It’s easy to get caught up in bad habits, especially when you aren’t cognizant that it has become a habit.

Complaining, unfortunately, is one of those actions that can be so easily ingrained into our lives that we don’t even realize we’ve incorporated this negativity into our daily routine, to such a large extent.

If you’re caught up in this habitual, negative thinking, you may be vocalizing this more than you’re aware, and more than those around you want to hear.

Don’t worry. Everyone picks up bad habits, occasionally, but it’s when we become aware of our flaws that it is our responsibility to try to rectify them, replacing them with something better.

1. Start off by changing your perspective

How do you do this? Practice gratitude instead of complaining. When you find yourself wanting to speak negatively about something, take a moment to think about why you are grateful. Do you have wonderful family or friends? Do you feel safe and secure? Do you have a pet that you love? Did you receive an education?

Everyone has something to be grateful for, and it shouldn’t take us long to recognize this. Sometimes our focus just gets diverted to what is going wrong in our life instead of what is going right in our life, so gaining some positive perspective is the first important step to attaining more happiness.

Now that you’re not constantly thinking negatively and speaking negativity, you’ll find that you have time to fill doing the things that you enjoy.

2. Focus on the positive

You are already on to the second step – feeling more positive. Focus your mind on what you enjoy, thereby creating more positive topics to think and talk about, minimizing — you got it — complaining. It’s amazing how easily this happens.

When you are more positive, others naturally gravitate towards you.

You are more socially open and attuned to enjoying your time with others. This positive mental state will manifest itself throughout many areas of your life, and you will naturally, become more socially available to others.

Visualize a happier life, filtering your time, thoughts and conversations through a rose-colored lens. It helps to visualize the life you want prior to pursuing it. This makes it seem more realistic and attainable.

When your focus is already there, it becomes easier to navigate the road to really being there — making this your reality.

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3. Understand that what goes in is likely being projected outwards

What do I mean by this? If you fill your life with positivity, then you’re likely to emanate positivity. On the flip side, if you are surrounded solely by negative events, thoughts, or friends, then that’s likely what you’re giving off — negative vibes. Don’t stress though. Everyone goes through phases, but let’s get you out of this rut.

Fill your time with activities that are going to make positive changes in you.

Learn something new from reading. Watch an enjoyable movie. Relax and listen to music. Play an instrument. Learn a new language. Pick up barefoot running.

Introduce some fun productivity into your life, so that you don’t get stuck in a rut of mindlessly binge-watching Netflix. While this may be fun during the short-term, it’s not positively contributing to your life in the long-run. Think about what you are getting from what you are doing.

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What happened when I stopped complaining

After practicing this advice for two weeks, I found myself smiling more. I felt lighter and happier, as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. In fact, I realized that I had, unknowingly, been carrying the weight of negativity on my shoulders. It was awfully heavy, hence the term, heavy-hearted.

With my new-found lightheartedness, I realized I was holding my head up higher.

I had time for more productivity. I felt a renewed energy that I wanted to use to tackle some tasks around the house that I had been putting off.

Feeling more positive led to positive results and more organization within my life, thereby relieving further external stressors. The results were compounding — one positive change led to another and then another, and it seemed to add immeasurable happiness to my life.

One would think that practicing these new skills would take much time, but it’s actually the opposite. It cleared up time in my schedule and space in my mind for the activities and deep thinking I enjoy. I suddenly seemed like I had more time in which to do everything, because I wasn’t wasting any energies on the negativity in life.

I became a happier, healthier person who renewed her joy in life.

The trick is to remind yourself of all the reasons you’re grateful, and the rest just sorts itself out naturally.

Guide to Inspired Life