Exercises For Non-judgmental Thinking

Cultivating non-judgmental thinking is taught in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Skills Groups as a part of the Mindfulness Training.  Mindfulness teaches individuals to observe and describe their own behavior, which is necessary when any new behavior is being learned, when there is some sort of problem, or a need for change.

In DBT mindfulness skills are intended to improve an individual’s abilities to observe and describe themselves and their environment non-judgmentally, which enhances the ability to participate in life effectively.

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Non-Judgmental Mindfulness

This exercise will focus on the skill of non-judgmental. Part of our mind is constantly comparing ourselves to others and expectations we've created. We tend to see things as good for me and those close to me or bad for me and those close to me. We also often tend to judge ourselves. "I'm good at this" or “I’m no good at this.” “I’m no good.” “I’m not good enough.” Thinking like this can weigh you down. It’s like carrying around a suitcase filled with rocks. Putting the suitcase down would feel good. Letting go of our judgments can feel good, in the same way. The first step to letting go of judgments is to NOTICE when you are having them.

Today, spend a moment thinking about common judgmental words you use. These might be words you use when speaking to others or they might be words you use in your own head. Common judgmental words include good and bad, right and wrong, should and shouldn't, terrible, awful, wonderful and perfect. Throughout the rest of the day, notice when you say or think these words. Simply take note that you've made a judgment and move on. Be sure to notice both positive and negative judgments. Being non-judgmental is not changing negatives to positives, it is acknowledging each moment, without a positive or negative judgment.