How Practicing Non-Judgment Improves Your Life
“A day spent judging another is a painful day. A day spent judging yourself is a painful day. ”
Our feelings are always a gauge. Think about a time when you were judging someone negatively. How did it feel? Maybe you felt it was right to judge. Yet if you checked in with yourself, it probably didn’t feel good emotionally or physically.
How about when you felt judged? Not a good feeling either.
Judgment hurts. And if we dig deeper, who has the right to judge? After all, our judgments are based on our opinions and past experiences. Neither of these is the best yardstick because both are limited to our own minds.
I never like it when I hear or see a friend suffering. It moves me to my core because I know what it’s like to make suffering worse. By blaming ourselves, mentally beating ourselves up. “Shoulding” all over the place.
Be kinder to you. And to the other. Seek to be more accepting of yourself, others and life. Here’s how.
Don’t Judge You
“Every time you judge yourself you hurt yourself.”
— Paulo Coelho
If there’s one reason to stop judging yourself it’s that it doesn’t feel good. And it’s bad for your body and brain. As I wrote in “Five Ways To Be Kinder To Yourself,” negative self-talk can cause depression and physical and emotional stress. It also harms your heart health and immune system. When you find your inner critic running amok, stop and take a breath. Check the story you’re telling yourself and let it go. Remind yourself of your good qualities and the good you do in life.
Let Others Be
“Be curious, not judgmental.”
— Walt Whitman
We’ve all been on the other side of judgment—being judged. When I feel judged I want to shut down or shut out the person I feel judged by. There are better ways to handle it. Don’t take it personally and stand in the Truth—the only person’s opinion that really matters is yours. And you can choose to neutrally and kindly share your feelings. Often, the other person didn’t mean any harm and wasn’t aware of the effect their words had on you. If it keeps happening, you can decide whether you want this person in your life.
Don’t Judge Life
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
— William Shakespeare
We all view life through our own personal lens. If we have rose-colored glasses on, we’ll see life as rosy. If blue, we’ll see life as blue. We put labels like “good” or “bad” on people and things.
What if we choose to see life as neither good nor bad, right or wrong and just as it is?
In The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra suggests accepting people, situations, and events as they occur. Take responsibility for your situation without blaming anything or anyone, including yourself. Relinquish the need to defend your point of view. Living this way will lead to more peace of mind and a sense of freedom.
Being non-judgmental takes practice. Notice when judgment arises towards yourself, others and life. See if you can bring some compassion to what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling. Let go of judgment when it doesn’t feel good and when it doesn’t serve your highest self.
Want help starting a compassion practice? Download my free, 7-minute guided Loving-Kindness meditation below.