Scott Bea, Psy.D., who is a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, says that a complaint characterizes the majority of American conversations. Bea also says how we tend to notice things that threaten us, which goes back to when our ancestors did this to survive.
Even more: Emerging psychotherapies, including something called acceptance and commitment therapy, focus on small language tweaks like this to help people beat tough times, he notes. So while positive thinking (and all the perks that come with it) is about positive thoughts, it’s also about positive attitudes, which can, in turn, cultivate gratitude and appreciation, encouraging even more positive behaviors and, yep, thoughts, too. Complaints on the other hand? They can leave us feeling more vulnerable and threatened in the world, furthering a cycle of negativity and fear.