Mindful Communication Part IV: Putting it all Together

Mindful Communication Part IV: Putting it all Together

I Mindful Words

II Mindful Listening

III Mindful Body Language

Thinking about past experiences can be a good way to figure out how to improve future experience. Don’t get too caught up in reflecting though, because we can always change what happens in the future if we are not happy with past actMore_Beach_Sunflowers_(5652859929)ions. Mindful Communication takes a lot of work, because it takes us out of autopilot and into the present moment… sometimes even the past or future. When we choose to mindfully communicate, we are choosing to show we care about the person we are speaking with by giving them our full attention and energy. We are also putting our attention and energy toward using our most mindful words, listening skills and body language. This means that we think about each of these parts of Mindful Communication and act in a way that we would like others to act towards us too.

Mindful Communication is especially important in this age of technology and insta-everything, because it allows us to make personal connections with the person we are talking to, rather than seeing them as a message bubble on our phone. By being mindful in our communication, we acknowledge the value in each person we talk to.

The three parts of Mindful Communication are very important and all affect each other. They don’t necessarily come in any order, because you use each one in each part of Mindful Communication. We broke them down into three lessons here so that we could put all our focus into each one as we learned them. Now that we’ve learned the parts of Mindful Communication, the next practice is to put them back together!

The last step of this activity is to imagine a conversation you would really like to have with someone. Think about what you would like them to get out of the conversation, and then think about the words you would choose to speak with to support that. What would your posture, gestures and facial expressions look like to show how you are feeling? Lastly, how would you listen to your partner when they speak?

You can write this down and draw an illustration to respond, or discuss this out loud in class if your teacher gives the option to participate in this way. Just make sure to practice Mindful Listening as you raise your hand and wait your turn.

Teacher’s tip: students can practice Mindful Communication every day. You can recommend that they are particularly aware of it at school, and that they practice it at home with their families. Each component can be revisited as needed too.

Student’s tip: you can practice Mindful Communication any time you speak with someone in person. If you don’t speak with others in person a lot, you might try having more face-to-face conversations and practicing your new skills. Notice how it makes you feel to connect with others in this way.

Mindful Body Language

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 tCommon_Squirrelo 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:

  1. Happy
  2. Angry
  3. Sad

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.

Mindful Communication Part II: Mindful Words

This week’s Mindful Communication activity is a practice using Mindful Words. When we are communicating mindfully, it is important to think about the words we are using. The way we say something can have a big effect on the person we are saying it to. This makes it important to think before we say things, especially if those things have thFiery_throated_Hummingbird_JCB2e potential to either make someone very happy or very sad.

An example of when you can use Mindful Words is when you are angry about something. Imagine that your friend did something that made you very upset, and all you feel like doing is yelling at them about how bad of a friend they are. How do you think that will make your friend feel?

Your friend will most likely become upset because they feel like they are being attacked, and they will probably respond to you by being angry too. Now you both are angry, and you might even be more upset that before.

Lets look at the same situation using Mindful Words. Imagine that you are approaching the same friend with a different perspective. Before you say something that could upset your friend, think of how you could explain how you’re feeling with Mindful Words rather than expressing it by yelling. When tell your friends how things they did made you feel, they can understand your emotions better and have an idea of how to avoid doing that in the future because they know it hurt you. This way of showing your emotions keeps both of you relaxed and open to Mindful Listening.

Think about a situation when you could have used Mindful Words. It will probably be a time when you felt an intense emotion and did not think before letting the person who made you feel that way know how you feel. Write down a short description of the situations and then answer the following questions:

  • How did the person respond to you?
  • How did you want them to respond to you?
  • How do you think it made them feel?
  • How did you want them to feel?

Now think of how you could have used Mindful Words in this situation to better communicate how you were feeling. What words could you have chosen to let that person know how they made you feel and what they did to cause you to feel that way? Base your Mindful Words off of the questions above.

  • How do you think they would respond to you?
  • How do you think it would make them feel?

Mindful Words gives you the power to transform a situation that might have ended in a different way otherwise. They help you communicate your thoughts and feelings to others in a way that makes everyone involved feel understood.

Teacher’s Tip: It can be particularly helpful to remind students to use Mindful Words during conflict resolution between peers.

Student’s Tip: You can practice using Mindful Words in any conversation, as it is an important part of Mindful Communication. Try practicing Mindful Words as often as possible, and pair it with Mindful Listening.

Student’s Tip: You can practice using Mindful Wffords in any conversation, as it is an important part of Mindful Communication. Try practicing Mindful Words as often as possible, and pair it with Mindful Listening.

Mindful Communication Part I: Mindful Listening

Over the next few weeks we are going to learn about Mindful communication. Communication happens any time we say something to someone else through our words or actions, or anytime someone says something to us through their words or actions. Mindful Communication means that we are communicating with others while paying all of our attention with our bodies and our minds.

Mindful Listening is an important tool in Mindful Communication because it helps us connect with the people we are communicating with by giving them our full attention with our ears.

Mindful Listening is the first practice we will learn in Mindful Communication. It is one of the steps we can use to give people we are communicating with alOryctolagus_cuniculus_Tasmania_2l of our attention. It is easy to forget to be mindful when we listen because there are always so many distractions all around us. How many of you have cell phones? Think about how many times you have checked your phone or texted someone while someone else was talking to you in person. This is not Mindful Listening because you are paying attention to something else instead of the person you are with.

Today’s practice may seem very simple: your teacher will assign you to a partner, and you will ask them about their weekend. If it is almost the weekend again, you can ask them what their plans are. Your goal here is to listen to what they are saying with all of your attention. It may sound easier than it is.

Your teacher will time this activity to go for three minutes. While you are having this conversation, see if you can notice when your mind starts to wander off. If it does, just bring your attention back to the person who is talking to you. Keep doing this each time your mind wanders.

After the two minutes is up, you can write down what you learned about your partner or make a drawing to show this. Take two minutes to complete this reflection. Then take a minute to tell your partner what your learned from your conversation today.

Your partner will now ask you about your weekend and listen mindfully to you.

Take a few minutes to reflect on this activity once both partners are done.

  1. How did it feel to know that you had your partner’s attention while they listened to you?
  2. How did it feel to give your partner your attention while you listened to them?
  3. If your mind wandered off, where did it go (e.g. What were you thinking about?)?

Teacher’s tip: you can give this activity to students any time you’d like to see them improve their listening skills.

Student’s tip: you can practice Mindful Listening every time you talk to someone. You don’t have to write down what you learned, or always reflect back to your partner, just see how well you can give them your full attention.