What is mindful listening?
Mindful listening is a meditation tool to enhance your awareness and reduce stress by observing sound without judgement. As moms, we are skilled at multi-tasking and while this may serve us occasionally, we risk the ability to be fully present. True listening requires your total attention; whether it be listening to the needs of your baby, your partner, co-worker, friend or family member. Then, there’s taking time to listen to yourself. Think of all the distractions in your world that prevent you from fully listening to your own needs, desires and inner guidance. Mindful listening is just one practice to guide you towards living in the present.
Did you know?
Music is temporal; meaning it happens over time and changes from one moment to the next. As a result, music is an accessible aid to any mindfulness practice.
Put it into practice:
Choose a song you’ve never heard and listen to it all the way through. Notice the lyrics if any, name all the instruments you detect, reflect on your experience by identifying an overall tone or theme of the song.
Choose a song you love and observe emotions it sparks. Notice where in your body you feel tension or other sensations.
Try breathing for the duration of a song lying on the ground with your eyes closed.
Pause for a moment to observe your surroundings (i.e. birds chirping, traffic outside, wind chimes) without judging or labeling what you hear, simply practice awareness.
Each time you hear an action based sound (i.e. baby cries, alarms, cell phones) take just beat to observe the quality of sound and where you feel it in your body before reacting.
Try humming and listen to your own voice vibrate from the inside out. Vibration (music) is a quick way to drop into a meditation practice. It doesn’t have to be long. A few rounds of humming can have a profound effect on calming your nervous system.