Gratitude Overcomes a Grumbling Attitude

Gosh, I’ve been grumbling a lot lately.

About my aging car, my kids distaste for all things prepared in the crock pot, and the massive effort required to lose a single pound. I’ve even found myself grumbling over others’ grumbling.

Could anything be less productive?

stop-sabotaging-attitudes-with-grumbling-and-start-improving-them-with-gratitudeComplaining can be both a self-fulfilling prophecy and self-sabotaging strategy.

The more I complain the worse my attitude gets. And when my attitude deteriorates, I lose focus and determination. When my motivation wanes, so does my productivity, which provides even more fuel to the grumbling fire.

If I’m not careful that cycle can quickly spiral out of control and consume my entire life. If you don’t believe me, check out this article about how negativity affects our brains. It doesn’t matter if we are simply venting, seeking sympathy, or have become chronic complainers, we are making more of a MESS than is necessary.

So, how do we break the cycle and contain the destruction?

By liberally applying gratitude to our grumbling. 

In this life, we don’t often get to control nearly as much as we’d like, but we do get to choose how we react. We can either reinforce those old grooves of grumbling or establish new patterns of gratitude.

Let’s stop sabotaging our attitudes with grumbling and start improving them with gratitude.

Stop sabotaging attitudes with grumbling and start improving them with gratitude. Click To Tweet

One Bible author practiced this technique admirably despite enduring harsh circumstances. In his letter to the Philippians, instead of grumbling about his imprisonment, Paul found three things for which to be grateful. First, the imperial guards had been afforded the opportunity to hear the gospel. Second, his presence boosted other imprisoned Christians’ confidence in the gospel message. Third, even more Christians were being emboldened to speak the truth about Jesus without fear.

Here is my challenge for us all this week… Every time we find ourselves starting to complain, lets counter the urge gratitudewith three things for which we are thankful.

I can grumble over the dirty dishes carelessly left on the counter OR be thankful that we have food to go in the bowl, that we have plenty more clean dishes in the cabinet, and that I do actually have a dishwasher capable of blasting away dried on oatmeal.

I can grumble over chaotic holiday travel OR I can be thankful that we can afford to fly instead of driving, that I have family I am excited to visit, and that we have time off to be together this year.

I can grumble over having to cover my husband’s plate as I place it in the refrigerator OR be thankful that he has a job that puts dinner on the table, that he is well respected in his workplace, and that he will be sleeping beside me later.

One caution, though. Do not make this a comparison game. Don’t seek out other’s with circumstances worse than your own to make you feel better. Inevitably, you’ll only find more reasons to grumble when you look around. Instead search for things you are truly grateful for in your own life.

If you are struggling to come up with something on your own, reach back into your MEMORIES and recall what God has done for you in the past. You can always be thankful for the breath in your lungs, the magnificent wonders of creation, and the salvation Christ won for us on the cross.

Overcome the MESS of destructive grumbling with a liberal dose of gratitude.

Gratitude improves attitudes.

If you are a closet brain science geek like me, you might enjoy the book, Switch On Your Brain by Dr. Caroline Leaf.

Gratitude improves attitudes. Click To Tweet

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18


For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerThought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridayGrace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul SurvivalMonday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His StoryWoman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Word of God Speak, Testimony Tuesday.

33 thoughts on “Gratitude Overcomes a Grumbling Attitude

    1. Yes, indeed, Lori! Thanks for commenting here. I pray your have a blessed Thanksgiving week full of the kind of gratitude that creates positive brain paths!

  1. Thank you for sharing this very encouraging post!

    I had read an article once that provided scientific data which concluded that constant complaining or negativity actually rewires our brains and certainly not in a good way. More recently I saw an article that constant complaining effects our brains in a way that causes us to be anxious. That one got my attention!

    Praising God that He provides something to be grateful for every minute of every day.

    1. I suppose it isn’t such a stretch to think that discontent could lead to anxiety… God created our brains to be so powerful. If only we used them how He intended! Blessings!

  2. It sounds like you and I are going through the same heart transformation! I attached a “but” to my thanksgiving list. I decided to turn to Romans 5 where Paul connects rejoicing to hope. Hope inspires gratitude. Glad to be your #RaRa neighbor this morning!

  3. You are so right, Liz! We have so much to be thankful for, and here we get stuck in these cycles of grumbling. I love your challenge! I’ve been in one of those cycles for a few days; I’m breaking out today!!
    Thanks so much for the great advice! 🙂

  4. Liz, I’m up for the challenge you presented — oh how important this is!! I wonder what God thinks about me when I grumble – ouch! Thank you for this reminder to break out of this cycle! Linking up over at Testimony Tuesday. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  5. It is very easy to let complaining spiral out of control. An attitude of gratitude is much better, and I love Paul’s example in finding reasons for gratitude even in the midst of a difficult situation.

  6. Great post, Liz! When my hubs is gone for work, I get overwhelmed more easily . . . which tends to move me much more quickly to a grumbling state. I appreciate your suggestions to snap out of that mode. I often remind my kids to speak words of life. I need to make sure I’m doing the same. And finding those gifts in each day that I can thank Jesus for moves me in the right direction.

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    1. Thanks, Jeanne! I agree, the more stressed I am, the more prone to grumbling I get. Great advice – speak life! Always. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  7. Nice to meet you, Liz! I’m your neighbor at Jennifer’s today :). I keep a daily gratitude journal. Sometimes, the entries look exactly the same–but they help reinforce in my mind that I have so much to be grateful for!

  8. Great article! I can testify that changing my grumbling into gratitude has made a BIG difference in my life! It seems like a small thing, but actually it is HUGE!

  9. Liz, these are very wise words. Since I have a messy desk like you, I often internally grumble about my lack of organization and become self-critical. Today I will thank God for my creativity and projects which create the messy desk, and also for time this weekend to clean it off! Happy Thanksgiving to you! Visiting you from #LiveFreeThursday.

    1. Yes, and thankful He has gifted me with creativity! Girl, if I clean my desk off, I won’t know where to find anything! LOL! Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  10. Challenge accepted Liz! I too have been going through a period of grumbling and complaining (ironic that the grumpiness set in right around Thanksgiving…) Thank you for putting these words into the blogosphere to encourage our hearts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *