People who constantly complain are harmful to your health

Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.

People who constantly complain are harmful to your health
Photo credit: Getty Images / Stringer

Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.

Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.


The most obvious reason for striving to complain less is that griping is bad for you: "When we complain, our brains release stress hormones that harm neural connections in areas used for problem solving and other cognitive functions. This also happens when we listen to someone else moan and groan."

Hullinger quotes Jon Gordon, author of the 2008 book The No Complaining Rule, as saying the harms of complaining are comparable to secondhand smoke. Being a Negative Nancy in the office is not unlike chain smoking at your desk. For Gordon, both are unacceptable. He doesn't want the other members of his office to have to breathe in the offensive fumes of an employee's gripes.

At the end of Hullinger's piece are several tips for moving away from constant complaining and rethinking the impulses that lead to such discontent. The best advice is to separate yourself from chronic complainers who can only make themselves happy by bringing down other people with their dissatisfaction.

Read more at Fast Company.

Your body’s full of stuff you no longer need. Here's a list.

Evolution doesn't clean up after itself very well.

Image source: Decade3d-anatomy online via Shutterstock
Surprising Science
  • An evolutionary biologist got people swapping ideas about our lingering vestigia.
  • Basically, this is the stuff that served some evolutionary purpose at some point, but now is kind of, well, extra.
  • Here are the six traits that inaugurated the fun.
Keep reading Show less

Godzilla vs. Kong: A morphologist chooses the real winner

Ultimately, this is a fight between a giant reptile and a giant primate.

Surprising Science

The 2021 film “Godzilla vs. Kong" pits the two most iconic movie monsters of all time against each other. And fans are now picking sides.

Keep reading Show less

How do you tell reality from a deepfake?

The more you see them, the better you get at spotting the signs.

ROB LEVER/AFP via Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • The number of deepfake videos online has been increasing at an estimated annual rate of about 900%.
  • Technology advances have made it increasingly easy to produce them, which has raised questions about how best to prevent malicious misuse.
  • It's been suggested that the best way to inoculate people against the danger of deepfakes is through exposure and raising awareness.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Surprising Science

    Ancient cave artists were getting high on hypoxia

    A new study says the reason cave paintings are in such remote caverns was the artists' search for transcendence.

    Quantcast