Brain Tool #4: Listening

Play Daily with These Steps to Boost Your Brain:

1. In a sedentary position, close the eyes & initiate a deep abdominal breath
2. Draw your attention to the speed, texture, volume & rhythm of your breath
3. Next, bring your attention to the sound(s) in your external environment. Listen closely to the speed, volume, rhythm, pitch, texture & location of the sound(s)
4. Observe the various qualities of the sound(s) without judgment –  simply be present
5. Now, imagine your ENTIRE body as one great big “ear”. Imagine that you are listening with your skin, bones, muscles, joints & the  fluid systems of your body
6. As you listen, become aware of how different parts of the body respond to the different qualities of the sound(s) around you
7. Return your listening awareness to your breath & slowly open the eyes

Listening Variations to Develop Flexible Thinking:

1. As you begin step #2 of the Brain Tool, imagine the different qualities of the sound(s) as different colors, shapes and/or symbols
2. Play with listening to different “layers” of sound, i.e. sounds in the foreground vs. sounds in the background. How many different layers of sound can you detect? What are their qualities? What are their various directions?
3. Play with the listening tool in various physical environments, including inside/outside of water. What differences do you detect?
4. With children, go on a “listening walk”. Read The Listening Walk by Paul Showers to enrich your experience

What’s Unique About This Brain Tool:

1. Sound passes through ALL areas of the brain and affects our ENTIRE body and well-being. Bone conduction is one of the primary ways our body digests sound
2. Listening to LIVE (non-recorded) sounds provides the brain-body system with the RICHEST sonic input for robust health
3. Conscious listening improves oral communication, following oral instructions, and enhances social skills
4. Conscious listening improves focus, concentration, and short-term memory
5. Conscious listening with awareness to bodily responses can improve mood and regulate emotions
6. Listening to rhythms in sounds improves organization of thought, prioritization and impulse control