Taking a nonjudgemental stance, both toward ourselves and others, is one of the cornerstones of mindfulness. This ability to step back and detach is a skill that will decrease anxiety, stress and discontent. But taking a nonjudgemental stance is easier said than done, as we humans are so good at judging. We think by sizing up, categorizing, and otherwise pigeon-holeing people, places and things we keep ourselves safe from harm.
While using “good judgement” can certainly keep us safe from harm, excessive judgement that deems us better than or less than can create feelings of isolation.
Here’s a mindfulness experiment for your next walk, or trip to a grocery store.
1. Start by taking a few deep breaths which will help you center and take a neutral stance.
2. As you walk down the road or the grocery isle, note the thoughts that pop into your head as someone passes by. You might mentally register someone as “short,” “tall,” “bald,” “smarter than me,” or “better dressed than me,” “poorer than me.”
3. Resist this urge to go on auto-pilot by thoughtlessly labeling your subject. Instead of using one or two descriptive words, try using the phrase “Just like me” as you make your observations. Here are a few examples:
“just like me this person looks tired.”
“Just like me this person worries.”
“Just like me this person can feel joy.”
“Just like me this person wants to be loved.”
See if this mindfulness experiment helps you to feel less critical and more connected, then connect with mindful hub. Let us know how this exercise works for you.
We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!