After helping thousands of New Yorkers achieve success with their therapeutic goals, I’ve learned a shortcut or two for finding psychological lightness and increased headspace.
I’m talking about the kind of headspace that can only lead to good things.
If practiced and taken seriously, this hack could potentially stimulate the following mental health benefits:
- a reduction in unhealthy forms of social comparison
- more experiences of being grounded via humility and perspective
- a greater sense of connection to people
- relief from some forms of depression
- improved anger management
That’s a HUGE benefit stuffed into a quick but powerful intervention.
Here’s the happiness hack….
Every time you think or declare out loud a judgment against yourself or someone else, try saying to yourself, “Ahh, here goes —insert your name— judging again!” or “Oops, here I go judging again.”
Keep doing this even if it happens 100 times in a single day. You can be discreet and say it under your breath or in your mind.
This hack is practical and universal.
You’ll never be able to stop yourself from judging completely. It’s human nature, but what you CAN do is notice that you just judged and remove your immediate investment in it so that you don’t harm your mind and body.
Who are we to judge?
You gain nothing by judging.
There is no winning with judgment, only losing. It’s a complete illusion that you are teaching people a lesson by judging them out loud.
The only lesson to get is that you are essentially punching yourself in the head when you judge.
Judging other people is a strategy for artificially making yourself feel superior to other people by allowing you to look down on them.
Judgment breeds depression and it kills cells in your body. You’re essentially turning against yourself when you’re in the business of judgment. Judgment repels people and makes you more alone than you already may be.
Let the Resentment Go or Else
People who tend to have trouble letting go of resentment or who believe that the world owes them something tend to judge the most. These types of people can make great strides by practicing this mental exercise.
If you doubt my advice, just try it for one day. Every time you judge yourself or others, point it out to yourself. You WILL feel something different.
If you’re accustomed to the illusion of power and superiority that judgment can bring, then removing judgment might make you feel stripped of your defenses at first. Stick with it and you will notice the difference in your mood.
This ONLY works if it’s repeated.
Plus, if you combine this habit with a commitment to personal growth, you’ll be a powerhouse of happiness.
There are thousands of directions I can go with this. but for now I will leave you with three closing comments…
First, I feel compelled to repeat that the true power of this hack is accessed through repetition and a keen awareness of the heavy price you pay for judging. The ability to separate yourself from your automatic judgments takes practice. “Here I go judging again” must remain close to consciousness for you to remember to challenge a judgment. Repetition allows for easy access to this thought.
In essence, it’s ok to become addicted to this thought. Without a practiced judgment-questioning muscle, you run the risk of getting lost in your anger and overall mental discomfort associated with judgment.
Second, avoid judging people who you witness judging you or others. Apply the same technique mentioned above. It’s common to feel an amplified sense of judgment toward people who struggle with something you’re working on (e.g., you are starting to lose weight and obese strangers start to annoy you more than before.) Remember, ask yourself, “Who am I to judge?”
Third, I must credit, to a lesser extent, my readings on Buddhism and spirituality, and, to a larger extent, Dr. Peter Reznik, a wise and worldly therapist and healer who taught me this extraordinary mental hack.
Feel free to comment below and let me know how it goes.
For more on reasons to stop judging, take a look at this link to a great Psychology Today article.