No one likes to be judged, but we all play judge. Judgments can be negative or positive, and opinions are another name for judgments. "That was the worst pizza I ever ate." "That cake looks fattening." "This is a lovely day out today."
When you struggle with substance use disorder or addiction, you may make judgments, especially toward your self-destructive behavior. It's understandable and perfectly natural, as addictions and substance abuse can be detrimental to people's everyday lives and relationships with others. So, judging yourself for not being able to stop or continuing to use despite consequences and other people's judgments will only make you feel worse.
Judgment Defusion is a skill that lets you take advantage of self-awareness to make it easier to make the choices that are best for you. Acknowledging when we're being judgmental, whether positively or negatively, empowers us to accept what we cannot change and change what we can. You can be your harshest critic, but that doesn't encourage stopping undesirable behavior. It pushes you closer to it in many instances.
The goal of the Judgment Defusion exercise is to help you "let go" of your judgments. To prepare, it may help to get in the habit of noticing when you're being judgmental. Spend several days becoming aware of the negative and positive judgments you make. It will take some practice, but you'll soon be able to recognize each time.
Watching your judgments form and then letting go of them without becoming attached is the goal of this exercise. The aim is to visualize judgments as words or images, gently drifting away from you. Once you've gotten used to acknowledging your judgmental thoughts when they come, you'll be prepared to use Judgment Defusion. Some people find these techniques helpful:
- You can picture yourself in a room with two doors—an entrance and an exit. Judgments enter one door and leave out the other.
- Or you can picture sitting alongside a stream as you watch your judgments drift upstream on leaves.
- You could also picture yourself in an open field and looking up as your judgments float by on clouds.
- You can develop your own method if you capture the essence of Judgment Defusion, visually observing as your judgments come and then watching them go without holding on to them or judging them.
Getting stuck in judgment strips you of much of your power to change your life. Accepting things as they are doesn't mean you don't have a desire to change them. Recognizing your judgments and letting them go puts more attention on what you are judging and less on the judgment itself or the emotions that come with it. For example, you can consider what you can do to help yourself avoid triggers or come up with ways to respond differently to them.
You'll think of negative judgments you've recently had as you do Judgment Defusion. Something may happen in the future that will affect you as well. If these things are not occurring right now, they are not a reality at this moment. That's why letting go of judgments is so crucial to your recovery.
Wish Recovery is one of California's best luxury dual diagnosis treatment centers. Our highly trained counselors can teach you more about Judgment Defusion and other valuable skills so you can live the life you want and deserve. Contact us today for more details.