What Holistic Health Is & How It Can Improve Your Entire Wellbeing
Our generation has been a witness to more change, production, and technological advances than any other before us. Yet, a large part of our culture’s health is in crisis. Conditions like cardiac disease, obesity, and premature destruction of our vital organs are more common than not.
These statistics are from the CDC and national Alliance on Mental Illness websites.
The awareness and diagnoses of mental health conditions are also rising, as we realize the severity of these conditions and the effects they have on our lives and wellbeing.
So, how- with all of our advancements- do we explain the decline of our population's health and happiness?
Maybe most of our societal standards are not encouraging us to meet our basic survival needs of belonging, wellness, and self-sufficiency. Instead, we’re taught to have better highlight reels than our digital friends, follow specific patterns, and depend on technology to get through the day.
While we’re more “connected” than ever, we are actually more distracted, isolated and vulnerable to chronic disease & mental illness.
There is a missing piece in our modern healthcare system- a gap between doctor’s visits and our daily lives. This space is where holistic health practices can play a crucial part in helping to naturally reduce risks of disease and create wholesomely healthier lifestyles.
Holistic Health programs and therapies are (thankfully) growing in popularity alongside traditional medicine, as we learn about alternative solutions for common struggles.
What Holistic Health Is
Holistic Health is based on the wellbeing of the entire person- physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and intellectual. Each of these areas is equally important to maintaining balance in one’s life for total wellbeing. If one area begins to shift or pull out of balance, it will likely affect the others.
For example, experiencing a ton of stress at work (intellectual) can cause you to withdrawal from your relationships with friends or your partner (social.) It may also lead to changes in your weight and poor choices around food (physical.)
Holistic truly means whole and was coined in the 4th century, when Hippocrates was the first to expand the idea of the ability for individuals to “self-heal” their bodies by addressing the cause of the symptoms. This philosophy took all elements of a person’s existence into consideration- their mind, body, spirit, environment, and lifestyle.
How It Can Improve your Life
In modern medicine, clinical treatment is more directly catered to our symptoms rather than their causes. While your primary physician certainly plays a crucial role in your healthcare, we as a society often rely on our doctors to “heal us” or magically reverse problems that could have been prevented years before they developed.
We forget that we are the first in line to defend and nurture our minds & bodies, and don’t take the initiative to make changes for the better.
Properly utilizing natural and holistic approaches is an empowering way to influence the quality of life, health, and happiness with proven benefits, including:
Increased productivity and creativity
Stronger intuition and mind/body connection
Reduced severity of anxiety and depression
Less use of toxic chemical medications
Higher awareness for the environment and more sustainable living
Improved immune function and recovery from injury or illness
Reduction of stress and lower risk of chronic illness
Closer, healthier relationships with friends & family
More positive habits passed onto children and future generations
Improved physical ability and healthier body composition
Natural relief for ailments like digestive issues, sleep disturbances, chronic pain and inflammation, high blood pressure, blood sugar control, and cognitive decline
How to Use Holistic Principles in Your Life
There are no hard, fast rules when it comes to improving your life with holistic practice.
It’s about progress, not perfection.
It’s about growth and exploring new ways to build yourself. So it’s not here to judge you, or the things you want to change. It’s acceptance of your human nature and an invitation to evolve in your own unique light.
The best way to add something new to your routine is by starting small- Be curious, open-minded and informed. Only you will know what’s right for your health and happiness, sometimes it takes a little experimenting.
Here are a few things you could try to start out:
Write out one or two habits that no longer serve you and healthier habits you can swap them for.
Ex: If you find yourself eating too much comfort food when you had a rough day, try journaling or taking a relaxing bath instead. Let yourself feel through the emotions and then let them go.
Swap out the majority of processed snacks in your pantry and plan to buy more fresh produce from a local farmer’s market. Buy organic if you can!
Fruit is your friend and makes for delicious snacking when you need something sweet- think fresh berries with vegan whip cream, bananas & peanut butter, or baked apples with cinnamon.
Find a local park or hiking trail that you can peacefully go walking without your phone or any technology.
Try to listen to the sounds around you and focus on being present. If you like to draw, bring a sketchbook with you and find an interesting place or object to draw.
Invite a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while to do something silly & creative, even if it’s finger-painting each other’s portrait in the backyard or watching an old movie on a projector.
Bonus: Avoid checking your phone or gossiping and just allow your inner-child to play!
Start with one thing and seek guidance when you need it. Take a few deep breaths and feel out where you’re hurting the most… Maybe it’s changing your diet to pep up your energy or journaling for emotional wellness to help with past traumas. Just choose one thing that you feel will improve your life, and practice it every day.
You’re probably excited and perhaps a little nervous- change is scary (and hard!) So if you are feeling stuck, book a FREE Discovery Session with me so we can work through what’s bogging you down and get you on your own path to happy-healthy living.
Holistic living is really straightforward- you know and care for yourself like no one else can. Only you understand what you truly need and want throughout your life, and only you have the power to create changes that will get you there.
What are you up for trying and how do you think holistic changes will help you?
Let me know in the comments below! & If you found this useful, share it with someone who would also like to know more about living a holistic lifestyle!
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