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Learn & Practice

Workplace Wednesday: Stop Snap Judgments

By The Healthy Minds Team

In this week’s Workplace Wednesday we set an intention to observe our reactions for a day.

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

In the Insight pillar of the Healthy Minds Framework we explore our minds with curiosity. Working through this section in the Healthy Minds Program app helps you discover that your mind has a lot of set ways to react to things – almost by routine, and without question. We constantly make “snap judgments” throughout our days, years and lives – and this can often lead to suffering as we ruminate on negativity.

This can show up in working relationships or work activities. For example, maybe you’re about to send an email to a work colleague and you’re filled with dread over the response. Your colleague hasn’t even reacted yet, but you’ve already caused yourself to suffer because of your unconscious snap judgment.

For today’s workplace Wednesday, set an intention today to notice when you have an emotional reaction or make a snap judgment about yourself, a colleague or a work situation.

  • Keep a paper and pen handy throughout the day, and write down the moments when you notice yourself becoming reactive. 
  • Ask yourself key questions like: “what thoughts or emotions am I feeling? Who am I with? What is the present situation?”
  • Be curious and notice what happens in these situations. For the email example, maybe you’re not filled with dread, but maybe you’ll notice that you expect them to respond right away and not make you wait. Or maybe you’re hoping for a specific response, or you’re afraid you’ll get one you don’t like.
  • At the end of the day (or period you work with your observations) review commonalities or trends in your expectations throughout and see if you notice areas where your expectations don’t match reality.

The point isn’t to stop expectations from happening. They will! It’s part of what the mind and brain automatically do. The point is to get curious about these expectations and allow yourself to take the time to disrupt your autopilot. Tracking on paper can help with recognizing reactions and noticing patterns over time.

Give it a shot today and see where reality takes you!

Learn more about how the Healthy Minds Framework can support your workplace well-being with Healthy Minds @Work .

HM@Work Meditations Workplace Wednesdays