On the latest episode of The Thrive Global Podcast with iHeartRadio, Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington sat down with motivational writer, international speaker and author Gabby Bernstein to talk about everything from spirituality, meditation and self doubt to her phone habits, social media and finding happiness.

Bernstein, the author of the number one New York Times bestseller The Universe Has Your Back and four additional bestsellers focusing on self-improvement, has been featured in a variety of media outlets including Elle, Wall Street Journal, and Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. She told Huffington that she started to write her new book, Judgment Detox, in the midst of a particularly judgmental time in America: the 2016 election.

Judgment can manifest in many ways, whether you’re directing it toward yourself or others. That’s especially true in the age of social media.

“We were in the throes of judgment at an all time high,” she said, noting she felt compelled to write about the issue after “seeing the world hitting bottom with judgment and really recognizing the separation that we create, this voice of fear.”

Bernstein told Huffington that, like substances or work, judgment can become an addiction. “We have all these addictive patterns that we use to anesthetize that pain, and judgment is one of the big ones,” she said. “It is a way of not feeling and so when we judge and when we gossip, we project out what we don’t want to feel within.” And this creates a vicious cycle: “So I don’t feel good. I’m going to put it out on somebody else. But then I feel guilty for judging so I judge myself for it.”

There are ways to end this cycle of judgment, Bernstein told Huffington. It’s important to witness your own judgment without judgment, which means getting to the root of why you’re judging others and yourself. But, as Bernstein told Huffington, it’s also critical to be kind to yourself, since that allows you to “honor the wounds that live beneath the judgment.”

Bernstein also explained what it’s like when the “fear based belief system” pulls us back to judgment and gossip. “If we felt confident, if we felt supported, and fulfilled, and inspired, and creative, and healthy, why would we judge?” she said. “We’d have much better things to focus on.” 

To hear the full conversation, click here.

You can also listen to the Thrive Global Podcast internationally for free on iTunes and Stitcher.