At Bloom Leadership, we understand the importance of focusing on Whole Person Development. That is, nurturing all the different components that make a person who they are: emotional intelligence, physical, spiritual, social, psychological, and professional. Understanding each aspect of ourselves is the key to success at work, at home, and in our overall lives.
What is the Physical Component?
The physical aspect of Whole Person Development not only pertains to health and wellness in our bodies but also in our minds. How are your eating habits? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you getting enough exercise? How is your emotional health? Together, these considerations make up our overall state of well-being.
The Mind-Body Connection
Awareness of the mind-body connection is common in the greater online community. Even the World Health Organization has said: “without mental health, there can be no true physical health.” Your body is an incredible machine that will respond physically to emotional stimulation or duress. Think about a time in your life when you received good news; maybe you were selected for a promotion, or you were asked on a date by someone you were interested in. How did your body physically respond to this news? On the other hand, consider a negative event in your life; perhaps you experienced job loss or a divorce. How did your body physically respond in this scenario? As you can see, your physical state is quite susceptible to your emotional tone.
On the other hand, your emotional well-being is contingent on your physical health as well. Studies compiled by the American Psychological Association (APA) show mood-enhancement effects as early as five minutes into moderate physical activity, and rehabilitative effects in depression patients who are introduced to an exercise program. If you’re an avid exerciser, consider how you feel if you’re unable to work out for a few days. If you aren’t a frequent exerciser, think about how restorative it can be to go for a walk and to get your blood flowing. Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins fuel for emotional well-being.
Focusing on the Physical Component
While many are aware of the mind-body connection, it can be challenging to make the necessary changes for overall health. Even the most self-aware fitness model can struggle with the physical aspect of Whole Person Development at times; it’s a constant work in progress for all. So how can you start working on improving the physical aspect of yourself? If you have a physical ailment, have you identified how this affects your emotional health? Ask yourself some questions: What is your emotional reaction to your physical ailment? Do your emotions ever prevent you from caring for your physical health? Are you eating properly, and sleeping enough? What do you do for self-care? Write down your answers and evaluate the positives and negatives currently in play.
It can be daunting to accept when there is a problem, to make a change, and to seek help if necessary. If you have trouble identifying the link between your mental and physical health, don’t hesitate to get an expert opinion. It can take years to reach a place of positive mind-body balance and physical wellness. Just remember to be patient and to listen to your body. In the end, moving forward will take you places; staying still will not. Baby steps can lead to tremendous accomplishments, and focusing on this aspect of yourself will pay dividends!
Meredith Wailes is the President of Bloom Leadership, a cutting-edge platform for business growth with a focus on Whole Person Development. Meredith is a founding member and Chair of Membership for the Private Directors Association and creator of “SeeD”, a scholarship fund dedicated to female leaders who manage, operate, and/or own for-profit businesses in Charlotte, NC. For more information visit Meredith on LinkedIn and Twitter.