Your Health is Your Choice with Sara Troy and her guest Greg Hammer ,MD, on air from September 20th
Greg Hammer, MD, Stanford School of Medicine professor, physician, best-selling author, and mindfulness expert, shares tips to become more nonjudgmental and explains the benefits.
Most people admirably strive to be “nonjudgmental” towards others. Coming from a place of nonjudgment allows us to see the best in others without letting our own biases get in the way. However, in order to become less judgmental, we need to change how we think about ourselves and the world around us.
We make quick judgments every day about everything we see and put these things into categories, such as healthy/ unhealthy, affordable/ expensive, and good/ bad. And how much more often do we make judgments about ourselves??
Mindfulness, or living in the present moment, gives us the space to practice nonjudgment. First, we acknowledge how often we judge and that it is not necessary to judge. Then we can practice living in the present and accepting the world, ourselves, and others as they are.
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What is nonjudgment? Nonjudgment is observation without bias. It’s understanding that reality is not necessarily good or bad— it just is. Nonjudgment is a natural extension of “living in the moment.”
What are the benefits of nonjudgment?
- Nonjudgment allows you to see the best in yourself and others.
- You’re freeing yourself from your own criticism.
- You’re more open to positive experiences and opportunities.
- What problems does judgment create?
Judgment prevents us from seeing what is really in front of us! We risk missing out on making new friends, having great conversations, and learning something new.
Judgment stokes our own fears, anxieties, and insecurities which keep us stuck.
Our compulsive need to make judgments is tiring and takes our energy away from important tasks.
How does mindfulness inhibit judgment?
- When we are focused on the present moment, we accept things as they are, which prevents judgment.
- When practiced consistently, nonjudgment will become more natural, but it will most likely never be automatic. Remaining nonjudgmental is a continual effort.
Any tips on practicing judgment?
- Take a moment to be present (practice mindfulness) every morning before you start your day. Set an intention to greet the first person you see with nonjudgment.
- When you notice a judgment, release it. You may not be able to stop all immediate judgments, but you can notice and capture them before they influence your behavior.
- Remember that becoming aware of bias and judgment is an important first step.
- If you notice that your self-talk is critical, try adjusting your tone to sound like you are talking to a dear friend.
About Greg Hammer, MD:
Greg Hammer, MD is a Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine, pediatric intensive care physician, pediatric anesthesiologist, mindfulness expert, and the author of GAIN without Pain: The Happiness Handbook for Health Care Professionals.
A member of the Stanford WellMD initiative, Dr. Hammer is currently the Chair of the Physician Wellness Task Force for the California Society of Anesthesiologists. He has been a visiting professor and lecturer on wellness at institutions worldwide and teaches GAIN to medical students, residents, and fellows at Stanford.
Dr. Hammer’s clinical focus is in pediatric cardiac anesthesia and pediatric critical care medicine. His research is in developmental pharmacology and immunology, and he has an active laboratory with multiple ongoing studies in these areas. He has published widely on topics related to pharmacology and perioperative care of children undergoing cardiac and thoracic procedures as well as organ transplantation. Dr. Hammer is a health enthusiast and meditator, utilizing a non-duality and mindfulness-based approach, including the GAIN method.
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