Affirmations

Affirmation #17 — A thought is just a thought

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A thought is just a thought.

An urge is just an urge.


Having a thought that something bad might happen doesn’t mean it will happen. Having an urge to do something dangerous doesn’t mean that I have to do it.

These things come up, and they pass.

Affirmations

Affirmation #4 — Self-Validation

(note: mentions of death)

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It says:

 

Self-Validation

I have been through a rough time.

I am grieving.

It makes sense that I am sad because there are important people missing from my life.

It makes sense that I am angry because their deaths block my goals of spending more time with them and showing them my love.

It makes sense that I have thoughts like, “I don’t understand why I’m not dead yet,” because with all the people that have died, it has shaken my foundation and made me more likely to believe that anyone can die at any moment. AND, at the same time, the vast majority of people I know have not died, and there is no rational, causal reason that I would have died, either.

It makes sense that I have the thought, “I don’t understand why people are nice to me,” because I have received conflicting messages and amounts of help in the same situations.


I wrote this when I was struggling with the thoughts mentioned above. I was invalidating my feelings and feeling shame, guilt, and anger at myself for thinking these things and reacting this way. I was just making it worse. So, I wrote this rather intentionally to validate myself. Because what I’m feeling and thinking is valid and comes from somewhere, even if I don’t always know where that is.

Coping Skills

Alternatives to “Everyone hates me!”

Instead of jumping to the conclusion that everyone hates me, here are some more realistic and positive explanations.

When someone hasn’t texted me back:

  • They saw it when they were in the middle of something and forgot to respond.
  • They saw it when they were busy and want to take the time to write a thoughtful response.
  • The message didn’t deliver because either I or they lost cell service or wifi.
  • They forgot about it.
  • They are waiting to confirm something else first before replying.
  • They forgot about it, remembered, and now feel so guilty for not replying sooner that they’re anxious about the whole thing and aren’t replying at all.
  • They’re going through a really busy time and have a lot on their plate.
  • They’re going through a really stressful time and have a lot on their mind.
  • They’re not checking their phone.
  • They’re on a camping trip in a place without cell service.
  • They got a new phone.
  • They’re out of the country and not receiving texts.

When someone didn’t smile back at me:

  • They’re caught up in their own thoughts.
  • They’re worried about what they’re going to say next.
  • They didn’t see me.
  • They thought I was looking at someone else.
  • They’re tired.

The vast majority of the time, people don’t hate me. There are many good reasons why someone would not reply to a text or smile back at me that have nothing to do with what they think of me.

Do you have any to add? Or any other situations where you might jump to a conclusion and there’s a more reasonable explanation?

Coping Skills

How to be non-judgmental (towards yourself)

I’ve been trying to be more non-judgmental towards myself.

I wasn’t sure how to go about this at first, and google searches didn’t really help and were more aimed at being non-judgmental of others. (“Start by being non-judgmental towards yourself!” yes, but how?!) I’ve been thinking about this and working on it, and now that I’ve made some progress, I can share (what I think is) how to actually be non-judgmental.

  1. Notice judgments. (Observe) How will you know how you’re being non-judgemental if you don’t know how you’re being judgmental?

What is a judgment? According to Merriam-Webster, it’s “the process of forming an opinion or evaluation by discerning and comparing,” or “an opinion or estimate so formed.” A judgment is an opinion. It is subjective, not factual.

People make judgments all the time. Most of them are harmless or even helpful. “Pink is the best color” is a judgment. “She’s smart” is a judgment. “I’m an awful person” is a more problematic judgment.

Notice judgments in what you say out loud. For example, I preface a lot of things with, “This is weird, but…” “This is silly, but…” “This isn’t a big deal, but…” and I say “Sorry for being annoying” and “sorry for being weird.”

Notice judgments in what others say. When you’re talking to someone one-on-one and can really listen to what they’re saying, be on the lookout for judgments. At my DBT day program one day at lunch, I was talking to someone new, trying to get to know him. Someone else asked him to tell us something about himself, and he said, “I’m a failure.” I said, “That’s a judgment” (this was a therapy program, after all). It was helpful for me to notice what judgments others had in order to be more aware of what judgments were in general. And it can help other people have a more balanced perspective if you point it out.

Notice judgments in what you think. I think, “Aah! They hate me!” “I should shut up” “I’m so weird” “Why am I doing this, this is weird” “I’m so annoying” etc.

Notice judgments in what you write. If you have a journal, notice judgments you have in it. I’m generally less judgmental in my writing, but I do say things like, “I need to…” “I f***ed this up” “I can’t do this” “This is awful”

2. Label them as judgments. (Describe) You could say something like, “I notice that I’m having the judgment that I am annoying.” “I notice the thought that I am weird.” “I am having the thought that I am pathetic.”

3. Stop yourself from saying them. Freeze your muscles, pause, stop in the middle of the sentence or word.

4. Replace judgments with facts and self-validation. Be as specific as possible. (I’m not good at this still working on this part, so these examples below aren’t that good could probably be improved on!)

  • Replace “I can’t do this” with “I’m having a hard time doing this.” (self validation and more true)
  • Replace “I’m so weird” with “I walked into the room when everyone was silent. I did not know that they were going to be silent when I opened the door.” (the facts)
  • Replace “This is silly” with “It makes sense that someone I know going on vacation makes me anxious because I was in a bad car accident while on vacation.” (self validation)
  • Replace “Sorry for being annoying” with “I hope I wasn’t bothering you by texting you twice in one day” (being more specific)

It’s probably hardest to be non-judgemental in your thoughts.

  1. To start, try writing your thoughts in a journal in a stream of consciousness way.
  2. Read it over and highlight or underline the judgments. I notice that I am much more aware of my thoughts when I’m writing in my journal.
  3. Then, practice noticing, describing, and replacing your judgements while meditating. Set a timer and pay attention to everything. I like to use the Calm app.
  4. Finally, catch yourself while thinking.

Yay! Being non-judgmental towards myself helps me feel much better about myself. 🙂

After writing this, I realized that my initial google searches weren’t actually very thorough, and I was able to find some websites that were useful:

Do you notice judgments that you have about yourself?