GOOD OR BAD?
Why do we spend so much of our time focusing on what other people are doing? And why do we feel the need to constantly comment on it?
While technology has helped our world grow closer together, it’s also being used to tear us a part. Now that we have access to most everyone’s inner thoughts and feelings online, we feel entitled to an opinion about it. But when we form an opinion about someone, positive or negative, it’s teaching us to become the judge and jury. We’re no longer seeing the world in its variety of hues and colors, but as black and white, right and wrong, good and bad.
So the following practice asks us to open our minds, rephrase how we label others, and refrain from making a snap judgment. Use this when you find yourself getting frustrated by a situation you can’t control, or after holding onto anger from any emotional encounter.
Rephrase – The first step is to find a different way to view the situation you’re in or the emotion you’re feeling. Remember that you are the one who will hold onto the negativity, no one else. So you must rephrase your opinion in order to release the “bad” mentality.
One way to do this is by changing your vocabulary. By simply switching the thoughts we think, it will change the words we speak. Thus how we view our experiences. If we keep calling something or someone “bad” it creates a moral judgment. But if we say that something or someone is “negative” or “not a fit” for us, then the opinion only applies to ourselves.
So for *beginner* a week or *advanced* a month, notice your thoughts before you speak or while you’re scrolling online. See if you can catch yourself using judgmental words and phrases. Then try to rephrase them by replacing the words with neutral phrases that relate back to you.
Refrain – The second step is to consider whether or not your opinion needs to be shared with others. Too often we feel entitled to our opinions, thus they must be heard. But like the old saying goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
A way to determine the importance of your opinion is to ask yourself, “Does this issue really affect me?”. When we are caught up in someone else’s world or are affected by what someone’s done to us, we can forget that we have a choice. We can always chose whether or not to let something negative “get to us”. So instead of spouting off an immediate judgmental comment, step back into your world and see if it’s truly worthy of your time and attention.
For *beginner* a week or *advanced* a month, really challenge yourself to hold your tongue and take a moment before making a judgment. While we all have something to say, sometimes our thoughts are better left unsaid. Then we can practice keeping an open-mind and retraining ourselves to slowly see the positives in every situation.
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