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Mental Health

Mindful Listening

Dec 14, 2023
woman listening on headphones

Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment, without judgement. It encourages you to let go of any worries or anxieties you may be having and just be aware of the present. Mindful listening is a great way to practice this concept. Giving your full attention to what you hear is a challenge especially with the addition of stressful events or diagnoses.

The goal of mindful listening is to stop your running thoughts and truly be in the moment with the ability to take in fully what someone else is saying or what you are listening to.

Here is an exercise to try:

  1. Pick a song, close your eyes and listen closely to the music.
  2. Follow the lyrics and notice the different instruments. If you have heard the song before, did you notice anything new? 
  3. Alternatively, pick a song that has repetitive lyrics, phrases or melodies. Count how many times you hear the repeated detail.
  4. Allow yourself to focus fully on being in this moment with the song. Your mind may drift, and that’s okay. Pull yourself back toward the song and its lyrics. Notice what you get out of hearing these song lyrics today.
  5. How does this song resonate with you during your cancer journey? Take some time think about this or write it in a journal.

Mindful listening has several benefits for you and is something that you can practice anytime. It can increase your empathy for others. When you are truly listening to someone else, you can learn how to walk in their shoes and appreciate what they are going through. It can also help to increase your own self-awareness — as you pay attention to your own thoughts, you learn more about yourself. You may also learn more about others. Mindful listening can help to improve your focus and attention and in turn, deepen your relationships with others.

Did you find this article helpful and want to learn more mindfulness practices? Baptist Cancer Center offers many free classes and support groups virtually and in-person through our THRIVE Survivorship Program. This program covers multiple different topics including Mindfulness. Check out our classes and support groups here.

Reviewed by: Hannah Peters