While modern western medicine has given us many, significant, life-saving advancements, it only treats the body’s individual pieces and corresponding symptoms. Holistic health, on the other hand, views physical health and overall wellness differently. Put simply, a holistic approach considers the mind-body connection, while western medicine does not.
When we think about health and wellness through a holistic lens, there are five components to consider; physical, social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual health, and when each of them is functioning optimally, we’re likely to feel a greater sense of well-being overall.
So How Can We Nourish Ourselves Holistically?
Implementing a holistic health routine is simple when you understand what these practices are, how they benefit you, and how to go about them in ways that work for you. Here are five things to consider if you want to improve your health and wellness on a holistic level.
- Physical. This does not necessarily mean exercise. While exercise is important to your physical health, it’s certainly not everything. Other equally important aspects of physical health include getting adequate food and rest, eating well, avoiding toxins, and practicing good hygiene.
- Social. Humans are social beings. Finding deep connections with others offers comfort, support, and happiness, among other things, and research has shown this improves our mood and helps us to feel more whole. Ways you can improve your social well-being include spending quality time with the people that matter to you, finding ways to get involved in your community, building healthy relationships, and setting social boundaries for yourself.
- Emotional. Often overlooked, emotional health can greatly affect your physical health if not prioritized. If your emotional well-being is suffering, there are a few things you can do. Therapy is a great option for many. Learning about your emotional stressors can help you to better manage them. Practicing mindfulness through meditation, journaling, or some other creative outlet can be beneficial for others.
- Spiritual. Feeling spiritually whole is about connecting with yourself and the world around you. Spirituality comes in many forms from yoga to meditation to spending time in nature. If you are religious, you may find the same inner peace when going to church, spending time with your spiritual community, or making time for prayer and other rituals.
- Intellectual. Synonymous with mental health, this aspect of wellness differs from emotional health in that it’s more about cognitive function than mood or emotions. Try nourishing your mental health by seeking out activities and experiences that challenge you to think in new ways and solve problems. Eat nutrient-dense foods that support brain health and avoid chemically altered foods that can negatively affect your mental state.
Regardless of where you are on your journey, these steps will be valuable in helping you reach a more holistic and relaxed life. Until next time, take care.