Have YOU tried a 21 day no complaint challenge? What do you think it might have to do with physical and mental health? With “fitness” even?
Well I tried it. And I found it to contribute to all of the above.
For me it was a really great thing to do and very timely. I am coming off a LONG run of repetitive negative thinking and just a generally piss poor attitude. Ever have those ;)?
When I first challenged myself to do this I figured it meant that no complaint shall pass my lips for 21 days. And that’s what I ended up deciding on. You’re actually “supposed to” wear a rubber bracelet that you snap every time you utter something that may be construed as a complaint. And while I didn’t feel it was that big of a challenge to refrain from complaining out loud (I caught myself once that I’m aware of) what IS hard is not doing it mentally. Which ended up being the real value of the exercise. Noticing how often and repetitively my thoughts turned to what essentially amounts to complaining.
Noticing is the first step. Then, hopefully, you are appalled at the persistent frequency of your negativity. I was. I have an image of Homer Simpson reaching for a doughnut under the threat of electric shock I believe it was? Many attempts were made…
And so I spent a lot of the 21 days first noticing then gently and sometimes forcefully re-directing or simply aborting those negative thoughts. This made up the bulk of the challenge for me.
It also brought to light how it’s really just a few issues that go round and round in my head in this fashion. It’s amazing to me how deep I dug the trenches of what amounts to be a literal prison of undesirable thought patterns. And this is where we live day to day isn’t it? Granted not always negative but in the same thought patterns and dialogue with ourselves every day, every month, year after year.
And while we are having the same conversation with ourselves all day long the whole world is out there. Dare I say passing us by?
This gave me perspective and that perspective was the real benefit.
When you can notice what’s going on inside your own head you are much better able to affect purposeful change. When you have mindfulness in each day the quality of your days improve dramatically. And since there is no real distinction between body and mind, when the mind is made to be more healthy so becomes the body.
I found myself feeling better and consequently “performing” better.
If you think it might be something worth trying I highly recommend it! Then hopefully we can continue the work together, long after the challenge is over…