What Does it Mean to Heal, Holistically?

As a species, how we relate to optimal health & wellness is constantly changing and evolving. In the last couple of centuries, Western medicine has put a majority of effort and focus towards treating symptoms within humans, instead of the root cause. There are a number of factors as to why this is, but nonetheless, it doesn’t get to the bottom of our troubles. Our bodies and systems are complex. Therefore, the approach we take toward our health and healing can’t be looked at as black and white. True healthcare is about looking at human beings with a holistic approach. Oftentimes, disease and sickness in the body manifest as a result of several underlying factors which can include psychological, emotional, spiritual, and even environmental causes. Most of the time, things don’t just happen randomly. What this means is that the more we understand how important it is to take a holistic approach in our wellness, the more we can empower ourselves and prevent illness. In this blog post, we’re going to get into some of the fundamental ways you can take control of your health in a holistic way, beginning to heal from the roots. 

What is holistic health?

The definition of holistic is, “emphasizing the organic or functional relation between parts and the whole.” When it comes to holistic medicine, it’s about looking at the whole person for answers – not just the physical symptoms that are present. There are about seven main pillars of holistic health in our modern world that should be taken into consideration when looking at the health of one’s self or another individual. These pillars include:

  • Physical wellbeing 
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Social wellbeing
  • Spiritual wellbeing
  • Environmental wellbeing
  • Occupational wellbeing

Finding balance in these areas is crucial to ensure that you are supporting yourself in the best ways possible. We are going to go into detail in each one of these areas so you can implement tips that will allow you to start living better and feeling better.

Physical wellbeing

When it comes to our physical wellbeing, we have more control than we think over how we feel based on the daily lifestyle choices we make. How we physically feel in our body is often directly correlated to the foods we’re eating, the amount of physical activity we’re doing, the sleep we’re getting, and the behaviors we choose to engage in. Diet alone can make a massive difference in physical wellbeing. Opting for a whole, balanced diet is always the best rule of thumb when nourishing your body from the inside. An emphasis on diverse vegetables, fruits rich in antioxidants, and quality protein can start to change how you feel on a daily basis. Another important aspect of physical wellbeing is moving the body and exercising. Exercising does so much for our health from keeping the heart healthy, blood pumping, detoxifying through sweat, and even improving mood. Without regular exercise, physical well-being is impacted. 

Mental wellbeing

Another very important aspect of holistic health is our mental state and well-being. Mental wellbeing is the ability to cope with the stresses of life and the ability for an individual to realize his or her own abilities. In a good state of mental health you may feel more positive, confident, hopeful, and generally satisfied with life. Good mental health also means feeling connected to others and feeling purposeful within your community. Some of the ways we can positively impact our mental wellbeing are by practicing mindfulness (being in the present moment and cultivating awareness), connecting with others, giving to others, getting enough sleep, and creating balance in life.

Emotional wellbeing

Mental wellbeing and emotional wellbeing are like two branches from the same tree. Although they seem quite similar on the surface, they’re quite unique in their own ways. Emotional wellbeing is all about the ability to manage one’s moods and feelings. While mental wellbeing is interconnected with emotional wellbeing, they are both managed differently. Emotional wellbeing imbalances can show up as depression, stress, low self-esteem, and anxiety. It could even show up as drastic mood changes and the inability to express one’s feelings. The good news is that there are simple daily things you can do to improve your emotional wellbeing. Some activities which support emotional wellbeing include: Expressing feelings through writing, talking about worries with a loved one or therapist, developing positive coping skills such as meditation, and indulging in self-care.

Social wellbeing

Human beings are social creatures. In fact, studies have shown that loneliness and social isolation can actually impact someone’s health negatively. We crave connection because it is vital for our survival. Not only were we all raised with other humans but we must learn to work in teams. Poor social wellbeing can show up in different ways such as feelings of disconnection, loneliness, and lack of meaningful connection. Luckily, there are a number of ways to improve social wellbeing and foster strong connections with others. Some of the ways you can become more social are by joining a gym or fitness classes, volunteering, and making time for your friendships! By regularly making time to connect with others you will fill your cup and feel more connected.

Spiritual wellbeing

Spiritual wellbeing means can look different for everyone. Spirituality doesn’t necessarily mean you need to believe or follow an organized religion or set of beliefs. Spiritual wellbeing is deeply personal and unique to every individual; at the core it is about fostering a connection with yourself and the world around you. Spiritual wellness is being self-aware, finding purpose in life, and feeling grounded to who you are. When it comes to improving spiritual wellbeing, it’s all about creating micro moments of connection throughout the day. Some ways you can become more connected to yourself include being in nature, journaling, meditating, listening to music, creating art, and expressing yourself.

Environmental wellbeing

When many of us think about wellbeing, environmental wellness may not be the very first thing that comes to mind but it is definitely an essential pillar for our health. Environmental wellness is about the relationship between an individual and their surroundings. Think about the places in your life where you spend the most time whether that be school, work, your home, or elsewhere. Is the space you reside in within these environments one that brings you peace and happiness? Or does the places and spaces you spend your time in add stress to your life? Some of the ways you can improve your environmental wellbeing is by maintaining a clean space, prioritizing daylight, engaging the senses with some essential oils, or even adding things to the space that make you happy. 

Occupational wellbeing

We spend a lot of our week at the workplace – whether that be in the office or beyond, therefore making sure our place of occupation promotes wellbeing is very important. Occupational wellness is also about the ability to achieve balance between work and leisure. Overworking can lead to burnout which impacts health in variety of different ways. Although there are many occupational wellness factors which are out of our control, there are things we can do to take action in this area of life. Some ways to promote occupational wellbeing can include:

  • Engaging in motivating and interesting work
  • Creating connections with co-workers
  • Increasing knowledge in skills within what you find interesting about your job
  • Looking for or finding something new if you aren’t happy with your current role

All in all, when it comes to our health, it is important to take a good look at each of these pillars in order to ensure that there’s balance and harmony. If one area of health is neglected, it can tend to impact every other area of health. At the end of the day, our health is the most important thing that we have. It allows us to live happily and meaningful lives! Take care of your body, it’s the place you call home.

Alexia Palmeri

Alexia Palmeri is a 28-year-old personal development enthusiast! She looks at life experiences as an opportunity to always learn and grow. Alexia is also a broadcast journalism graduate with a passion and knack for communications and media. She is always on the lookout for new trends on social media and keeps up to date with what's happening in the world. In her free time, Alexia enjoys socializing with family and loved ones, being in nature, cooking nourishing meals, and discovering new places to dine and adventure!

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