Human beings are prone to judge and evaluate situations, each other, and even ourselves. This is a survival mechanism -- something we do to avoid danger and prevent harm from happening to us. However, too much judgement can be a negative thing. When we begin harshly judging others or ourselves, our body and mind bears the brunt of this negativity. Self-criticism leads to negative thought patterns, self-doubt, and anxiety, which in turn can wreak havoc on the heart and the immune system, and prevent us from leading the lives that we truly deserve. According to the Harvard Medical School, anxiety is a leading cause of gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory disorders and heart disease. It is important to be aware of this negative food for the soul and to try and nip it in the bud when it happens. Remember that we are all human and we all make mistakes. Rather than beating yourself up over every little thing, be compassionate and forgiving towards yourself and others.
Tips for Eliminating Judgement
• Be aware of judgement and criticism. Take note of your thoughts and the things you say. Be aware of the times when you are being overly critical, and ask yourself why you feel this way. Are your thoughts rooted in reality, or are they coming from a place of fear and insecurity? Once you notice yourself being judgemental, you can take actions to reverse this self-destructive behavior.
• Reframe your thoughts. One of the most important life mastery skills is to notice what you are noticing. Sometimes all it takes is a slight shift in thinking to turn judgement into positive thinking. For example, instead of telling yourself you are too shy, tell yourself you have a quiet dignity. If you catch yourself thinking that you haven't accomplished enough, add the word 'yet.' The way you speak to yourself internally has everything to do with how your life manifests.
• Cultivate compassion. Try to be kind to yourself and the people around you. A good way to do this is to think about the love that you feel for your mother or father. Make note of this warm, loving emotion and feel it wash over you. If you project this feeling out into the world, you will find that others are kinder to you in return, and you yourself will be more peaceful and content. In addition, it is difficult to feel stressed when you are cultivating compassion. Less stress means lower blood pressure, less tension on your arteries and heart, and thus, a lowered risk of heart attacks and stroke.
• Avoid people who are overly judgemental. It's a simple fact that people who spend a significant amount of time together tend to pick up each other's characteristics and behavior3. If you have friends or acquaintances who are harshly critical of themselves and other people, chances are you will begin to do the same. Try to surround yourself with positive people with good energy.
• Try to say at least 10 positive things about yourself and the people around you every day. When you make an effort to find the good in people, you train your mind to be compassionate and caring. In this way, you nurture your heart and create a positive energy that will benefit not only yourself, but everyone around you.
Too much judgement has a negative effect on your thoughts, emotions and even your physical health. Anxiety, anger and anguish all lead to high blood pressure and heart problems. In this way, judgement prevents you from living a healthy lifestyle that is full of well-being, joy and peace. Compassion is the key to breaking the pattern of being overly judgemental. When you find yourself being too harsh or critical towards yourself or others, try to think positive, kind and caring thoughts, and you may just find that you have more energy, feel lighter and stronger, and can accomplish anything you put your mind to.
For the next three weeks, incorporate these simple action steps into your daily routine and watch the magic unfold.
For more by Dr. Cynthia Thaik on her website, click here.
For more by Dr. Cynthia Thaik, click here.
For preview of her upcoming book: Your Vibrant Heart
This blog post is part of a series. Please see my earlier postings: "Foods for the Soul"