Are you always complaining for everything? Research Concludes that Complaining Physically Changes Your Brain to Be Anxious and Depressed

The human brain is outstandingly impressionable. It can be formed very much like a ball of Play-Doh, even though with a bit more time and effort.

Thanks to rapid development in the spheres of brain imaging and neuroscience within the last 20 years, we can now say for sure that the brain is able of re-engineering and that we ourselves are the engineers.

An umbrella term describing the lasting change in the brain throughout a person’s life – neuroplasticity, is a wonderful thing in many ways.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • We can increase our “I.Q.”
  • We can learn new, life-changing skills.
  • We can recover from certain types of brain damage.
  • We can become more emotionally intelligent.
  • We can “unlearn” harmful behaviors, beliefs, and habits.

On the other side of the coin, we can redesign our brain for the worse!

Fortunately, we can right the ship again thanks to our ability to unlearn harmful behaviors, beliefs, and habits!


There is proved a relationship between our thoughts (“neurons that fire”) and structural changes in the brain (“wire together.”). Our experiences, behaviors, thinking, habits, thought patterns, and ways of reacting to the world are indivisible from how our brain wires itself.

Negative habits change our brain for the worse. Positive habits change our brain for the better.

In a state of depression, there’s nothing essentially wrong with the brain. It’s simply that the particular regulation 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.

Neuroplasticity can be both be the problem and the solution.


We all know that one person who is constantly negative. This is a person who never seems to be satisfied with anything or anyone. Negative people are almost always complainers. Complainers are never satisfied in keeping their thoughts and feelings to themselves; instead, they’ll seek out some unenthusiastic participant and vent.

We all complain from time-to-time. In fact, researchers from Clemson University empirically demonstrated that everyone grumbles on occasion. Some just do so much more often than others.

Complainers generally fall into one of three groups:

Attention-seeking Complainers:

People who seek attention through complaining; always dwelling on about how they’ve got it worse than everyone else. Ironically, (lucid) people are pertinent to ignore outright the person rather than waste mental energy.

Chronic Complainers:

These folks live in a constant condition of complaint. If they’re not voicing about their attitude, they’re almost certainly thinking about it.

Psychologists named this compulsory behavior rumination, defined as “repetitively going over a thought or a problem without completion.” Rumination is, directly related to the depressed and anxious brain.

Low-E.Q. Complainers:

‘E.Q.’ is short for emotional quotient, and people within this group are short on E.Q. What I.Q. is to intelligence, E.Q. is too emotional understanding.

These people aren’t paying attention to your perspective, thoughts, or feelings. You’re a sounding board – a brick wall. As such, they’ll dwell and vent at every opportunity.

Is the Brain to Blame?

The answer is (mostly) “Yes.” Most negative people don’t want to feel like this. Who the hell would? Destructive behaviors such as complaining, if allowed continually, will unavoidably change thought processes. Changed thoughts lead to changed beliefs which lead to a change in behavior.

Our brain possesses something called the negativity prejudice (bias). In simple terms, negativity bias is the brain’s tendency to focus more on negative conditions than positive.

But, repetition is the mother of all learning. When we repeatedly focus on the negative by complaining, we’re firing and re-firing the neurons responsible for the negativity bias.

Final Thoughts

It is not possible to be “happy-go-lucky” all of our time – and we needn’t try. We should, however, take concrete steps to work against negative thinking. Meditation and mindfulness are perhaps the most powerful tools for combating negativity.

People who meditate daily display more positive emotions than those who do not according to the researchers.

15-20 minutes of daily meditation may just make a huge difference in your life – and your brain! Try it!



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Rachell S. Anderson, Senior Writer

Written by Rachell S. Anderson, Senior Writer

Rachael has been with Live Science since 2010. She has a masters degree in journalism from New York University's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a Bachelor of Science in molecular biology and a Master of Science in biology from the University of California, San Diego.

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