The third part of our Mindful Communication series is on Mindful Body Language. Body language is the way that our body communicates to others. This communication can happen through the way we stand, the way we move our hands when we talk, the expression on our face, and even where our eyes are looking when we talk to someone. Having Mindful Body language means that we are thinking about how our body language makes other people feel, and choosing how we want to present ourselves to others. Being mindful about our body language helps us become aware of the way that we affect other people, as well as the way they affect us. When practicing mindful body language, you might begin to notice how other people’s body language makes you feel too.
When you talk to someone, your body talks to that person through your posture, gestures and facial expressions. Some very simple ways to show mindful body language are to: turn to face your conversation partner, sit or stand up tall, and be aware of your facial expressions. In order to be mindful in our body language, we must begin to notice how we naturally talk to other people. You might notice that you are already very mindful with your body language, or you might also notice that there is some room for improvement. Think about the last time you had a conversation with someone when you were:
In each of these situations, think about how you were talking to them with your body. If you can’t remember a conversation, just imagine yourself in each of those situations right now.
Now write down what you imagined your posture, gestures, and facial expressions were:
Do you think your body language was mindful in each situation? If not, think about how you could improve each part to show that you are engaged in the conversation.
Eye contact is another important part of mindful body language. You can think of it as part of a facial expression, but you can also think about it on its own too. Eye contact can make a huge difference when you are talking to someone. Meeting someone’s gaze can show someone that you are really engaged in the conversation you are having, and expresses to them that this is important to you. While you don’t have to make eye contact with your conversation partner every second that you speak, it is good to make it a habit throughout the conversation.
Think about your happy, angry and sad conversations (or imaginary ones). Do you think you made eye contact during those conversations? If you did, how often? If not, why do you think you didn’t?
Teacher’s Tip: Teachers, see if you can remind students to practice mindful body language in their conversations. If you notice something they could improve on, give them a gentle reminder. This can be particularly
Student’s Tip: See if you can remember to practice mindful body language in your conversations. Notice your posture, gestures and facial expressions and see if you can make them more mindful if they aren’t already.