by Gregg Krech

One of the ways we fail to accept what life is presenting us is by complaining about it. We complain about circumstances that unfold, we complain about our bodies, we complain about other people. Here’s an exercise we use in our Mental Wellness course. Limit your complaints to just describing things as they are.

So instead of . . .

“Hey, who washed my favorite blouse? It shrunk. Now it’s too small. It’s only supposed to be washed in cold water. Can’t anybody read a label around here. We’ll that’s just great! I was planning to wear it to the open house tomorrow night. Now what am I going to wear?”

It becomes . . .

“My blouse shrunk.”

Here are some other examples of “just describing” . . .

“You left the oven on.”
“I have some pain in my back.”
“There’s very little gas left in the car.”
“We’re late for the appointment.”

There may still be complaining energy behind these comments. But the drama is absent. Keep your focus on the present moment – how things are right now, not how they might unfold. When you notice yourself just describing things as they are, see if you can use it as a cue to just accept the situation as it is. After a statement like, “there’s a lot of traffic right now,” try punctuating your remark with a deep breath. Think of it as breathing in the reality of the situation . . . just as it is.

In Japan, there’s a traditional type of theater called “Noh Drama.”

In this exercise we are working towards a presentation of . . .

No Drama.

Gregg Krech is a leading expert in Japanese Psychology and the author of several books.  His newest book, The Art of Taking Action: Lessons from Japanese Psychology, will be published on October 20, 2014. 


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