Scientists already know the value of observation. It’s what makes science science and not just opinion.
It’s also a super skill you can bring into your life and with it come all sorts of benefits.
A scientist observes by as taking him or herself out of the experiment as much as possible in order to measure the effects of changing different variables and conditions. The goal is to be as objective as possible in the both the observations and any conclusions that come from the observations.
Observing your life works the same.
You only need to be quiet and watch what is going on both inside and outside. Watch what others say and do and how it affects what happens inside. Avoid jumping to conclusions before you have all the data, just like a scientist would.
Your reaction is part of what you are observing.
When you stop and watch your reaction, you give yourself a lag time before you say or do anything you might regret. It allows your inner wisdom to catch up with you.
It gives you time to ask more questions and gather more data as needed.
I haven’t been such a fabulous observer in my own life, but since I began practicing this skill, it has made such a difference. I react less and understand other better, and it gives me a chance to treat a situation with humor instead of over-reaction. It helps everything.
The benefits of being an observer
You learn about yourself
You get to learn your own patterns of action and reaction.
The longer you observe yourself, the greater your self-awareness becomes. This leads to less stress and greater happiness.
It makes you a better listener
Much of your time observing is spent listening or gathering data.
This really helps build your skill as an active listener, which is also a super skill.
You stop thinking of what you will say next, and really listen to what others are saying, and it also gives you the opportunity to study tone and body language.
When you really listen, you ask better question that also leads to greater understanding and better reactions.
Seeing the bigger picture
You move yourself out of the center and outside the situation where you are able to see the bigger picture.
This leads to better decisions, and small problems can stay small. They don’t need to grow into mountains.
Learn your triggers
This comes with greater self-awareness as you observe yourself.
With this knowledge, you can learn to avoid or defuse your triggers and move past them. Those little things don’t need to bother you anymore. This care you take will help your relationships in many ways.
Learn about others
This is the fun part of observing.
You get to watch people interact, and that is always interesting. You start seeing surprising things about people you have known for a long time now that you are really observing what is happening.
You start noticing reactions to the things you say and do, and you may find things that are quite effective in making others feel loved or happy or inspired.
You can learn greater honesty through observation.
You will notice the things that others say that aren’t the full truth, just as you notice your own half-truths.
The idea isn’t to attack others or yourself for not being fully honest. It’s to appreciate that it is sometimes hard for people to say what they really feel, and to use this as a point of building greater understanding.
Slow your reactions
Observation makes your reactions slower.
It saves you from reaching the wrong conclusion and gives you a moment to appreciate what you and the other person are feeling without making the situation worse.
Observing gives you time to understand the effect of your words and actions.
Bring more presence to any situation
Observation bring presence and focus.
When you are present, you can give a better response and more of yourself. This can be relationship-changers
Gain new perspectives
As you develop your skill, you will be able to understand what motivates others and what they are trying to accomplish.
You will better understand their words. This gives you new perspectives, which will lead to new ideas.
Keep things simple
When you observe, it simplifies things.
Keep away complicated emotions and actions that escalate things. It’s much easier to deal with a problem when a heap of troubling emotions have been piled on.
Observing helps develop other skills
There are loads of other skills you learn along the way to becoming an observer.
These include compassion, kindness, focus and staying centered. You can bring these to your relationships and give them a boost too.
Bringing real change
Observing gives you a chance to see subconscious programming in motion.
We are all running loads of subconscious programs when we decide to do or say something. It takes a heck of a lot of self-awareness to see them. Slowing down and being presence allows your mind the opportunity to catch them while they are running, and from here you can change them.
Observation is one of life’s super skills that will help your inner world as well as all your relationships. It also frees you from old patterns.
You can easily do it. Just relax and watch yourself and others. You can still participate in conversations, but you will find yourself speaking less and letting others talk more.
Managing your emotional reactions is one of the main benefits, and this is another super skill. As you become more self-aware, you will find your reactions delayed and more measured.
Observation can also help you understand what you want and don’t want in your life by watching how certain things make you feel. And this is key in creating any change.