How often throughout the day do you judge yourself? How often do you judge others? Judgmental thoughts are probably one of the most toxic life-draining things we can engage in. I think they cause us to age early.
Judgment often prevents us from authentic connections with others because it keeps us locked in a cynical mode.
Both judgment and fear hold us back and keep us from stepping into our own true power. When people live in a state of constant judgment, whether that judgment is self-directed or directed to others, they live in a state of negativity and criticism.
It has been said that everyone is our mirror, so the reality is that whenever you are judging someone else, you are most likely judging yourself as well.
Releasing Judgmental Thoughts with Mindfulness
One good way to become more cognizant of judgmental thoughts is by simply becoming more mindful of what you are saying in any given moment.
If you slip up and find yourself criticizing yourself for something silly or stupid, stop yourself before you can self judge. You can even try labeling those thoughts by saying something like “OK, I’m feeling down today, but I still love myself.”
In other words, you can label the thought without judgment, and then move on. You can do the same if you find yourself inadvertently judging others. Stop yourself before the words come out and ask yourself why you feel the way you do.
It’s OK to have those kinds of thoughts, as long as you don’t act on them rashly.
See if you can dig a little deeper and ask yourself what is underneath that self-critical thought? What kind of energy is fueling it?
You may just discover you are having a bad day or you feel hurt by something someone else said.
It may take some practice to catch yourself and become more aware of the negative thoughts but you can develop a habit of thinking twice before you speak out or self-criticize.
The Concept of Reframing Thoughts
Another good practice is learning how to reframe those negative thoughts. If you find yourself thinking in a judgmental manner toward yourself or others take a moment to stop and think of some potential ways you can grow or learn from the experience.
Maybe you are judging others because you feel bad about yourself. For example, instead of criticizing someone for looking great, turn the thought around.
Instead, try thinking something like “That person really took the time to pull herself together. I can learn from that and do the same.”
You might be amazed at how much better you will feel turning something negative and self-destructive into a learning moment.
You can also do this by being happy when other people achieve success. Instead of saying something like “I can’t believe how much money she makes,” say something like “If she can do it, I can do it. Good for her.”
Your thoughts are real. They have energy. If you are continually surrounding yourself in a field of negative energy, you won’t be able to rise up. Your thoughts are reflected in your face, your complexion, and your aura (the energy field around you).
Start questioning those thoughts of judgment. Practice thinking differently and living life through a lens of love and compassion.
One of the big benefits of the practice of meditation is learning how to continuously watch your thoughts. The more you sit down to meditate and reflect, the more aware you will be of that voice in your head that is either critical or loving.
Pay attention to how you treat yourself and how you treat others, especially when you’re going through something really hard, stressful, and challenging. It’s important to remember that other people may be going through the same thing.
When you’re going through any kind of transition, or you’re going through stress, those self-critical thoughts will often rise to the surface.
That’s the most critical time to have a kind and compassionate voice towards yourself and others. Develop that awareness through your meditation practice.
Do your best to release those judgments, even if it’s hard. We get so used to criticizing ourselves and others it becomes a way of life.
You may still have erroneous thoughts and think to yourself that you’re not good enough or you’re a bad person, but you will eventually get to a place where you can start letting that go.
An Evolution of Human Consciousness
Shifting your thoughts is an evolution of human consciousness in many ways. Try and start noticing the awareness behind your thoughts, and change the awareness from being judgmental to being neutral, or compassionate.
Just learning to have a compassionate awareness in your own self, whether it’s about your body, your emotions, or your thoughts and feelings can help you turn those negative harsh thoughts into thoughts filled with loving-kindness.
It’s about having the intention of loving-kindness towards yourself and others.
When you can focus that loving-kindness towards yourself you can then extend that to other people and start generating more positive energy.
When your thoughts are positive and your energy is positive, you attract that same kind of positive energy right back which is a beautiful way to live.
This mentality actually becomes a whole health system where positive energy runs through your body on a continual basis.
As a result, you’ll feel the cells of your body tingle with delight with this positive energy.
Remember, your body is listening to those thoughts, moment-to-moment. It is constantly responding to your thoughts. Do you want to run negative energy or positive energy through your body?
This is how meditation can help you shift and transform judgment into neutrality or positivity.
If you’re going to have thoughts in the 60,000-90,000 thoughts per day, then you might as well have positive ones. Try and shift your focus and awareness so that when you sit down to meditate you focus on positive loving thoughts that can change the world – starting with yourself.