Complaint-free attitude leads to happier lifestyle

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    The alarm blares too early, the test was harder than it should have been, there’s no clean clothes, no food in the pantry and no one to go out with this weekend.

    Sometimes life is just too much. Or sometimes, you feel like complaining about all the little things to anyone who will listen.

    The bad things seem to overshadow the good, and before you know it, you have managed to pull everyone down into your pity party.

    Someone is out to change that.

    The Rev. Will Bowen of Christ Church Unity in Kansas City, Mo., started preaching about complaining and challenged his congregation to give it up.

    Give up complaining?

    The challenge is to go 21 days without grumbling and to wear a purple bracelet as a reminder. Start complaining, then move the bracelet to your other wrist and start working toward those 21 days all over again.

    The task may seem daunting, almost impossible. But imagine the effects it could have.

    Members of Bowen’s congregation have talked about how happy and different they feel having broken the habit of complaining.

    Simply focusing on the positive instead of the negative can make a huge difference, both on you and the people around you.

    Bowen’s challenge is sweeping the world. According to ABC News, Bowen’s church has sent 5.3 million bracelets to people who have requested them. The goal is to send out 60 million bracelets worldwide, about 1 percent of the world population.

    The challenge to go without complaining, however, has received criticism. Barbara Held, a psychology professor at Bowdoin College in Maine, thinks that to stop complaining is not for everyone. She thinks some people just need to vent.

    Everyone needs to vent about something, but it’s all in how you do it. What’s important, and what Bowen emphasizes, is having a positive perspective.

    Jillian Hutchison is a junior news-editorial journalism major from Omaha, Neb.