Welcome to #MindfulMonday!
One of the best ways that we can strengthen our own mindfulness practice is to be mindful using our "five senses." Taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing are all ways that we get information from the world around us, and in this week's #MindfulMonday post, we are going to focus on the sense of hearing.
To begin, let's take notice of the difference between "hearing" and "listening." It's easy to hear the sounds going on around us or hear someone talking to us, but to truly listen means to thoughtfully take in and process the information given to us. The very nature of listening is in fact mindfulness- paying attention on purpose in the present moment. With mindfulness, we do this with kindness and without judgement.
Take a few seconds to practice listening mindfully right now, wherever you may be. Can you hear traffic, conversations, birds chirping, or the sounds of your own breath? Notice what you can hear when you mindfully listen to the world around you...
Mindful listening also helps build our connections with others. In any conversation throughout the day, we can practice mindful listening by listening with purpose and without judgement to what another person has to say. If your mind wanders, notice this and immediately bring your attention back to that person. Use the advice from the quote above, and "listen with the intent to understand," rather than waiting for your chance to add in a reply or your own two cents.
Giving our full attention to another's words is not only practicing mindfulness, but it is one of the best ways that we can show kindness and respect to someone. The more we practice this, the better we get at mindful listening, and the more we may notice that the same kindness is returned to us in future conversations.