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Mental health matters
Develop better hearing
Over the last few decades a wealth of literature advocating the benefits of positive thinking and speech has appeared, but what about positive hearing?

Next time someone says something nice to you accept the compliment with good grace
Next time someone says something nice to you accept the compliment with good grace

18.08.2014 - Various studies have now shown that a positive attitude can have a beneficial effect not just on mental health, but on the state of our physical bodies as well.  Conversely, the opposite is also true – when we are stressed we often become run down and prone to catching infections such as the common cold more regularly, as chronic stress depresses the immune system, amongst its many other debilitating effects.

So, many have begun trying to alter their thought patterns, look for the best in situations, hope for the finest outcomes, have a good self-image and all the other steps that are recommended.  However, in amongst all the advice, one of our most important senses is often overlooked – hearing.  

Apart from the fact that the majority of us could do with improving our listening skills, what we do actually hear can have a profound impact on our lives.  Who doesn’t still have memories of comments, well meant or not, that friends, family or even complete strangers have made about us and which have stuck in our minds for years, if not decades?

Unfortunately, the greater number of these memories will be focused on the negative words we have heard.  You can undoubtedly recall perfectly the one time someone said you looked awful, or too fat, too thin, too tired, or any number of comments which made you feel less than good.  However, in comparison, how many of the times someone said something complimentary do those words stick in your mind with the same force that the apparently not-so-nice moments do?

Unfortunately, this imbalance is caused by our own experiences and biases.  Every time we hear (or see) something, that new information is filtered through our prejudices and preconceived ideas.  If we have already decided that we are not pretty , clever, appreciated, or whatever, then often, no matter how many times someone tells us otherwise, we simply do not ‘hear’ what they are saying.  The words are going in, but we are changing their significance along the way.  “Oh, they don’t mean that,’ we will say to ourselves, or “They are only saying that to be nice, or because they want something or…”

What we really need to do is actually hear what people are saying.  Yes, there will be occasions when someone has an ulterior motive but the majority of the time people are genuinely trying to give us a compliment, but it often falls on deaf ears.

So next time someone says something nice about you accept their kind words gracefully, acknowledge to yourself that they have appreciated something about you and try to consciously add those compliments to your memories.


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Next time someone says something nice to you accept the compliment with good grace 
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