Are you Listening?
Listening = "To give one's attention to a sound"
Steven Covey said "Most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply"
Listening in any language requires focus and attention, we use our ears to receive individual sounds, our brains then convert these sounds into messages that mean something to us. Its a skill that some of us need to work a little harder than others to achieve, hearing is the act of taking in sound by the ear, LISTENING however is what we consciously choose to do.
45% to 50% of a typical day is spent listening and immediately after we listen to someone, we only recall about 50% of what is said. We listen at 125 - 250 words per minute, but think at 1000 - 3000 words per minute.
Effective listening helps to resolve conflicts, builds trust, inspires people and strengthens relationships, spending time being in the present moment and really listening you will truly absorb the information that is being given to you, good listeners are perceived as being more intelligent.
When we don't feel like we are being listened to we may quickly become lonely, isolated and sad, not being listened to is one of the biggest contributors to having conflict and upset in our personal relationships.
Being listened to helps us to reduce tension and stress levels, someone who really listens to you, gives you the freedom to express yourself, your thoughts and concerns helping to keep your fears from growing, whilst allowing you to gain some perspective about life's challenges. We are comforted when we are listened to we feel validated and worthy, allowing us to be happy and enjoy life.
How to listen mindfully, set a clear intention to try and be a better listener, once you are aware of being lost in your own thoughts whilst someone is talking to you, take a breath, inwardly smile to yourself, because you have noticed you have wandered off somewhere else, then redirect your focus back to listening, its the same as re-focusing on your breath during your mindful meditation practice.