Scotland's 'Year of Listening' will raise awareness throughout 2016 that listening, and being listened to, is good for your mental health.
We like to think we are good listeners but are we really listening?
Could you be a better listener?
Active listening can help break down barriers
In any conversation it can sometimes be difficult to truly focus on what the speaker is saying. We may become distracted or our thoughts turn to our own anecdotes and response.
Active listening is a skill whereby a person concentrates on the message of the speaker, rather than passively hearing spoken words. It requires the listener to be setting aside their own thoughts and for them to reflect and feed back, so that they truly understand what is being said. This type of listening is often used in counselling, as it helps to encourage the person to keep talking when they are finding it hard to talk about something that is making them feel distressed.
Talking and listening is a positive first step for improved mental health
We all have mental health. Some days it will be better than other days. One in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem at some point in our lives. Talking through problems can relieve worries, helping to put things in perspective. Being listened to helps us to feel 'connected', contributing to improved feelings of self-worth, self-confidence and happiness. Relationships and friendships, where we feel listened to, can have a huge positive impact on a person’s sense of wellbeing.
Take time to listen today
Scotland's Year of Listening (YoL) is an opportunity for individuals and organisations to demonstrate their commitment to be better listeners.
If you would like to get involved, you can pledge your support and find out what's happening in the coming weeks.
Watch this space for further details!