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You’ll Be Much Happier When You Make Less Judgement

You’ll Be Much Happier When You Make Less Judgement

Think back to when you last felt truly happy. What was the reason for it? Were you full of joy because of something you did? Or perhaps you felt that way because of how you looked? And more importantly: Did the feeling last?

Buddhism teaches that we must attain a satisfying life through awareness and insightful learning. Scientific research suggests we need elements of psychological health to further access lasting happiness.

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The psychology of happiness

In psychology, there’s a theory called “self-determination theory”. It shows that psychological health is paramount to experience happiness, and that such health stems from a balance between autonomy (feeling in control of our own behavior/goals), competence (becoming a master of a skill), and relatedness (feeling like you belong/relating to other human beings).

The common trap

However, a serious error in our relationships with others is harsh judgment, which ruins our autonomy and relatedness.

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When we judge, we are really attempting to gain control of things we cannot be in control of, thus weakening our autonomy and causing those we judge to become defensive. For instance a person might not meet your expectations of attendance, and you judge them to be lazy. This only causes a weakening in our own strengths, and in turn makes us far less happy. Moreover, this would ruin our relationships with our loved ones.

Studies have shown that when we are mindful, we can understand that each person is simply on their own path of contentment. This means that although another person might not match our expectations, we should not judge them to be more or less than exactly what they are. We must not view people as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, only as different to ourselves.

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By saying that another person is wrong, it is adhering to our own insecurities and needs. In a way you are saying “I am more important” or “I am better, and you are worse”. This is unhelpful both to the situation, and to your own self. Practicing self worth will increase your knowledge of psychological health, and better your understanding of why it is so important to understand not who is right and wrong, but what is actually important.

How to refrain from judgement

In Buddhism, they teach that we should start by holding a strawberry. When we can comfortably look at the strawberry without seeing whether or not it looks good to us, without seeing its immediate effects of how it does or does not affect us directly, we can then move on to something larger. Perhaps it will be a meal, and then perhaps something larger, like a book.

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Finally, when we are comfortable with all of this, we will be ready to try it out with a human! There will be a lack of desire to accept the person (or book, or fruit) for anything but what it is exactly in that moment.

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Last Updated on September 17, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

1. Spend Time with Positive People

If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

3. Contribute to the Community

One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

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Some recommendations for you:

5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

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Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

8. Offer Compliments to Others

Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

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9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

10. Practice Self-Care

Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

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Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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