Find your personal development path
The world is full of information on the changes we can make to better our lives. Articles and infographics with tips on how to live happily and healthily. Social media pages are filled with videos, quotes and images showing us what we need to do in the hope of inspiring us to start living our best lives and all of this information is literally at the tip of our fingers. If you want to embark on a personal development journey then you won't have to look too hard in order to find something to help you get started.
In fact, sometimes the volume of information available to us can be quite overwhelming. Before you know it, you have a huge list of things to start doing and your journey ahead begins to look more like a never-ending mountain hike, and unsurprisingly unappealing. Sometimes you feel under pressure from society and social media to implement wellness practices into your life, because it seems to be the trendy thing to do, or perhaps someone else has insisted you need to make changes and your heart isn’t really in it.
It is really important for you to be aware that your wellness and self-improvement journey should never be a punishment. It should never be something that overwhelms or pressurises you. You should also not attempt to take on too much too soon, life is a journey and the finish line is six feet under, so don’t be in a rush to get there. Enjoy it, experience it, create it and change it as and when you feel you need to and explore it in a way that feels right for you.
Improving your mind health
Your mind is the emotional and psychological part of you. That means your mental health, your mindset and your ego. They are equally important and you need to consider all three when thinking about the ‘mind’ and how to bring it into a healthier, balanced state. Your thoughts have a huge effect on your emotions and behaviours, which is why you may hear a life coach or wellness practitioner telling you to be mindful, conscious or aware of your thoughts.
Your mind is connected to your body by feelings and directions. Did you know you can use your mind to feel places in your own body that need attention? It is often called the mind-body connection - your body responds to the way you think, feel and behave, which can ultimately impact your biological functioning.
Your mindset is a combination of your thoughts and your beliefs and these determine how you see the world and yourself. This ultimately has an outright effect on the level of ‘success’ you achieve and of course, what success actually means to you.
Your ego is the part that identifies as you, that part that says ‘me’ and ‘I’ and identifies specific attributes and ways of thinking to determine ‘who it is’. For example, you may label yourself in this way.
- I am Jane
- I am an office administrator
- I am depressed
- I am married
- I am dyslexic
- I am overweight
The person above has a lot of different things that make up their identity. What do you think will happen if you try to change something about Jane that she feels is a part of who she is as a person? The chances are, Jane will not react too well and she will most unlikely be reluctant to make any life changes because her ego is frightened that it will lose its identity if she does. It is always good to be mindful of your ego.
"Who am I if I am not that?"
If you want to make changes that will positively impact the well-being of your mind, then you will first need to decide what aspects of it you want to start with. Where do you feel needs your attention most right now? The path you take should be the one that feels right to you, not to someone else. You should never feel forced into making changes, do so only when you feel both comfortable and ready.
Loving your body
Your body is your vehicle through life. Your beautiful and wonderful body that allows you to gallantly exist in this reality. It works on its own intelligence system and like your mind, has its own unique requirements. It needs to be well hydrated, we know this. Our bodies cannot survive without water, it uses it for basic functioning like digesting and breathing, therefore we have to replenish what it uses. It requires various nutrients and vitamins and each body will need something unique to the person standing next to them. It needs movement and rest, love and respect.
If you want to start improving your physical health by eating healthier or incorporating more exercise into your daily routine, then be sure to factor these things into any personal development goals that you set for yourself.
Remember, your body is not just it’s shape or skin colour or any other physical attribute that other people may identify as being 'you'. It is not just the clothes it wears or the reflection of what other people see and it is most definitely not the way it looks in a selfie! Your body is your home. You can move around the world and it will always be with you, housing you and enabling you to live.
If you want to make changes to the way it looks, whether that be losing or gaining weight, changing your hair or completely changing the colours or style of clothes that you wear, then you go for it! Do what you gotta do, but do it because it is what you want to do, not because it is what you think someone thinks you should do.
Connecting with yourself
It is common for people to hear the word spirit and instantly think of religion or voodoo. If you were to ask the question, what is spirituality? You will get as many answers as there are humans in this world and that is because, in a way, it means something different to everyone. Broadly speaking, it is the connection to something bigger than ourselves; the search for our own individual life purpose. Our understanding and experience of a way of life in which we seek to connect to others, our higher self or the universe. Your spiritual health encompasses your values, relationships, and the true meaning and purpose of your life.
This is not a religion, instead, it is a deep connection with yourself and identifying your own needs and desires. Religion tends to preach that there is one true path to spirituality, the same direction in which all must follow in order to experience the divine. Nurturing your own spiritual health means that your path is exclusive to you and that you tailor your journey to your own specific emotional, mental and spiritual requirements.
Start slowly with the things that feel good for you. If your friend runs two miles every day and tells you that this is what you need to do to feel good and then you try it and absolutely dislike it, then it is not the right path for you. You need to find what works for you, which may require you to try many different things until you come across the ones that fit just right.
The role of a personal development coach is to help you to identify what it is you want to achieve, prioritise the areas that are most important to you and help you to develop a plan that is most suited to your individual needs. Investing in yourself and in professional support can really save you both time and money in the run.