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    The Importance of Personal Growth and Development-Part 2 of 2


      See Part 1 for a discussion on inspirational websites and attending conferences.
      Taking time to care for and nourish your body and mind are just as important as gaining new skills in the quest for personal development. It’s important to care for our physical well-being so that we can enjoy a long lifetime of growth and fulfillment.
      Nourish Your Body
      Investing in yourself also means investing in your well-being. Your body is your vessel, and it only makes sense to keep it running in the best shape possible. We’ve given you some ways to stay active at fit at work, but it’s also important that you partake in activities other than sitting at a desk.
      Enhancing your quality of life can mean joining a local gym, taking walks during your lunch break, or enjoying other activities in your spare time. Read local newspapers to find health and wellness activities such as yoga, kickboxing, Pilates, or meditation.
      There are endless benefits to physical activity when it comes to your health. Besides controlling your weight, staying active can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, strengthen your bones and muscles, improve your mood, and increase your chances of living longer. All it takes is a few hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity.
      Not only does physical activity do wonders for your body, it can also help sharpen your mind. Midday exercise has been known to put an end to that dreaded afternoon workday slump. Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs like Twitter founder Evan Williams and British business magnate Richard Branson attribute their heightened productivity to their physical activity. Talk to your boss about the possibility of organizing group wellness sessions during weekdays. It would be a great way get them to invest in their employees and ultimately their business.
      Meditate and Reflect
      Take a deep breath and relax. There have been scientific studies done that show that deep relaxation can create disease-fighting genes. These genes can protect from disorders such as pain, high blood pressure and even rheumatoid arthritis.
      A Harvard study has shown that the benefits of relaxation were found to increase with regular practice. The more people practiced relaxation methods such as meditation or deep breathing, the greater their chances were of having stronger immunity, healthier hormones and lower blood pressure. After a few months, the genes that help fight inflammation, kill diseased cells and protect the body from cancer all began to switch on. If that’s not a reason to start deep relaxation, I don’t know what is.
      The same Harvard study found that yoga, meditation, and even repetitive prayer and mantras all induced the relaxation effect. Try one or more of the following techniques for 15 minutes once or twice a day:

      • Body Scan: Starting with your head and working down to your arms and feet, notice how you feel in your body. Taking in your head and neck, simply notice if you feel tense, relaxed, calm or anxious. See how much you can spread any sensations of softness and relaxation to areas of your body that feel tense. Once your reach your feet, work back up your body.
      • Breath Focus: Sit comfortably. Tune into your breath, follow the sensation of inhaling from your nose to abdomen and out again. Let tension go with each exhalation. When you notice your mind wandering, return to your breath.
      • Mantra Repetition: The relaxation response can be evoked by sitting quietly with eyes closed for 15 minutes twice a day, and mentally repeating a simple word or sound such as ”Om”.
      • Guided Imagery: Imagine a wonderfully relaxing light or a soothing waterfall washing away tension from your body and mind. Make your image vivid, imagining textures, colors and fragrances as the image washes over you.

      Personal growth and development can help you break free of the monotony of everyday life. By expanding the potential of your mind and body, you can live the full life of value and purpose that you’ve always wanted. You’ll feel more fulfilled in discovering your true potential, and perhaps become more worldly in the process. We sincerely hope you use some of these suggestions and resources to start on your own path to personal growth and development. Though some of these suggestions may involve some financial sacrifices on your part, rest easy knowing that you’re investing in the realization of your dreams and aspirations.

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