The word “holistic” is often used when describing a person’s health or treatment plan. It comes from the Greek word holos, which means “entire” or “all.” Holistic health simply means treating the entire person; body, mind, spirit and emotions. Holistic doctors believe that the body is made up of these interconnected parts and that if one part is out of balance it will affect all the other parts of the body.
The path to holistic health
Holistic health is really a lifestyle approach. It is living well within our environment and is based on the belief that people are responsible for their own health and well-being. It is also based on the belief that unconditional love is the most powerful healer.
There are four parts to living a holistic lifestyle: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
The first step in the holistic journey should start with listening to our bodies. Many of us are out of touch with our physical selves and spend very little time thinking about what our bodies need to thrive. We live fast-paced lives where we may not eat the right foods, have little time to spend at the gym or out in nature and often don’t get the sleep we need.
For optimal health, our bodies require good nutrition, lots of water, consistent exercise and plenty of rest. When thinking about nutrition, try incorporating more unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables. Include whole grains, seeds and nuts in your diet, and remember to drink plenty of water each day. In general, between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh.
Move your body more. If you don’t go to a gym or don’t like to exercise, take advantage of the great outdoors, go for a walk or a hike. Think outside the box when it comes to exercise. Try a self-defense class. Catch up on some chores that get your heart pumping. Dance, grab a hula hoop or hit the pool. Getting in some regular exercise will also help you sleep. Adults need at least seven hours a night.
Taking the time to focus on how your body feels at any given time will help you get to know your body. This is very important to your overall health.
Mental & emotional
Our mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. Our mental health affects how we think, feel and act. There are many factors that can affect our mental health. For starters, going through a worldwide pandemic comes to mind. Life experiences such as this, family history and biological factors can all affect our mental health.
Here are just a few ways to stay mentally and emotionally healthy. Treat yourself with kindness and respect. Stay connected with others and surround yourself with good people. Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. Quiet your mind by practicing meditation and mindfulness. Learn how to deal with stress and practice good coping skills. Set realistic goals for yourself so you can get a sense of accomplishment. Get help when or if you need it.
Spirituality connects us with a dimension of life that is greater than ourselves, but it doesn’t have to mean religion. Finding our own spirituality allows us to live from a place of greater compassion for ourselves and for those around us.
Regardless of religion, there are several things you can do to live a more spiritual life. First, focus on positive thoughts for yourself and for others and even the world. Spending just ten minutes a day focusing on the positive can greatly improve your spirituality. Helping others in need and listening to others without judgement will also put you on the path to more spiritual enlightenment.
Explore spirituality by reading books, going to conferences and listening to podcasts. Discover what spirituality means to you and embrace it. Remember that spirituality isn’t about fame, money or power. It is about understanding that we are all one and that there is a power that keeps everything in its place.
Putting it all together
Approaching our health from a holistic standpoint is important because it takes everything into account. From whether you are stressed to what you are eating to whether you are happy. And it doesn’t mean that we must give up traditional medicine either. It means that we can find a balance between medicine and a feeling of well-being.
The more we can learn about our bodies and a healthy lifestyle, the more potential we have for taking charge of our own wellness. Taking care of all aspects of your life and body will help you move towards balance and well-being and will put you on the path toward a holistic lifestyle.
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