Mindful listening serves as an antidote to the prevalent and speedy exchanges that happen when we dash out the door in the morning, answering a call from a colleague while simultaneously asking who is going to pick up pizza for dinner. When you’re anxious to get your words out, it's too easy to interrupt the other person or talk over them. It’s like returning to your breath in meditation. Your mind will drift away, so keep on coming back. Learn how your comment data is processed. Of all our communication skills, listening is the one most called upon—and neglected. Click to Grab the FREE Report: "Boring To Badass: Reinvent Yourself By Learning Self-Confidence Skills”. This mindful listening exercise is all about listening to people in a non-judgmental fashion. The person speaking should be mindful of what they’re saying; whether it’s true; and how vulnerable they are being. He became tearful as he told me he wants to nurture a deeper connection with his wife, but has difficulty listening when she speaks because there are so many things in his head competing for attention. Productivity: Mindful listening can help increase your productivity because you’re paying full attention to what’s being asked of you. Giving someone your full attention in conversation isn’t easy, but it is a skill we can practice and hone. 50 Mindfulness Quotes To Inspire Present Moment Awareness, 25 Of The Most Interesting Questions To Ask People To Draw Them Out. His dilemma is that he wants to pay attention to her but doesn’t know how. For many kids focusing on breath can be a hard thing. When it’s your turn, you can talk for a full three minutes or until you’re done for the moment (whichever comes first). This is a time to give someone the level of attention you’d want from them if you had something important to tell them. While the song is playing instead of focusing on the lyrics, get each participant to listen to the music itself. In this exercise, children are guided through an experience of paying attention to sounds. Check out this post on mindfulness activities for groups if you’d like more ideas. Elaine Smookler has been a mindful practitioner for over 20 years and is on the faculty at The Centre for Mindfulness Studies in Toronto. The mindful listening practice. Not working out so well for either of you, though, right? Each person will take turns speaking for three uninterrupted minutes. Just make sure you agree beforehand whether or not there will be any talking while the music plays. You’re able to see the big picture of what they’re saying — along with what they’re not putting into words. So, no peeking at your phone or checking the clock. It is one of the ﬁrst MIndfulness practices to help your class experience the beneﬁts of Mindfulness. It probably made all the difference in how well you were able to empathize with the other person. In this social emotional learning activity, your child will play a mindful listening game and create a video or skit that teaches others about mindful listening. Classical, jazz or celtic work well. ... First in line is the simple exercise of taking turns in a conversation. If you’re looking for a better way to communicate, try any of the 5 mindful listening exercises in this post. Experts find that these activities are as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in maintaining a healthy mind. The dictionary definition of “communication” is “a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of … © 2021 Mindful Communications & Such, PBC, How to Be More Compassionate: A Mindful Guide to Compassion, A Guided Practice for Managing Holiday Expectations, A Guided RAIN Meditation to Cultivate Compassion, A 3-Minute Meditation to Cultivate Forgiveness, Sebene Selassie Explores the Truth of Belonging, How to Start a Mindful Journaling Practice, Staggering Under the Weight of Anxious Thoughts, 4 Books We’re Reading to Replenish Our Energy, Stephanie Domet, Amber Tucker, and Barry Boyce. Activity #8: Group Dancing . Having an accountability partner for this practice can make all the difference in your progress and personal growth. You can say the following to the kids:“In just a moment, we are going to close our eyes and listen to the sound of the bell. To do this, find someone who is willing to work with you, such as a friend or someone who is in your family. 29: Mindful Listening Exercise. When was the last time you caught yourself in a conversation thinking more about how you’d respond than about what the other person was saying? Take a “mindful listening” walk where you take turns observing all the sounds you hear in the world. Once you recognize yourself getting lost in your own thoughts while someone’s talking to you, take a breath, smile because you noticed, and redirect back to genuine listening. So let’s sit comfortably and let our bodies be really still. But what is listening? Mindful listening helps us choose which sounds to focus our attention on and helps us to be thoughtful in the way we hear and respond to the words of others. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. But research shows when we shrug off white lies, we feel more comfortable telling bigger lies and hurting the people we care about. But this makes it impossible to hear everything they’re trying to tell you. But unless mindful listening is a habit for you, conversations will be hit or miss — or mostly miss with a few scattered hits. Learning how to acknowledge your own thoughts and feelings without judgment also helps you do the same for others. Heightened awareness of the subtleties of one’s own body, speech, and mind is the foundation for genuinely receptive, accurate, and compassionate listening and speaking. One popular mindful listening exercise that kids appreciate is the bell or gong practice. It’s like returning to your breath in meditation. It is really an exercise in both mindful speaking and listening. If mindfulness is about paying purposeful attention to the present moment, mindful listening is about paying purposeful attention to what someone is saying to you (verbally and otherwise). And just like with meditation, noticing and returning to the present is really the goal. You need to set a clear intention to be a better listener. How to Practice Mindful Listening. When it is your turn to speak, don't worry about the topic. And that comes in handy when someone is trying to tell you one thing with words while communicating the contrary with their body language. And that’s not what it's is about. There is no better way to get a teenager to practice mindfulness than through their favourite music. Often we hear something and before we know it we’ve labeled, categorized, and shelved it. Give it a few minutes, and take deep, calming breaths while listening. Mindful Listening This exercise is designed to open your ears to sound in a non-judgmental way, and indeed to train your mind to be less swayed by the influence of past experiences and preconception. If someone is trying to tell you something, make it a habit to stop what you’re doing (unless you’re driving) and listen mindfully to what they’re saying. Mindful Listening 5 What Is Mindful Listening? ENJOY — Enjoy a breath as you choose to receive whatever is being communicated to you—wanted or unwanted. Stop whatever you’re doing and listen mindfully to every sound you can pick up in your immediate environment. Now imagine how much better conversations will be when you’re both mindfully listening to each other. Read More, Through loving-kindness and practicing awareness, you can connect more deeply with both yourself and others. Individual work, in a whole group. Not only do you improve your ability to focus, but also you become a better observer of your environment. 5 Minutes or more. Meditation is a practice that trains the mind to focus … and trains the mind, body, and emotions to be still and present with whatever comes up. You can hone your ability to listen. It tells them you care about what they’re saying. The good news? It can be trained through practice, but we rarely exercise the skills required to really hear each other. After all, if you’re supposed to be focusing on the music, introducing a conversation could make this an exercise in multi-tasking. Contrary to what we might wish to believe, evidence shows we can’t really focus on multiple things at once. The mindful listening group activity can be simple, and people in the group can simply share something meaningful to them with the group, or once everyone has spoken, the group can take turns talking about what they felt when they were speaking or listening. A great way to introduce children to the practice of mindfulness is mindful listening. At least one of these mindful listening activities will help you make a habit of listening more mindfully. point!” Mindful listening sorely suffers in such conditions where velocity is preferred over vulnerability. The resource can be adapted for older children and also adults. This is not a time to multi-task. You might choose to practice this type of exercise early in the morning before you begin your daily routine. So when I’m planning email responses in my head while you are talking to me, it is virtually impossible for me to adequately absorb both my emails and your boring, nonsensical babble, no judgment intended. This guide will teach you exactly how to do it. She's also a comedic writer and performer and is the singing host of Mindful Martinis, a cabaret/mindfulness class mash up. 27 Captivating Conversation Starters For Couples, 113 Sweet And Sexy Deep Love Messages For Him, 11 Mindful Strategies To Help You Stop Being So Sensitive, 13 Positive Signs He Will Come Back After Breaking Up, 13 Necessary Steps To Becoming More Mature, Helpful Communication Exercises For Couples, 77 Existential Questions To Blow Your Mind, Improved ability to articulate thoughts (yours and others’), Improved workplace morale (people feel heard and valued), Greater compassion toward yourself (more listening, less judging). Not only will you benefit yourself by improving your ability to focus and to understand others, but the people in your life will notice and appreciate that you’re making an effort to be more present for them. And do you have someone if your life who’s willing to build the habit of becoming a more active listener along with you? *****To use this document, either print, save as a Word Document to your own device, or click “File”, “Make a Copy”, and save it to your own Google Drive. Mindful listening goes beyond active listening , which provides a checklist of actions to follow but doesn't necessarily prompt you, the listener, to monitor thoughts, feelings or reactions that might affect what you hear. The more aware and accepting you are of what’s going on in your own head (and heart), the more open and understanding you’ll be with those who need your attention. Choose a song, or a series of songs, and sit comfortably. prAna Mindful Living Ambassador Mark Coleman leads a 6-minute meditation focused on listening to help us live in the moment… Find that sense of well-being or contentment in your body. ASK — Ask yourself if you really know what they mean and if … When you’re fully aware of the present moment, you are available to hear what the other person is saying. I recently had a conversation with one of my mindfulness students about why he had taken my class. Allow each teenager to choose a song they really enjoy. Because you’re so used to listening … And those who appreciate that are more likely to return the favor. At its core, listening is really just taking time instead to experience what we’re hearing in the moment. But in order to absorb what someone else is saying, you need to be fully present. The Mindful Listening exercise involves these steps: Step 1 : invite participants to think of one thing they are stressed about and one thing they look forward to; Step 2 : once everyone is finished, each participant takes their turn in sharing their story with the group; Attentive listening leads to greater trust and engagement. Then the other person gets three minutes to talk without interruption, and it’s your turn to give them your undivided and mindful attention. The HEAR practice (below) can help you cultivate deeper listening skills. When we listen mindfully, not only do we allow the speaker to be fully seen, non-judgementally, but it enables the listener to practice being still, to free their mind from mental clutter and just be in the moment. What Are the Benefits of Mindful Listening? So much of what we “feel” is influenced by past experience. When you hear the bell, try to focus on the sound, and see if you can listen to it until the sound fades away completely. If you’re looking for a better way to communicate, try any of the 5 mindful listening exercises in this post. Turn the attention outwards to listening, to hearing. And do you think it was obvious you were in orbit? Explore our new guide to lean into kindness and cultivate compassion every day. Once you recognize what you’re doing, take a breath, smile because you noticed, and redirect back to genuine listening. Mindful Listening as a Practice. How would it change your relationships if you made mindful listening a regular thing? Mindful Listening Exercises with the Bell All of these exercises reinforce the bell as a signal that it is time to pause and have special time with you. You can also do this with a friend. What is Mindful Listening? Mindful listening is an effective tool for communicating with others, and it can be strengthened with practice and use! Mindful communication involves listening, speaking and using non-verbal communication with kindness, attention, compassion, and awareness. From the buzz of a cell phone to the wail of a siren, sounds are all around us. Any Age. HALT — Halt whatever you are doing and offer your full attention. She is a Registered Psychotherapist and teaches mindfulness to corporate clients through eMindful. You’re also more aware of their body language and more likely to consider what you’ve picked up from past conversations. The practice of mindful listening is just that – an exercise that requires practice. Or they can go deep into the mindfulness trend and use a coloring book to practice staying in the present. Could you tell? (If you’re a teacher introducing this please engage in this Mindful Listeningpractice designed for staff ﬁrst. The brain simply doesn’t function in this way. Most of us have difficulty focusing and sustaining our attention. It also gives you a break from worrying about things you can’t control (or at least can’t address in that moment), which makes you more present for those around you. You can practice this one even when you’re alone. Maybe you remember times when you practiced mindful listening — also called active listening. And the benefits go beyond what they can do for intimate relationships. Read More. Any size. But a few minutes a day of mindful listening exercises could boost your retention and understanding of important conversations — making it far less likely that you’ll forget something you can’t afford let slip from memory. But even better than a good listener is a mindful listener. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with somebody who wasn’t listening to you? Now go ahead and give it a try… I’ll be listening for you. And the benefits go both ways. And it does require practice. Mindful Hearing. Have you ever seen yourself nodding and smiling during a conversation while in your mind you were landing the space shuttle? And you might just want to write about them in your daily journal. First in line is the simple exercise of taking turns in a conversation. This is mindfulness. This mindfulness exercise, which can be used as an energizer too, teaches about focus, attention, and helps people get a feel for how the brain wanders. Which active listening skills do you think will be easiest for you to practice every day? Listen to mood music. How to Practice Mindful Listening: HEAR. And before you know it, you’ll be feeling those benefits. Now Mindful listening goes beyond active listening, which provides a checklist of actions to follow but doesn't necessarily prompt you, the listener, to monitor thoughts, feelings or reactions that might affect what you hear.Instead, mindful listening can help you to become aware of distractions so you can refocus and listen consciously.mindful This simple mindful listening exercise can really open up your awareness to a whole new level of silence within you. Humans have to make a conscious effort to listen with a view to understanding the other’s perspective — not just trying to win an argument or make a point. Participate in group mindfulness exercises. Listening involves paying attention both to what another person is saying, and what that person is trying to communicate beyond words. For more structured mindfulness exercises, such as body scan meditation or sitting meditation, you'll need to set aside time when you can be in a quiet place without distractions or interruptions. Just like in sitting meditation you sit with whatever comes up, when you’re listening to someone … consider it a practice, too. Get practices, tips, and special offers delivered straight to your inbox. What will you do today to become a better listener? Whether in a classroom or at home, we invite them to sit quietly, close their eyes, take a few deep breaths, and settle in. Kids can color as they listen and note how the music affected their art. Building a mindfulness meditation habit is one of the best ways to cultivate a more mindful approach to listening and conversation, among other things. It is a great … Mindful music exercises can take a couple of different forms and mindful listening is suitable for anyone, and you can practice it by using a wide range of styles of music. Mindfulness activities for groups have shown promising results in many cases. If’s okay if, after one song, this segues into taking turns. Set aside at least five minutes to listen mindfully to some music of your choice while relaxing in a comfortable position. To help with taking turns, you can use a talking stick or a timer. Everyone loves a good listener, right? Frustrating, right? Add to these the benefits of daily meditation, and you have the makings of a completely different life from the one you’re living now — not to mention different relationships with the people closest to you. Get practices, tips, and special offers straight to your inbox. So what happens when we continually get pulled to sports bloopers, or celebrity gossip, or fears, worries, and concerns beyond our control? Listening takes time and effort, and it’s a skill that requires honing. Age Appropriate. First, you need to set a clear intention to be a better listener. It does this by training you to silence the internal noise of your own thoughts so you can hear and understand what others are saying to you. The very first time you give your attention to someone, I bet you’ll notice instant softening, openness, and connection. ; Whether it’s lying about being sick or being stuck in traffic, telling a white lie may seem to make our lives a lot more convenient. Once you set an intention to listen, you can work on going deeper in conversation. After some practice, children may find this exercise to be helpful in their daily lives – before doing homework, when they are having difficulty settling down at bedtime, or at other any other time when it would be useful to settle the mind. Why not hone your skills with others who have the same intention? You may experience moments in which you feel as though you are waking up to a part of you that, until now, had been hidden behind a wall of noise. Practicing mindfulness with a group of others can open your eyes to the fact that you aren’t the only one who struggles to focus and to really hear what others are saying to you. Practising this mindful listening exercise will make you more aware and more focused on the present moment. Here kids are learning to focus in on the meditation object that is sound. Topic/Subject. Listen to everything — the tune, the instruments being used, the voices, and everything else you can pick up. Now that you’re more aware of the benefits of mindful listening and how to practice it, what activities appeal to you most? When you can’t hear it any more (and we’ll have t… #mindfulness #mindfullistening #music #guide #howto In this article I detail the process of listening to music in a mindful way. For a more immersive experience, use headphones or earbuds. If you need to nurture your mental and spiritual health, then this is great news for you. Half of communication is listening. This can easily become an exercise in taking turns, so be prepared to use whatever will help you both communicate more effectively. Here are some mindful awareness strategies, exercises, tips, and insights that use ordinary sensory perceptions to develop a greater capacity for attentive listening. Listening to music can be a great way to practice mindfulness. Philosopher Martin Heidegger identified it as a key to maintaining meaningful relationships with family, friends, and even colleagues. According to communication expert Rebecca Shafir, the average person remembers only 25% of what someone has said, just a few minutes after they said it. Practice listening to each other’s conversations and repeating the essence of what you’ve heard in your own words. 7 Benefits of Mindful Listening; 5 Mindful Listening Exercises. This particular practice is suitable for children aged between 5-9 years. This is a challenge faced all over the world — between couples, among coworkers, and in every social situation. That way you create a frame of reference for checking in with yourself, so you can catch yourself getting lost in your own thoughts while someone’s talking to you. Use this exercise to not only become a better listener but also to improve your ability to focus. Just doing this once a day can help you develop a better appreciation for well-crafted music. Time For Exercise. Expertly, you might add. Start practicing mindful listening today. You can use a traditional mindfulness bell (a singing bowl), a chime, or an app that has bell sounds. The practice of Deep Listening cultivates self-listening as the foundation for listening and communicating well with others. What's In This Article . Instead, mindful listening can help you to become aware of distractions so you can refocus and listen consciously. Not only will you reap the benefits of a daily mindfulness practice, but also you’ll see how it hones your communication skills and strengthens your relationships. Play the song for only 1-2 minutes. Ideal Group Size. Totally worth taking a few minutes each day to practice active listening, right? Of all the mindfulness communication exercises, this one ranks at number one because it compels you to stop talking and listen. It could also lead to the following exercise. Type. Mindful Listening Exercise As a therapist, mother and partner I have seen first-hand how much people appreciate being heard. Mindful listening is active listening In my experience, mindful listening is active listening and it is a powerful mindfulness practise that benefits both the person speaking and the person listening. Mindful dancing is a simple way to let go of thinking. You probably know how it feels when you’re trying to get your point across to someone, and they look confused, distracted, or zoned out.