“Being an adult is pretty easy. You just feel tired all the time and tell people about how tired you are and they tell you how tired they are.” This was originally a tweet by OriginallyRon and has since, become my favorite memes of all time.
Most of us are lost college students, so it’s easy to relate to this quote on a spiritual level. Complaining about things is so easy to do as a penniless, stressed, addled student; it basically becomes second nature. Complaining about our lives all the time produces a lot of negativity though. After a long time, it has to take a toll on us.
The National Science Foundation published an article in 2005 outlining research about human thoughts per day. The research found that an average person has about 12,000 – 60,000 thoughts per day,of which 80 percent are negative.
This number isn’t really surprising. As I was typing this article, I was at my house feeling cold and lazy and I found myself saying things like, “I don’t want to do shit today” and “It is so cold in this house that I am convinced I’m dying.” Then I told my roommate about all the things I have already screwed up this week. So, why do we complain so much?
It could just be that negative comments are conversation starters and complaining about things like the weather or who’s running our country is a way to relate to each other. Just like any habit it becomes hard to break and we’re so familiar with the negativity it becomes invisible. Or maybe we just want validation for our own beliefs.
One of my friends, Emma Berry, had an interesting point of view on why negativity is so common. Berry said, “My friend Jessie said that people think they need to have a problem or have something wrong with them to mean something or make something of themselves. So people hone in on their problems and display them to others.”
When we constantly think, feel and act in a certain way for a long period of time, it can affect us physically and mentally. When feeling anxious, stressed or shameful, our bodies cry out to tell us something isn’t right. As an example, after a particularly stressful time-period, one may develop an ulcer or high blood pressure.
It’s not healthy to constantly be thinking and sharing negative thoughts, but it’s also not easy to catch yourself doing it. Maybe by just being more conscious of our thoughts, we minimize the bad energy we put out to others. Listening to others when they tell us that we are being a “downer” or altering our attitudes can also help.
From a college student standpoint, it is hard to stay peppy and positive, but we’re all in this together (insert gif of all the wildcats dancing here). No, but sometimes I actually do give myself pep talks to remind myself that I am in college for a reason and that’s why I won’t always be this poor. Stay positive, my friends.