How to Be a Better Listener: 4 Useful Tips

We can all hear. But do we listen?


Listening is a great skill to possess.If you take the time to listen to what others have to say, you will learn more about the person and connect with them at a more personal level. Be careful not to judge or criticize – just simply listen.

Here are 4 techniques to help us listen more effectively:

1. Eye contact. Make eye contact with the speaker and avoid other distractions such as your smart-phone. Stay focussed on the person and listen to what they have to say.

2. Ask questions. Take interest in the lives of others. People love sharing stories and talking about themselves. Ask them open-ended questions such as “Could you tell me more?”, “What are your thoughts?”. These questions will give people an opportunity to elaborate on a given topic and will keep the conversation going.

3. Don’t interrupt. Let the conversation flow.  If you interrupt someone, it denies the speaker the opportunity to fully express their opinions or feelings. To practice this skill, hold back the urge to speak immediately and pause for a few seconds before responding.

4. Empathetic listening. Listen with your ears, eyes and heart. Imagine how the speaker feels even if you don’t agree with everything that they say. Put yourself in their shoes to fully understand their point of view.

Practice these strategies regularly and you’re on your way to becoming a better listener.


The 28 Day Breathing Challenge Breathe Better – Enjoy Life

“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.”
Amit Ray – Om Chanting and Meditation

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Hi Friends,

Over the next 28 days, I’d like to invite you to join the breathing challenge. All you’ll need is 5 minutes a day to perform some conscious breathing. Here are some health benefits:

  1. Increase Focus: Conscious, slow breathing oxygenates the brain. Try 2-3 deep, slow and conscious breaths the next time you are about to make an important decision. You’ll notice that your ability to focus will improve after some deep breathing.
  2. Sleep Better: Conscious breathing can stimulate the pineal gland, which is associated with sleep patterns. You may sleep better and deeper throughout the night.
  3. Reduce Stress: This fast-paced and modern lifestyle tends to cause stress and hence most of us would form a habit of quick and shallow breathing. Deep and conscious breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn creates the natural relaxation response.
  4. Healthy Cells: Our body cells use the oxygen we breathe to generate energy from the food we eat. Conscious and deep breathing provides more oxygen to these cells so they can function more efficiently.
  5. Lower Blood Pressure: The heart muscle is supported by full, long, slow and deep breaths. This practice reduces blood pressure and heart rate.

Start today. For the next 28 days, you can practice conscious breathing and apply the following techniques. Choose the technique that works best for you depending on the time of the day:

To practice anywhere, anytime

  • Close your eyes if you can.
  • Sharply inhale 5 times through your nose without exhaling.
  • Pause for 5.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth as if you’re fogging up a window—slowly and evenly.
  • Repeat 15 times.

To practice at home

  • Sit cross-legged in a dark, quiet room.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Using your thumb, cover up your right nostril, and breathe deeply through your left nostril for a count of 6.
  • Pause for a count of 2.
  • Remove your thumb, and cover your left nostril with your forefinger, and exhale completely through your right nostril for a count of 6.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times.

To practice at work

  • Close your eyes if you can.
  • Inhale through your nose evenly and deeply for a count of 8.
  • Pause for a count of 3.
  • Exhale completely through your nose for a count of 8.
  • Pause for a count of 3.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times.

To practice if you can’t sleep

  • Keeping your eyes closed, and lying flat on your back in bed, deeply inhale through your nose for a count of 6.
  • Pause for a count of 3.
  • Slowly exhale completely through your nose for a count of 6.
  • Pause for a count of 3.
  • Deeply inhale through your nose for a count of 8.
  • Pause for a count of 3.
  • Exhale completely through your nose for a count of 8.
  • Repeat steps, each time increasing the count by two until you stretch your breath out for as many counts as you can—try to get to 12! Once you’ve done this, repeat 10 times.

To help you keep track of your progress, please print off the Record sheet. Make sure you practice each day to feel the benefits.

Print this sheet –> the-28-day-breathing-challenge

Stay healthy and practice conscious breathing. Congratulations on taking this step to improve your quality of life.


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