Non-Judgment (Guest Blogger Nathan Braden)

Our brains are prone to making snap judgments about almost everything. The judgment could be about us or about other people. The practice of non-judgment is valuable. It gently guides us into seeing a new perspective and causes our automatic perceptions to be reframed.

Non-judgment is a useful tool because, if left to its own devices, the brain will routinely evaluate our experiences as, right or wrong, fair or unfair, comfortable or uncomfortable. This happens so quickly that our experiences are automatically assigned an emotion. We have no time or opportunity to see a situation from a different and unbiased perspective.  This can create tension and anxiety.

For instance, imagine your conscious mind as a house and it’s your turn to throw the next big house party. Exciting, right?  However, there is  a huge guest list!  Your good friend, Joy, is coming, but just has to bring along her annoying boyfriend, Jealousy. He’s such a downer, right?  Oh! I forgot to mention that your in-laws, Anxiety and Fear, are most likely going to make an appearance.  Your home is just never tidy enough for them, is it?

Creating a non-judging attitude requires a willingness to acknowledge that your guests Joy, Jealousy, Anxiety, and Fear exist. Rather than trying to stop them from coming to the house party , we can learn to respond to them in a more skillful way.  Instead of cowering in the closet of our home or drinking an extra glass of wine, we can stand in impartial observation of the party around us.  Perhaps there is something we can learn from Joy, Jealousy, Anxiety, and Fear?  Either way, they will leave in their own time, and there is nothing to gain from worrying about how they got there in the first place.

In the days ahead, take some time to bring impartial awareness and a lens of non-judgment to the moments of your life. Notice when your brain is mechanically judging a situation and take the time stop, to breathe, and create a new perspective.

GUEST BLOGGER: Nathan Braden is a graduate student at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. He is studying Psych-Mental Health nursing. He will graduate in May 2018 and sit for certification as a PMHNP. Nathan has been a Registered Nurse for 8 years and been with the James for all of them. He received his ADN from Marion Technical College and his BSN from The Ohio State University.