Nobody is cheery all the time. Happy a lot maybe, but not always full of glee. Problems often start because we’re afraid to admit we’re not feeling happy, because whining is not a particularly attractive trait. It was not in, “How to Win Friends & Influence People”! But, if we don’t find appropriate ways to release tensions, the risk runs high that we will be hurtful to others or ourselves. It’s like a boiling pot with a tight lid…it’s going to blow if the steam isn’t allowed to release the pressure.

Scheduling grumble-time can help prevent this! Think of grumble-time as a license to whine. Since everyone experiences rises in emotional pressure, everyone needs a little grumble time to get back in balance. Here’s how to do it: 1) Accept that everyone needs to whine. Ask around & find a whiny partner or friend to sit down with to gripe, moan, wail, grouse & sob. 2) Prepare for the festival: Think about what has been bugging you & building up over the past couple of weeks. Coworkers, spouses, children, weather, driving, the news…whatever, because whining is personal. (Note: we’re not talking abut trauma— those discussions must be held with a professional.) 3) Find a comfortable living room or public spot where you & your whine partner can let loose with your stories of troubles, angst & annoyances….but 4) As each of you share your stories, add some hand motions: Chop with your hands with exaggerated motions to accentuate your points. Tap with your fingers like an annoying person at a counter trying to get attention. The more physical aspects you can add to your venting with a friendly whine partner, the better. 5) Keep going. Continuing until you’ve air-punched & gesticulated your whiny complaints away. 6) Notice the release of pressure. Observe how you feel better. Nobody harmed, just healthy release. See if you can even start laughing.

There’s nothing wrong with having a good grumble. Whining is a normal human activity. It’s the body’s way of calling for release. The secret is find a safe place for release. This is what good friends are for! Hey…what are you doing tonight?

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