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Meditation in the Construction Industry - Does it work?
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Meditation in the Construction Industry - Does it work?

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We have all heard of mediation and have even probably given it a go but not really sure what to expect.Yes, it can bring many benefits but as we rush about we often lose some of the instant advantages it brings so we thought to give a very short Saint Sunday that can have a massive return on the time invested.

🚧 A Form of Martial Arts

Most people think of meditation as something you would do in the early morning only to set yourself up, yes that's right, but it is much more than that. It also becomes a valuable weapon you can use at other times and may start to connect the dots of WHY to continue with meditation.

Think of your morning meditation as training much like a martial art. So you learn the technique in the morning even for 10 minutes a day. During the working day, you may have a stress spike. This is when you now use your training in your everyday life - meditation skills and breathing techniques. The training pays off in an instant much like a martial art because now you respond to a situation and take control and not just react and be on the back foot. It's no longer to just be a thing you do in the morning and forget, you learn to use it as an advantage.

This in even small increments to be observed on a daily basis further develops your self-confidence and strengthens most importantly, your emotional intelligence in how you react to situations.

🧠 Big Brain Vs Little Brain Thinking

Did you know that when you are stressed you only use the front part of your brain - the fight or flight mode - the famous 10%? So all the responses are quick-fire answers and chest-tight reactions.

When people say “Take a moment and count to 10“ it really does work.

Taking a deep breath and cycle through your meditation technique even for a short while will take you out of the fight of flight mode and into the larger brain. You can learn to do this anywhere, you do not have to go to sleep or shut your eyes, you can do it on the train or just take a few moments, you can focus on your chest and body, not the brain, submerge and invite calmness to start.

The big brain is where deeper thinking and better choices happen. You may work with someone and they just seem to have a deep more considered thought pattern, this is often because they have just taken that extra bit of time to switch modes, usually, they do not even know it but they just took a moment.

Bonus Tip 1 - Quick Self Test

You can test where your mind is probably at right now with a quick test, are you breathing in short cycles through your mouth only (fight or flight) or are you taking a deep intake of air through the nose, stomach and chest? Try it, use your meditation technique and check your breathing throughout the day, give yourself a few extra seconds to take a step back and start making better decisions.

Bonus Tip 2 - Main Nervous System

When you start to learn about breathing and meditation it has a massive daily effect on your mind and body. We have a major nerve that runs through our whole body including the gut which is very important for all our reactions and by observing the benefits of mediating this nerve starts to fire off new signals and re connecting brain matter, calming and repairing, far outstripping the big pharma approach for anxiety or reducing triggers of bad habits.

🧠 So, how can we meditate?  

There is much out there for mediation the hows and whys - here is a brief example of how to start - to learn about taking a moment for yourself, to learn how to use your breathing as a control to begin better regulation - the rest is a journey!

1) Take a seat
Find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you.  

2) Set a time limit
If you’re just beginning, it can help to choose a short time, such as five or 10 minutes.

3) Notice your body
You can sit in the van, in a chair with your feet on the floor, you can sit loosely cross-legged, you can kneel—all are fine. Just make sure you are stable and in a position you can stay in for a while.

4) Feel your breath

Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and as it goes out. Breathe in using your belly and chest, you have two bags on either side of your torso expand those as well, really use part of your body you have never felt before and when you breathe out try to push to the bottom of your stomach. At this stage just learn to breathe, don’t worry about being perfect. Keep it simple when one breath finishes, another breath starts, over and over, it's not a test, you have already passed by starting to be kind to yourself.

5) Notice when your mind has wandered
Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing that your mind has wandered—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—simply return your attention to the breath, again keep it simple when one breath finishes, another breath starts, over and over.

6) Be kind to your wandering mind
Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the content of the thoughts you find yourself lost in. Just come back. Let the thought come but let it go again without comment or opinion- let the cloud come, and just let it pass. You focus your attention, your mind wanders, you bring it back, and you try to do it as kindly as possible (as many times as you need to).

7) Close with kindness
When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, open them). Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions.

And that’s it! 🎉

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Meditation in the Construction Industry - Does it work?

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