Complaining Can Physically Change Your Brain to Be Anxious and Depressed, According to Studies

Avatar Arushi Kapoor | January 17, 2018

The human brain is a marvelous contraption that can absorb energy around it and mold itself accordingly. It is malleable enough to be shaped by the environment it is in and in a sense, it can even be ‘re-engineered’.

Everything around us can influence us and can sometimes even create a lasting impact on our brains. We can increase our IQ, Learn new skills, recover from brain damage, gain emotional intelligence, and even unlearn certain harmful habits, behaviors, and beliefs.

While our brains can substantially benefit from positive influences, it can also get damaged by negative factors and can change for the worse.

As per to latest studies, constant complaining can negatively affect your brain and can initiate more severe problems like anxiety and depression.

According to Alex Corb, Ph.D., and author of The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time, “In depression, there’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the brain. It’s simply that the particular tuning of neural circuits creates the tendency toward a pattern of depression. It has to do with the way the brain deals with stress, planning, habits, decision making and a dozen other things — the dynamic interaction of all those circuits. And once a pattern starts to form, it causes dozens of tiny changes throughout the brain that create a downward spiral.”

The same goes with complaining. Once the floodgates of the complaining habit open, there’s no stopping. And then pours in an enormous dose of negativity right behind it.



Negative people are mostly serial complainers. They have a habit of projecting their negativity onto people and things around them. And more often than not, they’re vocal about their unfavorable thoughts.

While all of us have a tendency to complain when we get into a tough situation, there are some serial complainers who manage to find something negative in just about anything.

Complainers are broadly of three types:

  • Attention-seeking complainers – People who want to make show out of their complaints and hog all the attention.
  • Chronic complainers – These people have close to nothing positive to say.
  • Low-EQ complainers – They lack enough emotional quotient to understand the other side and they’ll go ahead and diss everything without hearing someone else out.

While some people are inherently spiteful, most don’t really like being in this constant state of complaint. Every time they do, they lose a positive part of themselves and soon they are so overcome by negativity that they almost know no other state of being. And the long-term effects of this are usually grave mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Their behaviour slowly declines and there’s nothing they can do about it once they’re too far along complaint street and neck deep in negativity.


According to neuroscientist and author of Buddha’s Brain, Dr. Rick Hansen, “Negative stimuli produce more neural activity than do equally intensive positive ones. They are also perceived more easily and quickly.” So whenever we complain, our brain can catch on to it and learn it faster than positive thoughts.

While remaining positive all the time is easier said than done, we must curb our complaints for only the most severe situations. Perennially negative thoughts are often the foundation of more serious mental conditions and brain disorders and taking preventive measures is better than looking for cures later on.

So remember. Life is too short to turn to the dark (negative) side. When you feel yourself being overcome with adverse thoughts try reading something, watching a comedy, talking to a close friend, and best of all meditate.


Source: Theheartysoul; Powerofpositivity; Rickhansen

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