Holism & Holistic Wellness - A New Approach To A Healthy Life

Health is often defined as the absence of disease or sickness. While this description is true, it lacks the depth of a broader approach. To begin evaluating your holistic health and fitness on a broader scale means that health and well-being is influenced by more factors than simply avoiding the flu each year.  

Every human being is created unique. However, there is one element that we all have in common: the desire to be fulfilled and happy. The most magnificent luxury- wellness – is the hidden ingredient in this. 

What is Holism? 

Holism is the belief that various systems (such as physical, biological, and social systems) should be understood as wholes rather than as a collection of pieces. Jan Smuts, a South African statesman invented the term "holism" in his 1926 book Holism and Evolution

The exact meaning of holism is context specific. In popular parlance, holism refers to the notion that a whole is greater than the sum of its parts

Holistic living necessitates taking a step back, introspecting, and evaluating how one interacts with their surroundings. This holistic approach, or Holism, is based on the idea that a problem, whether physical or mental, is always connected to a broader network of elements that are intimately interconnected. 

What do you mean by Holistic Wellness? 

The term "holistic wellness" refers to a way of looking at health that takes into account the whole person and their interactions with their surrounding environment. Rather than relying entirely on a medical model to cure illnesses and diseases, holistic wellness is a practice where everyone may take responsibility for their own health and well-being. It entails considering the health of the mind, body, and spirit in order to enhance overall well-being. 

Holistic wellness differs from other treatment approaches with it being regarded as a way of life combined with a greater awareness of oneself. According to the holistic perspective, our "self" is the sum of our complex, interrelated elements. When one of these components fails, the result is an illness or a shortfall to the whole. Because of its multifaceted approach, studies indicate that holistic wellness is the most effective means of achieving wellness. 

When it comes to health, why is a holistic approach so important? 

Holistic wellness is significant because it helps people understand sickness by looking at all elements of their lives and implementing adjustments that encourage recovery and prevention

Holistic wellness is vital to ensuring a long and healthy life since it promotes spiritual and emotional introspection while preventing illness and disease. Accountability, self-restraint and responsible decision-making are also related with holistic health. 

Through behavioural adjustments, habit formation and self-awareness and self-rule, one can achieve a holistic lifestyle. When it comes to preventing autoimmunity, researchers found that the mind-body connection is critical. It was even noted that vaccine efficacy decreased when people were exposed to high levels of psychological stress. Those who sought out talk therapy to deal with stressors as well as incorporate coping mechanisms improved their ability to heal and fight disease. This implies that the mind-body connection is important in preserving wellness. 

Pillars of Holistic Wellness 

There are a few things that must be taken into account in order to achieve optimal wellness, but they are by no means restrictive in nature. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to wellness. Each person's journey is unique and distinct.  

In order to live a fulfilling, happy, and peaceful life, holistic health focuses on five major components of a person's life. As a result of the network's interdependence, if one aspect is compromised, so are the others.  

Let's take a closer look at each pillar and how you can strengthen it. 

Physical Wellness 

It's the physical well-being that most people focus on when they think about health. This is mainly due to the fact that the physical body is frequently the first to offer us indications and symptoms of either good or bad health. Physical symptoms are easier to track and measure than non-physical ones, which might be more complex to grasp. 

To achieve holistic health and healing, physical well-being is crucial. This is because it reduces pain or suffering from a poor diet, or feeling lethargic. In addition, the release of feel-good endorphins has a profound effect on our mental health. As a result, it's not surprising that good mental health and good physical health are interwoven. 

A few essential habits that everyone can benefit from and which can make a significant difference in your overall well-being when it comes to maintaining your physical health are: 

  • Getting eight hours of sleep every night. This will allow your body to properly rest and recuperate from the previous day's activities. 
  • Consuming a diet high in plant-based foods and organic/pastured products that are dense in nutrients. 
  • You can maintain a healthy blood sugar level by consuming meals and snacks that contain a variety of nutrients at regular intervals. 
  • Spending 30 minutes a day moving your body. Everyone can benefit from at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, regardless of their specific workout regimen. 
  • Reducing your intake of highly inflammatory processed foods and hydrogenated oils, which can raise your chance of developing chronic disease. 
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by abstaining from smoking and excessive alcohol intake. 
Emotional/Psychological Wellness 

The development of a person's adaptive self-concept and life beliefs is sometimes referred to as "emotional/psychological health.' In many cases, this refers to having a sense of autonomy, self-esteem, and a sense of meaning. Individuals who are psychologically and emotionally healthy are able to cope with stress and hardship in an adaptable manner. 

In order to heal, we must modify our perception and our physiology, and this can only be done by shifting our thoughts. It is important to remember who you are, what you are, and where you are in order to heal. 

Who you are: The architect of your own existence 
What you are: Wonderful, beautiful, valuable, important  
Where you are: The present moment 

Emotional well-being can be supported in a number of ways: 

  • When necessary, seek out professional help. In order to maintain our emotional well-being, we should seek therapy as often as necessary. 
  • Improve your ability to cope with the stresses of daily life by developing mindfulness and stress-reduction techniques. 
  • Consider keeping a notebook to jot down your feelings and thoughts. Keeping a gratitude notebook might help lift your spirits during stressful times. 

All of the pillars work together to contribute to a general sense of well-being, so take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and remember that you are not alone in this. 

Social Wellness 

A person's social health is measured by how well they feel connected and supported by their peers, family, and community. World Health Organization (WHO) researchers have concluded that the material, psychosocial, and political empowerment that is essential to well-being and equitable health is rooted in social health. 

Research has proven that the happiest people on earth have strong ties to their friends, family, and community. This is why, regardless of one's religious affiliation, religion is often linked to happiness since it can foster a strong sense of belonging and support. However, it is crucial to remember that happiness is a construct that can be subjectively defined, thus there isn't a single way to acquire it. 

A few ways to support your social health: 

  • Make time to meet face-to-face. Despite the fact that technology has made it possible for us to feel more connected, research shows that virtual connection does not give us with the same level of comfort as an in-person relationship. 
  • It's important to get engaged in your local community, whether it's through your religious institution, local volunteer organisation, or programme at your child's school. 
  • Set boundaries with people in your life who may be a source of stress or toxicity. 
  • Take the courage to leave unhealthy relationships and break free of toxic friendships. 
Spiritual Wellness 

This pillar entails ideals of love & kindness. It requires honesty, integrity, compassion, justice, respect, gratitude, and selflessness in one's actions. It is also making time for meditation, personal contemplation, and, most importantly, self-actualization.   

Spiritual wellness denotes the growth of one's life's purpose and significance. While religion has historically been linked to spirituality, spirituality itself is not usually religious. Spirituality can be defined as an individual's understanding of their position in relation to nature, society, the universe, and the unknown. As a result, an individual's personal views, values, traditions, and philosophical outlooks are all directly influenced by this awareness. When faced with adversity or disease, feeling connected to others can provide comfort. 

You can help your spiritual health by following these tips: 

  • Spend some time in nature. 
  • Spend a few minutes each day meditating to clear your mind. 
  • If you are religious, practise your faith. 
  • Practice mindfulness.  
Intellectual/Cognitive Wellness 

Growth and mental stimulation are necessary for us to stay engaged and growing. Besides improving physical health, it also improves mental health, including memory, cognition, and general ability. Engaging the mind on a regular basis improves intellectual well-being. Learning new things that excite and challenge you is one of the best ways to improve yourself. Depending on your mood, you may choose different strategies to keep your mind sharp.  

Some people benefit intellectually from self-discovery and personal growth. You can broaden your horizons by pursuing a degree, getting involved in your community, or finding other methods of personal growth. 

A few ways you can support your intellectual wellness are: 

  • Solving puzzles and other mental challenges, while for others it's academic pursuits.  
  • Engaging in intellectually interesting discussions and debates. 
  • It's important to keep your mind active by looking for new methods to learn and solve problems.  
  • An antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids rich diet can help lower inflammation and improve cognitive performance. 
  • Avoid excessive drinking, smoking, and drug use. 
  • Prebiotics, and probiotic-rich foods can help repair the gut. Because the brain and the gut are inextricably linked, a healthy gut is necessary for a healthy mind. 
Financial & Occupational Wellness 

Occupational health is about finding joy and fulfilment in the work that we do. Being unhappy at work has a ripple effect on the rest of your life, which makes sense since we spend so much of our time there. You should also be able to see yourself as a person who can grow and progress in your work. Financial well-being may not seem like the most fascinating topic. However, striving for improvement in this area will undoubtedly boost the other pillars of holistic health and wellness. 

To be financially secure, you must live within your means and make long-term plans. It can be difficult to achieve, but even little actions can have a significant impact in the long run. After all, money woes are a common source of anxiety among the general population. Making even tiny adjustments to your spending and saving habits can have a significant impact on your overall quality of life. 

Some ways to achieve financial & occupational Wellness are: 

  • Make paying off your debt a priority. 
  • Create a budget with the help of an online system or a personal financial advisor. 
  • Every month, set aside a predetermined amount of money for non-essentials such as entertaining, dining out, and recreational activities, among other things. 
  • Putting money aside now will help you later. 
  • Focus on career development.  
  • Develop broad skills and capabilities that can help your progress   
  • Embrace your strengths in a work environment. Keep a record of activities that leave you energized when you are finished. Notice when you see others struggling with tasks you think are simple. Chances are you have a talent in that area. 

Invest in the foundations of Holistic Wellness. 

If you are feeling off-balance or misaligned, consider which areas of your life are unfulfilled and how this is affecting you as a whole. Symptoms such as chronic inflammation, exhaustion, anxiety, and depression may be more closely linked than we realise.  

To every one of us, the concept of wellness has a different connotation. Moreover, good health enables each individual to fulfil their personal goals.  After all, achieving your goals is easier when you're taking good care of your body, mind, and spirit. 

Consider these holistic wellness pillars to help you develop a personalised strategy that works for you. Determine which ones need your time and attention. It's important to keep in mind that working on each of these areas can help you achieve the healthiest, most fulfilling life possible.