“It’s too hot”, “This music is awful”, “I’m starving”, “I’m freezing”, “Traffic sucks”, “I’m so tired”, “That’s too expensive”, “This food is gross”. We’ve heard all of these, and countless more. In fact, I bet we’ve heard all of these out of our own mouths, countless times.

Complaining is everywhere; complaining, to a lot of us, is just a normal part of communication. But when we stop and analyze exactly what we’re saying when we complain, we suddenly realize: Complaining is merely arguing with reality. And what’s the point of that?

Kurt Johnsen, founder of American Power Yoga (and yoga teacher to the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders – dang!), wrote an article for our friends at yoganonymous.org about a 21-day challenge to stop complaining. Kurt challenges his readers to go 21 consecutive days without arguing with reality or complaining, and provides them with the following food for thought:

“Things happen objectively. They come with no labels. If traffic didn’t slow your progress it wouldn’t be traffic. If poor drivers didn’t drive poorly, they wouldn’t be fully expressing themselves. Think about it. The point of yoga is to accept life as it is, and by doing so you can shape your future. However, when the present is happening, it’s happening – and we can choose to embrace it or complain about it. Complaining only hurts us and doesn’t change a thing expect our mood.”

Kurt offers three tips in this 21 day challenge: 1) Stop automatically labeling people/things/situations and take a moment to consider why and what you’re saying. 2) Get over yourself. It’s not all about you; be considerate of other people and other things. 3) Look for the good. How can you take advantage of what life is currently offering you? Optimism will not only do your mind and your body good, but it will positively affect the people around you.

I’m taking the challenge myself, and I encourage you to join me! Let me know how your 21 days of no complaining is affecting your mood, your thought patterns, your body, and the people around you. Good luck, and have fun!