When you listen to others, do you listen mindfully and without judgement? When you respond, do you respond with mindfulness and non-judgement?
When we are face to face with someone it seems a little easier to be more mindful of what we are hearing and saying. We can practice being present and in touch with acceptance of the person before us.
What about when you text, tweet, comment on social media sites? Are you mindful then?
This is harder. When we are remotely conversing with people it is harder to use those visual and vocal tone cues which come naturally to us as social beings.
A text message can be read in numerous ways and taken far away from its original meaning. A comment on someone’s social media status that is meant to be funny or sarcastic can fuel an online feud if read in the wrong way. Acceptance of someone else’s ideas shared online becomes more difficult for us and non-judgement has flown out the window as our heads fill with thoughts probably seen as unkind.
There are easy ways to bring mindfulness into our daily lives as mindfulness is not just about being present and calming the mind. Mindfulness is also about our words and acceptance, our consumption of goods from material goods to film, TV and news. Mindfulness is about how we treat our bodies and minds as well as how we treat others and how we respond to how we are treated by others. KINDNESS is key in mindfulness. Compassion for others and for ourselves.
In an increasingly online world we need to use mindfulness to converse with others in all forms, verbally and via messaging or commenting.
When you post that quote that degrades a man, is that mindful considering you have been upset before about posts degrading women?
When you quickly message someone back in a hurry are you fully answering them and being mindful of your response?
Does your email to a work colleague remain professional when under stress?
Practicing mindfulness as part of daily life is a way to start exploring these ideas and as part of mindful January below are some daily ideas you can try.
One thing at a time! – Now I know it is great to multi task. I mean you get so much more done. Or do you just do things in a rush and mindlessly? Sometimes just focusing on one thing allows you the head space to be mindful of your response and give the task in hand your full attention.
Mindful Speaking, texting, commenting – Are you responding to help or inform, with kindness and compassion? If not, maybe question your motives first. If you are responding to harm, gossip or with malice, why? What is that doing for you? Remember be compassionate with yourself too. We all have mindless moments and can do and say things when under pressure. Just allow some silence before your response to think.
Practice accepting the things that you can’t control. – Now acceptance is not about letting people walk all over you. It is about understanding that there are some things that you can’t control, such as another’s behaviour. We must accept that their behaviour is their choice and we have the control to choose our response, mindfully of course.
Mindfulness was chosen as the first of 12 steps to happiness in 2019 as it allows us to notice more of the world around us and start opening our minds to the next 11 months of positive psychology. Keep an eye out for more from chill your beans.