How Personal Development Can Bring Inner Peace

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Personal development is a lifelong and continuous process. As a term, it is used quite commonly and misunderstood the most. Personal development is the process of analyzing your own behaviour, skills and qualities. In order to be better at life, one needs to analyze the above to set life goals and priorities. This, in turn, helps one to put his/her best to whatever they are doing and maximise their potential. Hence, personal development affects every aspect of our lives.

Personal development literally means to evaluate and focus on yourself to be better prepared for life. Life is unpredictable, in all spheres. Be it your work or your personal life, you don’t have control over what life may throw at you. Even though we don’t have the power to manipulate our lives, it is in our control to respond to it accordingly. You might want a certain thing in life, but don’t necessarily have to wait for life to make it happen. You have to take the initiative to make it happen. There will be times when your plans fail but the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment will be priceless. Life feels more rewarding when you take charge and commit to pursuing your own objectives. Making that commitment to personal development is the first step to inner peace.

What does one mean by being in peace? Isn’t peace a state of mind that everyone sees differently? Yes, it is. To me personally, being at peace means being in alignment with my inner values and my sole purpose in life. It could be absolutely different for you, and that is okay. What is inside you can’t be given by things or people around you. For example, I am a writer who loves plants. I will never find peace in working for an organization that encourages deforestation. As individuals, we take responsibility for how peaceful we are in our body and mind. The way we shape ourselves plays a major role in how peaceful we are.

There are 3 major pillars of personal development for a peaceful life:

1. Spiritual connection and realization

As humans, we are the smartest species that the earth has today. Have you ever wondered what makes us different from the others? It is our spirituality. This is certainly a debatable topic, mostly because people connect spirituality to a particular religion or God. Spirituality is much more than religion or God. What if someone says it is a superpower who is kind and powerful and looks over you? It makes things easier when you believe that someone else is taking charge of things in your life. A clarity in your thoughts will help you greatly in maintaining your sanity.

2. Physical Health is very important

Our body are our most important asset and often goes neglected in our busy lifestyle. It is the house we live in; the house others see from the outside. Our physical body and mind play a major role in our success stories in the marketplace. This is why it is important to feel good about yourself inside and out. The way you feel within your body depends on how you treat it. If you have bad and lethargic lifestyle choices, it shows on your body and to the others too. Good nutrition and exercising are two ways of maintaining your body healthy.

A healthy body gives you confidence, that shows to others in the marketplace. Physical looks matter to people because that is the first impression a person has of you. Don’t judge a book by its cover is just a myth. That’s the hard truth. Imagine two cafés in front of you, one is dimly lit and has a broken door while the other looks beautiful. Most people would go to the second one and ask for a coffee. It can be good coffee or bad coffee, that will decide if you continue going there. It is the same with people, the initial ice is broken with your looks and then the course of the relationship is decided on solely what you are on the inside. You can’t just look good and be clueless about everything else, that certainly won’t work after the first meeting.

3. Mental Health should never be compromised

You must have interacted with your share of people of different personalities. Different people respond very differently to the same situation or crisis. While one might break down under pressure, the other might face the situation with whatever he has. The society adores people of the second type, because of their mental stability. Our physical bodies are what our minds function on. Mental stability is a vast term, it includes positive thinking and also mental stretching. It is humanly impossible to have knowledge about everything or be expert in all spheres. While one can choose not to do the task, the other would want to learn the trade and complete the task. If you back out of unfamiliar situations every time, it is certain that you are not progressing.

A great way to harness your mental abilities is to read. It makes you knowledgeable and hence confident. Always remember that learning is a continuous process and should never stop in life.

Working on your personal development will make you more focused and motivated human being. But for that to happen you need to value yourself the most and be at peace with yourself.

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5 Things That Change When You Practice Yoga

Mindfulness, self-development and mental well-being are all intricately woven together into a web that guarantees internal peace. In fact, the self-development industry is thriving with a net worth of $11 billion and is forecasted to grow by 5% annually. Each year $500 million is spent on personal development products.

Likewise, mindfulness has gained traction. 8% of the US population practices meditation and roughly 22% of businesses have mindfulness programs in place. It brushes up the performance and productivity of the employees, which explains why these businesses encourage such training sessions.

Despite these statistics that egg on further developments in mindfulness and self-care, the picture of mental health isn’t as bright. Nearly 18% of the US adults deal with the demons of some form of psychiatric conditions. Even more disturbing is the fact that 9.6 million people entertain suicidal thoughts.

In the light of these figures, it is clear that working toward improving mental well-being is the need of the hour. The links of mindfulness, self-development, and mental health need to be strengthened. It’s not going to happen over a cup of coffee or anytime soon. However, yoga episodes can help, as they afford the development of all these elements.

Here is a look at five things that change when you practice yoga:

1) Improves mental health

Yoga is a helpful tool to add to your arsenal of psychological well-being. It helps relax your mind, which takes stress levels down. It also improves your body postures that cause headaches, fatigue, backache, and more. These, in turn, summon or contribute to depression as explained by Dr. Min Yeo, a yoga teacher.

Upon digging deeper, studies support the role of yoga in treating depression. It works to curb anxiety and depression symptoms. Erin Wiley, a clinical psychotherapist in Ohio, gives yoga the credit of calming patients who experience anxiety. She explains, “It teaches clients that they have control of their stress reaction, gives them a coping skill for when they are overwhelmed, gives them experience in practicing calming down which is helpful for times of distress.”

A 2016 research further confirms that yoga is also beneficial for individuals with the major depressive disorder who only partially respond to medication. Another study indicates that yoga assists in improving the symptoms of schizophrenic patients too. It is also found to be helpful in dealing with eating disorders and PTSD as well.

2) Enhance self-regulation

Yoga encourages a quiet mind that sets the foundational stone of personal improvement. A calm mind that doesn’t keep rumbling about your past or fretting about the future is the prerequisite for effective mindfulness. Consequently, by doing yoga, you can live in the moment, shape a wholesome framework of thoughts, and appreciate yourself better.

Yoga also stirs the wheel of mindfulness by promoting the mind-body connectivity. It calms the fight or flight response of the body, widening the scope of your self-regulation. In essence, self-regulation orbits around the idea of better self-care. To this end, yoga facilitates relaxation and self-awareness, two essential means to the goal of self-development.

Negative thoughts blur as you practice yoga. Not only does this amp up your overall health but it also makes you more mindful. Awareness of the present, unpolluted by pessimism, is a crucial characteristic of mindfulness therapy.

3) Shrinks stress

Not only is yoga an antidote for diminishing the symptoms of psychiatric conditions but it is also the magic potion that reduces stress. Our daily life is a jumble of incidents, accidents, and negative thoughts mixed in with a couple of mistakes. There’s only stress that mostly remains a constant during these daily troubles.

On a scale of 1-10, the Americans rate the average regular stress level at 4.6.

Yoga can ward off the tension and stressors. Research outlines that by practicing the three vital yoga elements, meditation, poses, and breathing, you can regulate your heart-rate variability (HRV). Yoga helps to reduce HRV so that you are better able to deal with stress. Another study points out that regular yoga influences the way amygdala responds to stress.

Additionally, 48% of people complain about restlessness at night as a by-product of stress. Evidence indicates that daily yoga can lessen insomnia and even prevent it altogether by courtesy of relaxing yoga postures or asanas.

4) Promotes physical fitness

In addition to the psychological benefits, yoga encourages good physical fitness. A survey reveals that 40% of people who practice yoga opt for healthier eating. These yoga practitioners also report eating sustainably. An additional 75% of yogis tend to participate in fitness or sports activities, and approximately two-thirds exercise more.

Yoga also shoulders the responsibility of upgrading balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health. Furthermore, it swells the overall quality of your life. Evidence correlates yoga as a useful intervention for helping you deal better with pain.

20% of yogis relay that yoga instills in them a positive body image and a greater sense of strength and mental clarity. The reduction in anxiety and stress due to regular doses of yoga also keeps the physical effects of such psychological concerns at bay. Thus, yoga augments physical fitness in several ways.

5) Increases compassion

Research reveals that yoga impacts compassion and effects interpersonal harmony. It makes a person more compassionate, such that a yogi offers help even if peer pressure works as an antagonist.

Yoga nurtures various other essential morals, in addition to compassion. These include self-disciple, kindness, and truthfulness. It also cultivates a greater sense of unity. Around 50% of the yogis tend to volunteer and donate to their community.

Coral Brown, an internationally recognized vinyasa yoga teacher, and psychotherapist, claims, “Practicing the ethical codes from every perspective helps fortify the concepts within the body and the mind. And what you practice, you become.” Yoga centers around the heart, therefore, reaping compassion, a heart-oriented emotion is only natural.

Consequently, yoga furthers self-development, mindfulness, and mental health. Simultaneously, it revamps your physical health. The number of practicing yogis has almost doubled from 6% to 11% during 2002-12, which is a step in the right direction.

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