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10 Reasons Why Yoga Lovers Are More Likely To Be Successful

10 Reasons Why Yoga Lovers Are More Likely To Be Successful

Yoga’s ever increasing popularity, as a form of exercise, is a testament to the millions enjoying the health and fitness benefits of this ancient yet relevant practice. Right from sports players to leading business owners to celebrities, some of the most successful people in the world are yoga fans.

But yoga is not merely about contorting your body into mind-boggling poses. It’s a practice that strengthens not just the body but also the mind. A growing number of business organizations are recognizing this impact of yoga and meditation as a means to create more motivated, efficient and productive employees and consequently a healthy bottom line.

Yoga is a way of life that becomes a part of a yoga enthusiast’s experience with benefits that extend way beyond the mat. So what sets them apart?

1. They are focused

Today more than ever, in a world of increasing information overload, we need focus to achieve success. Yoga teaches single pointed focus which over time, enables you to enhance your memory, clarity, brainpower, and concentration.

2. They are energetic

As you reach for your fifth cup of coffee to keep you going at work, give a thought to trying yoga instead to boost your energy levels. Yoga practitioners are very active in their daily lives.

Yoga helps to unblock stagnant energy within the body and brings flexibility and alertness, combating that post-lunch dip with productivity.

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3. They are patient and kind

Practice yoga with patience and patience is what you get back. Yoga is not a quick fix. It takes time and effort to perfect a posture, making you avoid injury and learn patience.

Breathing exercises and meditation practices give rise to inner well-being and a sense of inclusiveness and hence, compassion.

4. They handle stress better

Yogis don’t get stressed easily. Recent research has shown that yoga can help reduce and better manage anxiety, stress, depression and panic attacks. Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), a highly successful and effective psychological therapy developed by distinguished psychologists in the UK, is based on yoga and meditation.

MBCT is recommended by NICE (the National Institue of Health and Care Excellence) to prevent relapses in chronic recurring depression.

Yoga is a calming practice that brings physical and mental relaxation by activating the parasympathetic nervous system. Yogis sleep well at night. No wonder they have such a healthy glow!

5. They are healthy and fall ill less often

Yoga is a low-impact exercise that is recommended for many chronic ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis and even better, menstrual health. Yoga helps you achieve a healthy weight by regulating hormones and metabolism.

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A 2013 Harvard study showed that yoga, as a form of exercise and meditation, has positive health benefits all the way down to the genetic level. It can positively impact not just stress related diseases but also immune functions.

6. They are self-confident

Regular yoga exercises make your body lithe and supple, enhancing your body image and self-confidence. Almost any yoga pose can be made deeper and more challenging.

As you overcome fear and are able to go further, you respect your body more. Yoga builds mind control and inner strength, making you stress resistant and leading to a higher self-esteem.

7. They are productive

A healthy employee is an efficient employee. Reduced stress and anxiety and other mental and physical health benefits naturally bring an increase in your competence and effectiveness with lesser days off work on account of sickness.

Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, the third-largest health insurer in the United States, has made yoga available to all his employees in America. In 2010, Aetna partnered with Duke University’s School of Medicine and found that regular yoga substantially decreased stress levels and health care costs.

Google’s Chief Evangelist of Brand Marketing, Gopi Kallayil, endorses yoga’s positive impact on productivity. He believes that in the fast paced environment of companies like Google, yoga helps balance one’s body and mind and impacts productivity and culture positively.

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He even started a program called Yoglers, where he personally teaches yoga to Googlers. The program has been very successful with Google offices across the globe adopting it.

8. They are present and mindful

Have you zoned out in meetings, not recollecting what someone said? Have you eaten your lunch at your desk on autopilot, without enjoying your meal? Maybe give mindfulness a try. Leading American companies, from General Mills, Target, Apple and Nike to Procter & Gamble, are embracing yoga, mindfulness, and meditation.

Mindfulness teaches us how to pay attention to the present moment. It makes us more conscious of our inner world of thoughts, feelings, emotions and body from the perspective of understanding ourselves better and hence controlling our response so that we act and not react to situations.

Meditation practices in yoga teach you to live and experience each moment to the fullest. Over time, yogis live with a deep sense of inner peace and fulfillment.

9. They are positive

Yogis acknowledge feeling happy and calm after a yoga session. Many will tell you the days they do yoga are better and everything seems to flow smoothly. Sara Lazar, assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University, has led a series of studies at Massachusetts General Hospital, that prove that meditation impacts the way our brains are wired and affects areas of the brain associated with stress and well-being.

The studies have found that the positive effects of yoga and meditation are not just limited to relaxation after a session but are remarkably longer lasting.

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Yoga aims to create a balance in the body and mind making you centered and less likely to feel disturbed. Additionally, yoga encourages an attitude of gratitude that helps you recognize the brighter side of life.

10. They are self-aware

Yoga lovers tend to have a balanced perspective of life. Yoga practices of mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises aim at making you more aware and conscious of yourself while the physical exercises make you really understand your limits.

Learning what you can or cannot do, leads to accepting yourself without judgment. As you learn to hold stress and other mental agitations at bay, it opens up a new possibility of knowing your true self.

Featured photo credit: By Julia Caesar via download.unsplash.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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