December is always a busy month in the construction industry and with busyness comes mindlessness.

Now more than ever is the time to be mindful.  To be aware of the task at hand, aware of the situations around you and aware of your mates and how they are showing up to work every day.

Mindfulness simply means paying attention to the present moment.  It’s easy to be distracted by thoughts and feelings from the past or worries about the future, about what you need to get done on the job before the Christmas break.  It’s those distractions that take us away from the moment right here, right now and the task at hand.

We all have a free tool that we can use at any time of the day or night to help bring us back to the present moment – our breath.  It’s the one thing that most of us take for granted and don’t often pay too much attention to.  But your breath is like a remote control to your mind.  Control your breath and you control your state of mind bringing more attention and awareness to what is happening around you.

So how do you breathe?  We call this the ‘Breath Wave’.  Breathing in and out through your nose only, place your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your stomach.  Breathe in filling up your stomach, then your ribs and lastly your chest.  Breathe out emptying your chest, your ribs and lastly your stomach.  Feel your torso expand as you inhale and contract as you exhale.

Using the ‘Breath Wave’ inhale for 4sec, pause at the top of the breath, exhale for 4sec.  Continue to breathe at this cadence for 3mins focusing only on your breath.

This simple breathing technique activates our Parasympathetic Nervous System, the part of our nervous system that is responsible for relaxation, calm and recovery.  We are also using the breath as an anchor, a point of focus.  That’s mindfulness.

Mindfulness takes practice.  It’s pretty easy sometimes to go right through the day on autopilot.  Start with just 3mins a few times a day.  Stop and breathe.  Focus only on your breath.  I guarantee you will begin to feel more calm amongst the chaos of the construction site.

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