In counseling, sometimes we practice the non-judgmental stance. It is an eye-opening experience for most people! Counseling can provide the means to see things more clearly that we tend to do routinely and without much thought.
Do you practice the constant state of judging yourself? And, has anyone ever said to you, "Oh, you shouldn't feel that way!" Or maybe, "That's a terrible thought!"? I'm not talking about anything catastrophic here, I'm talking about everyday kinds of thoughts and feelings.
You've probably learned to judge yourself as you grew up and learned to look at your feelings and thoughts as good or bad. So, maybe now that you are a little older, when you feel anger, you think, "I shouldn't be so mad!" Or, if you're sad, you start worrying there's something wrong with you and start feeling anxious. (And if you have any serious or lingering troubling feelings, you should see a licensed professional). I'm talking about the everyday judgments we quickly make about our own, or other people's, feelings. Sadness, anger, frustration are all stepping stones we can use as life lessons. Here's the key: they are neither good nor bad. They just are. Has everyone ever told you that feeling happy was bad??? Who assigned these categories? Without sadness, we couldn't know joy. Without anger, we couldn't know forgiveness. You get the picture. So what is it that you are feeling and why shouldn't you feel that way? Feelings and thoughts naturally come and go. It's part of being human. When you notice you are in a state of turmoil because you've been judging your feelings, here are 3 steps you can take:
1. Keep a judgment journal or notepad. Every time you find yourself judging something, write it down. Try this for at least one day. You will be amazed how often we judge everything! It's too hot. It's too cold. That driver is crazy. I wish my hair looked better. Really, I promise you it will open your eyes.
2. Now, keep that journal but track how often you judge how you FEEL.
3. Bring your awareness into each of these judgments and just start seeing them as "states" or "things" that just "are".
Whatever you do, be nice to yourself. You're human and you're allowed to feel however you feel. It's the action we take that defines us.
If you would like to learn more how to use this as well as many other helpful skills., we invite you to try our counseling services today. We would love to work with you.