when I'm working on schoolwork and instrumental music when I'm going to sleep. Some people find white noise to be really effective, such as sounds of rain or waves rolling onto the shore. Reading, cooking, or focusing on crafts are also effective and distracting. Whatever floats your boat!

5. Break a sweat

Winnie the Pooh exercising Giphy

Even fifteen minutes of cardio can be very beneficial. While exercising, your brain releases chemicals that fight stress! Your heart also pumps more oxygen to your brain and chemicals are released that help your overall mood. Now if running isn't your thing, there are other options you can choose, such as the elliptical or diving into the pool to swim a couple of laps.


Obviously, these tips aren't cures for anxiety, but they can be beneficial. I hope you guys try them out if you haven't already!

Related Content

Facebook Comments