A mindful strategy to stop mind chatter
We live in a world with lots of sounds. Most of the day, we don’t pay attention to the sounds around us. When we were babies, our hearing was more alert and sensitive. Babies can hear a lot more things than grown-ups cannot.
As we grow older, we begin to block sounds as our brain wants to focus on things that consider that are of more value. The brain starts to choose the sounds is going to pay attention to and ignore others. Slowly we progress into totally ignoring sounds and blocking a lot of them out.
In mindfulness, we train our brains to focus and pay attention to one thing. You can use your sense of hearing to teach your mind to focus and make it a mindfulness practice. By setting your attention in sounds, you will bring your mind to the present moment.
The more you repeat this exercise, the more sounds your brain will strut to pay attention to, and you will develop a better sense of hearing. You will also be training the mind into mindful listening. As a result, you will be resetting your brain to bringing calm and relaxation through sound.
Quite the mind
Listening can be a vital tool to teach your mind to be quiet. To train your brain to let go of all the mental chatter and reduce negative mind wandering. When you only focus on listening, a new perspective of the world will open up to you.
One more bonus about deep listening is that this skill can be of great benefit in our relationships. You can become a better communicator and problem solver if you pay more attention to listening than answering.
How to do it?
Be curious about the sounds around you. Explore the complexity of delicate and beautiful sounds as well as unpleasant and annoying sounds.
Pick a sound
Today I want to invite you to select a sound that you hear frequently. It can be the ringtone from your phone, sounds of birds or sounds of cars driving or noise from construction near your house. Pick one sound and use that sound as a reminder to connect with the present moment.
Whenever you hear that sound, you will stop what you are doing and close your eyes. Become aware of the sounds around you. You don’t have to label or retrieve sounds. Let the sounds come to your awareness and notice the variation and complexity of each sound.
If you want to use sound even more throughout your day, you can set reminders on your phone to stop and listen. You can also place sticky notes in mirrors or your car as additional reminders to pay attention to what you can hear.
“If you make listening and observation of your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk. ”Robert Baden-Powell
What sounds can you hear right now?