• Bren

Mindfulness Tip: Breathe Before You Speak

This month's mindfulness tip is easy to explain but may be difficult to embody.

Breathe before you speak. Basically, learning to respond, not react.

One could say that reacting = mindlessness. Responding mindfully is clearly the choice we would like to make. But that's just it: how to choose to behave in this new way. How do we choose?

It's by paying attention, slowing down, acting with intention.

Pay attention, slow down, act with intention.

Take a breath before you speak.

When you're in conversation with someone, really listen to what they are saying. While they are speaking, don't formulate your response, don't think about how that reminds you of something or someone else, just really listen. Give them all your attention. This might be surprisingly harder than it sounds. And pay attention while practicing this - you might notice that this is easy with some people and much harder to practice with certain other people.

When they have finished speaking, pause and reflect on all that they've said. Consciously take one full breath before saying anything. This might feel like an eternity of silence at first, but it's not.

You might find that communicating in this way feels better than having an interrupting competition style of communication. You might find that the people you speak to enjoy your company more when you deeply listen to them.

Notice how it feels to choose your response rather than react. Instead of bouncing off old patterns, we carve a new, intentional path. This is good for your brain and your relationships.

Do you dare try this for a couple weeks? Breathe before you speak.

Find more mindfulness tips here on the blog or on Instagram @practicewithbren or sign up for the newsletter to be the first to receive mindfulness tips from me every month!

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