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3 Tips for Increasing Connected Communication
by Sara Childre
This article was shared with ATH by Care2.
Editor's Note: In today's rushed and busy climate, sometimes people need to slow down and take time to center while communicating with each other. This article provides a simple method that is backed by research for helping people to bring heart energy into their communications with each other. I've used this method myself and have taught it to people I work with. It is an amazing way and simple way to help people listen fully and feel connected while in conversation.
Communication is a skill and an art, something we must learn and work at to refine. Whether it’s a business, family or friendship interaction, communication is an important tool throughout our lives. We can employ it to improve ourselves, others and the world.
I believe the most sincere and effective form of communication is connected communication, in which the heart is engaged. Most of us communicate with any number of individuals every day. Often, though we exchange words and gestures or make eye contact, or we telephone, e-mail or use other means, our interactions can frequently lack the heart warmth of authentic communication.
Often, we make only surface-level connections because of the rushed world in which we live. Time constraints, and having to focus in so many directions, can diminish our presence in communications and interactions. Whatever the reasons, all of them have a common theme: a lack of ease. When we don’t operate from a place of ease, rather than being authentic, our interactions can be mechanical and low on care.
When we approach life from a place of ease, we are more present and resilient in all situations. Higher choices and discernments are more attainable and sustainable, and our connections with others are deeper and more genuine. Inner-ease means slowing down the mind and emotions so that our heart’s care is included in our interactions. When we are not in the state of inner-ease, the heart connection with others often begins to fade, and if a lack of ease persists, the nervous system’s vulnerability to impatience and irritants increases along with dread – dread of that meeting, that person or that situation. This process can drain our system and form attitudes that create a continuous stress deficit.
Connected communications are restricted at times because of silent, unresolved friction or irritation between parties. This can cause the tendency not to communicate our true feelings, thus creating even greater emotional disconnect and separation
Unresolved friction between individuals, even when everyone declares they are fine, creates awkward and disjointed communications, which shuts off the heart, blocks synergy and stifles relationships. As we practice relating to life and to others from a place of inner-ease, we can prevent and adjust many of these habitual outplays.
Ease is an inner attitude that doesn’t require us to slow to the speed of molasses for it to be effective and beneficial. Some situations, however call for slowing down our internal and external systems to be effective in creating flow rather than turbulence. When your system is running too fast, consciously breathe for a couple of minutes and progressively slow yourself down to the state of inner-ease. This helps to align your mind and emotions with your heart feelings, which increases effective connection with others, your projects and within yourself.
3 Tips for Increasing Connected Communication
Tip 1: Practice the steps of HeartMath’s Inner-Ease™ Technique to create energetic alignment before communicating with individuals or groups.
* If you are stressed, acknowledge your feelings as soon as you sense that you are out of sync or engaged in common stressors— feelings such as frustration, impatience, anxiety, overload, anger, being judgmental, mentally gridlocked, etc.
* Take a short time out and do heart-focused breathing: breathe a little slower than usual; pretend you are breathing through your heart or chest area.
* During the heart-focused breathing, imagine with each breath that you are drawing in a feeling of inner-ease and infusing your mental and emotional nature with balance and self-care from your heart.
* When the stressful feelings have calmed, affirm with a heartfelt commitment that you want to anchor and maintain the state of ease as you re-engage in your projects, challenges or daily interactions.
(Download the free “State of Ease” booklet with an in-depth explanation of the Inner-Ease Technique steps. by clicking here.)
Tip 2: When you are a listener, breathe in the attitude of ease and radiate care to create a stronger connection. This will help you take in the essence of what you are hearing, rather than allowing yourself to be pulled into some drama or prejudgment before the person is finished speaking. If judgments do surface, imagine enfolding them into your heart.
Tip 3: When you are a speaker, speak from the inner-ease mode. Be genuine and express your authentic feelings.
Connected communication is not about always being bubbly and gushy in our interactions. It simply means striving for authentic interactions in which you speak, listen and act from the heart, thus making a genuine connection.
We all know how it feels to be on the downside of communications that are not heart connected. The memory of this feeling can inspire us to add more heart and care in our communications and attitudes. Whether we merely glance at someone or engage in an extended conversation, we typically know when we’ve made a genuine connection because it leaves us with a feeling of wholeness and self-respect.
Share a story or your own tips for more heart- connected communication.
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About the Author
Sara Childre is President and CEO of the non-profit Institute of HeartMath. Since 1991, Sara has helped oversee and develop HeartMath trainings, educational products and scientific programs. She was appointed vice president and CFO of the institute in 1992, then president and CEO in 1998.
To learn more visit: www.heartmath.org.
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