Sunday, July 02, 2006

Self-Judgment: Red Flags

One idea we discussed on the teleclasses was realizing that self-judgment was a downward spiral and once we get started, it just leads to more self-judgment and other negative thoughts and behavior. We discussed identifying red flags and steps for stopping this spiral…

There were many red flags that people identified once they thought about their own situation such as rumination, just feeling stuck replaying something or thinking about something negative; feeling irritation with him/herself; beginning to use food in an unhealthy way; and feeling out of shape, in other words, finding another avenue to judge ourselves. This last one usually takes the form of wherever you tend to judge yourself the most such as the shape of your body, your hair, your habits, etc. Once we start judging, our mind goes directly to our most traveled path.

I noticed that many of these red flags seemed to be quite a ways into the spiral already and perhaps once people begin to use these red flags more regularly, they will be able to identify the spiral sooner. The sooner a spiral is stopped, the easier it is to pull ourselves out.

So, what pulls us out? We came up with several ideas. Here are a few (I would love to know if you have any more!): Be in nature, meditate, breathe, eat good foods, call or email a friend, be alone and quiet, yoga, exercise, read an inspirational book, and journaling, just to name a few. We also realized that having a few ideas instead of just one is particularly helpful since it isn’t always possible to do each of these.