How to Practice Mindfulness and Develop Listening Skills
One of the many benefits of mindful living is that you can develop better listening skills. When your thoughts are habitually fixated on the past or the future, it’s really difficult to be in the moment and listen carefully to what someone is saying.
Do you have a bad habit of interrupting others when they’re talking—or find yourself waiting anxiously for someone to finish what they’re saying so you can jump in? If the answer is, ‘Yes’—you’re not alone—studies indicate that most people are not good listeners, and people who have weak listening skills are at a disadvantage in all areas of their lives.
This isn’t 100% mind you, but good listeners tend to have a lot of advantages over people who haven’t developed good listening skills…
- they have greater closeness and intimacy in their personal relationships—
- they’re more productive—
- they make people feel valued—
- they feel better about their interactions with others—
- they’re more trusted at work and in their personal life—
- they make better decisions—
- they stay calmer under stress—
- they make fewer mistakes—
- they have higher self-esteem—
- they do better in school and at work—
At RHRN, we celebrate the benefits and joy of spending our thoughts in the present moment, and we’ve developed tools and strategies to help us and others learn How to Practice Mindfulness.
Check out our 3 Steps for… How to Practice Mindfulness and Develop Listening Skills
Step 1 - Listen as if You’re Going to Be Tested on What’s Being Said
So many times we allow our minds to wander when someone is talking—if we thought we were going to be tested on the information and rewarded for all that we can remember, we’d probably listen much more carefully, don’t you think? Pretend you’re going to be tested and see if listening that way doesn’t strengthen your listening skills overtime.
Step 2 - Engage Yourself In the Conversation
As you’re listening to someone else who’s talking, think about how they seem to feel about what they’re saying and, without interrupting, ask questions that will keep you engaged.
Step 3 - Keep Bump Reminders Where You Can See Them
At RHRN we use The Bump to to be in the present moment. The Right Here Right Now symbol gently gives us a nudge when we allow our mind to wander to the past or future. We’ve placed it on stickers, water bottles, candles, clothing, bracelets, and more so that we’ll see it and our bad habit of mind-wandering will be interrupted, so that we can replace it with the good habit of keeping our thoughts in the present moment.
Often we don’t even realize that we’ve let our mind wander away from a conversation until it becomes clear to the other person or people that we’re not listening. Using The RHRN Bump can bring us back to a conversation sooner than later, and it also helps to break the mind-wandering habit overtime.
~ Cynthia Cartier