Becoming a Better Listener

Becoming a Better ListenerNegative-Thinking and Becoming a Better Listener

Negative thoughts bombard your life. They are all over the television. The news or your favorite television shows expose you constantly to negativity. You face it at work and even at home. You see enough of it online as well. They invade your life! You can find ways to combat negative thoughts, and along the way, you can practice becoming a better listener.

What if you could picture your brain as a factory that takes negative thinking as input and processes it to churn out positive thoughts? This might seem a bit abstract as you are certainly not a factory. If you can learn to think in these terms, however, you may be able to better combat negative thinking.

During your transformation to a positive thought “factory status”, you need to stop yourself from overreacting to what people say. When someone says something you don’t agree with, instead of assuming an immediate negative stance, take a moment to consider what it is they’re saying. When you get annoyed at others, you stop listening to them and your only goal becomes wanting to get your point across as to why they’re wrong. Most of us do this. Instead, after the person speaks, take a moment and consider what the message is they are trying to convey.

The next stage is to try and see the other person’s point of view. If you have a difficult time doing this, calmly ask questions of the person making the statement. You can say that you don’t understand the reason for the statement and would like to know more about why they said it. Use a sentence like, “I hear you think (insert their point of view), but I don’t completely understand the point you’re making.”  Then ask them to clarify what they mean.

The act of doing this doesn’t mean you will ultimately agree with the other person, even after you think about what they’re saying. But, the act of listening, becoming a better listener and considering their point of view will transform you. It will slow you down in your response to people, for one thing, and will make you more thoughtful in your interactions out in the world. You may even begin to challenge your belief system. Sometimes, you can get totally focused on a belief even when the reason why you feel that way may have changed. When you start to explore your beliefs, you’ll begin to consider what others have to say more openly. The process will help you turn negative thoughts and reactions into positive ones.

Negative thoughts seldom lead to believing in one’s self. You end up challenging what everyone says as wrong if they don’t agree with your way of thinking. The danger here is that it will make you become bitter towards others and eventually towards yourself. This type of thinking doesn’t make people happy.

When you start to open yourself up to others and to considering another point of view, you will learn more and be more accepting of different beliefs. Your good listening skills and willingness to have a real conversation instead of simply reacting without thinking will make you a better conversationalist and a happier person.

If you would like to discuss further, I am available to you.  I love hearing from you, and you can email me: Cheryl@ThinStrongHealthy.com

How may I serve you in your quest for optimal mental and physical health?

Cheryl A Major

Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com   Cheryl offers ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier.  Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor.  She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience. 

Cheryl’s book, Eat Your Blues Away is available this January in Whole Foods Markets, and she is writing her next book, The Major Method!

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