Learn How to Be a Good Listener

Listening skills are hugely important in just about every aspect of life, and while many people may think that they already are a good listener, there are still likely to be some areas in which you could improve. From understanding the importance of eye contact to ignoring all distractions, following these tips will help you to really improve on your listening skills.

Friends chatting

Ignore All Distractions
One of the key aspects to being a good listener is knowing how to ignore all distractions around you, focussing solely on the person who is speaking. While this may seem easy, it does take a certain level of mental effort to really eliminate all distractions, but this will show the speaker just how much you care about what they are saying.

Eye Contact
Eye contact is vital when someone is speaking, as it shows that you are engaged in the conversation, and are paying full attention. This is another area that can often require quite a bit of mental effort, but is easy to practice each time you have a conversation with someone.

Friends chatting

Positive Body Language
While listening means that you should not be talking, your body language can still speak for you. Rather than fidgeting around, crossing your arms, or gazing across the room, lean forward towards the speaker, in an enthusiastic, but relaxed nature.

Ask the Right Questions
A good listener does not just sit there silently and be spoken at, but rather knows how to further the conversation, opening up new paths, by asking the right questions. This is a skill that can take some time to master, as you need to learn how to be able to shape the conversation with the questions that you choose.

Listening attentively

Show Some Empathy
Empathy is so important, even if you do not completely relate to what is being said. By taking a moment to put yourself in the speaker’s shoes, trying to understand exactly how they are feeling, you will be much better equipped to display a genuine form of compassion that will be greatly appreciated. Even if you make a mistake and fail to fully understand the situation, the speaker will still be able to see that you are trying to have empathy, and this will make a huge difference.

Don’t Change the Subject
Changing the subject prematurely is quite common in business settings, as well as social group encounters, but this only shows that you do not have an interest in the subject being discussed, and think that what you have to say is more important. The only time in which you should change the subject of a conversation is when that particular discussion is well and truly over.

Listening skills will aid you in just about every part of your life, from dealing with colleagues at the office to personal relationships at home. Even if you feel that you already are a great listener, listening skills can always be improved, and it really does not take too much effort to do so.

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Healthy Mind and Body

When it comes to enjoying a long and happy life, having a healthy mind and body is key. There is no longer a debate about the connection between the mind and the body, and, in order to truly enjoy your life, it is essential to keep both of these healthy.

Woman meditating

Daily Meditation
Meditation is a tool that can significantly boost both the mind as well as the body, and at the same time too. Studies have shown that just eight weeks of regular meditation not only helps people to feel calmer overall, but also results in changes in certain parts of the brain, including a growth in the areas that are responsible for empathy, stress regulation and memory. When it comes to the more physical aspects of the body, meditation has been linked to a decrease in a number of issues, from hypertension to depression to heart disease to addiction. If meditation is something new to you, do not feel intimidated by it. There are plenty of well-written guides online that explain the different meditation techniques that are best suited for beginners, so take a look and set aside some time today for your first meditation session.

Woman resting after exercise

Daily Exercise
Exercise is something else that benefits both the body and mind at the same time, and there have been plenty of studies throughout history that document the many benefits of daily exercise. Not only does physical activity help to slow down the aging of the body, but it also increases the brain’s ability to learn and adapt, while reducing stress and helping to eliminate depression. The daily exercise that you do can be chosen based on your interests. If you want something quick that you can do at home, take a look at aerobic exercises. However, if you like to be outdoors, and this in itself has its own additional benefits, then there are plenty of outdoor activities that will be able to get your heart racing.

Women laughing

Laughter
When it comes to the connection between the mind and the body, laughter has managed to baffle researchers for many years, as it affects both in a unique way. A hearty belly laugh not only slows down the production of stress hormones within the body, but it also gives the immune system a good boost.

Woman sleeping

A Deep Sleep
When it comes to good health, the quality of your sleep is important to consider, as this affects both your body and your mind. A lack of quality sleep causes the body to fall out of balance, leading to a weaker immune system, weight gain, faster aging, and depression. A healthy sleep is achieved without the use of pharmaceuticals or alcohol, and, when you wake up in the morning, the vibrant feeling you experience will let you know that you have had some quality rest.

A healthy mind will lead to a healthy body, and vice versa, but there is nothing quite like tackling both at the same time. From meditation to laughter, these tips will ensure that your life is filled with health and happiness.