Are You Paying Attention?

by | Mar 4, 2018 | Anxiety, Couples, Depression, Featured

Did you know that when we are getting attention from people and giving attention to others it is meeting two of the basic emotions that we need to be happy? How would you rate yourself for giving other people attention? Are you listening to them properly when they speak or are you thinking about something else, or looking on your phone or at the TV? And how would you rate how much attention you are receiving?

Score yourself from 1 to 7 for each. A score of 3 or less might mean that this is something you might want to improve. In fact you might like to do an Emotional Needs Audit on yourself to check your other needs.

We all have a deep-seated need for the attention of others, making us feel needed and valued and it makes us feel good. This begins as a means of survival when we are born, meaning we form bonds and relationships early on, which is crucial for us as herd animals. Throughout our lives, this need remains just as important.

What do I get out of it?

Giving attention to others is just as beneficial to us. Take our relationships for example.

In her article Pay Attention. Is This The Simplest Relationship Key?, Sarah O’Meara, writing for the Huffington Post says, “Whether you’re in a new relationship or have been together for years, it is vital to the success and happiness of your relationship that your partner feels valued by you and the best way to demonstrate this is by paying them attention.The best relationships continue to thrive because each person makes their partner’s needs just as important as their own.” It doesn’t always come easy but it can make the difference between a relationship that is just existing and one that thrives.

For so many of us, when we are having a conversation with someone, we are just not present. Maybe giving a yes and a no (hopefully in the right place!), while they are speaking. When we give other people our attention, it focusses us outwards and stops us from thinking about ourselves. When we really focus on the other person, we are being present and mindful, and the benefits of this are huge.

So give it a try, next time you’re having a conversation with someone, really pay attention. Just think, not only will you be doing something really beneficial for the other person, you’ll be reaping the rewards yourself!

 

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