By Bernie Furshpan
According to Wiktionary, to “kvetch” is to whine or complain, finding fault with anything. Well, you may not consider yourself a Kvetch and you may not point fingers at others all the time, however, if you catch yourself asking, “Why do bad things always happen to me?” then consider stepping back and seeing the situation from a different and objective point of view. If you see yourself from a third party point of view, can you see yourself other than a victim of bad intentions?
What makes a situation good or bad depends on your point of view. Without question, certain situations can be devastating, especially when you’re not emotionally or physically prepared for them, or trained to tolerate the discomfort. We observe events from a certain level of magnification. There’s a smaller story below and a larger story above, but they’re not obvious to us because our focus is on the level of magnification that we’re familiar with. What you don’t realize is that there are gazillions of events that occur on smaller scales that build a story on a level that you can relate to. You sneeze and cough and you can relate to the “bad” discomforts of the common cold. This is not a catastrophic event, however, if you look at bacteria and white blood cells chewing each other up, you see war taking place and if you existed on this scale, can be terrifying Pull back the lens and you’ll realize that you’re surviving an invasion of germs, which is a good thing. Pull back some more and see how what we label as negative events play a role in inevitably improving conditions for others.
Recently, I had a conversation with a colleague who saw his situations as “The end of his world.” I told him, there are people right now in hospital beds suffering with terminal illnesses who would give up all their belongings and jump for joy to have your problems if it meant they would get another chance at life. He didn’t see that perspective as productive and continued with his mental anguish. The fact is that most fantasies about potentially catastrophic events do not come to life. In fact, the majority of the times, worries are useless and a waste of time. If you worry half your life away, you miss out on so many opportunities to appreciate the things that are working well, the simple good things staring you in the face.
A multitude of studies have shown repeatedly that taking life in stride, laughing at situations, and letting stressful events roll off your back leads to a happier, healthier and a longer life. How can you reduce the mind’s mechanism of worrying and complaining? Give yourself more time. Slow down the internal mental dialogue to catch your breath and see more clearly as to what’s really going on. Distance yourself from things you’re afraid of losing and see things more objectively. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I lose this thing?” Most events that lead to loss and damage do heal and can be overcome with time. It’s part of life and learning to accept this will help you kvetch less and live joyously and peacefully.