It's a universally accepted fact that our health is the most important thing when it comes to our quality of life, happiness, and well-being.
Modern medicine has progressed beyond where anyone could have imagined.
Still, there are things to remember and implement into our lives from the past – long before penicillin was discovered.
The holistic approach to health, counting 5,000 years already, is one of them.
What Is Holistic Health?
Today's medicine views the body as a combination of organs and treats them or the symptoms separately. Meanwhile, the holistic approach treats the human body, soul, and mind as a unity.
Despite the different approaches, both modern medicine and holistic health go hand in hand and, when combined, can improve the results and accelerate the healing process.
Here are some of the holistic practices that are often intertwined with western medicine:
- Physical therapy
- Personal training
These are just a few out of many holistic healing examples. When it comes to deciding whether the approach is holistic or not, try thinking if it is natural.
Also, consider if the practice is targeted to heal the whole body, not just one organ or symptom.
Five Aspects of Holistic Health and Wellness
Instead of going for the body and its functions only, holistic health views a person as a unity of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health.
According to the philosophy behind this approach to wellness, only by healing all 5 aspects can a person truly be happy and fully content with his life.
And it is believed that it only takes 1 aspect out of 5 to be compromised for the other 4 aspects to be negatively influenced.
Therefore, your physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health must be in a perfect state and in sync to get the most of your life.
Our physical body is what we most often consider the primary indicator of our health.
It is easy to identify the symptoms and conclude illness from the body signs. At least, that's what modern medicine does.
The holistic approach views physical health as an integral part of the other four aspects. It encourages looking after the physical body for the other four aspects to function impeccably.
Here are the leading practices to keep your body healthy according to a holistic approach.
As you will see, they are what Western medicine would also suggest in order to maintain good body function.
- Sleep 7–8 hours each night. Make sure you have quality sleep.
- Exercise or move your body for at least 30 minutes per day.
- Eat healthily. Avoid processed foods. Instead, go for nutrient-dense, plant-based foods.
- Do not smoke, drink alcohol, or use drugs.
Since the signs of the physical body are less easy to ignore, emotional health is often pushed aside, as if it was less important.
However, emotional health should be a priority as it not only controls our mood and feelings – it directly impacts our physical well-being, too. It is a crucial element of holistic health and healing.
Follow these holistic approaches to sync with your emotional health:
- Practice mindfulness and find ways to calm yourself when stressful situations arise.
- Seek help or get yourself into therapy if you feel like the emotional burden is too heavy for you to overcome on your own.
- Have a positive attitude toward issues. Do not let negativity overpower your thoughts.
- Use a journal to keep your mind in order. Record your thoughts and write everything you are grateful for and learn from it.
There is a reason why the happiest country in the world suggested a strong social support system among friends and family as one of the reasons for their happiness.
Deep connections and community make us feel seen and as important as we all indeed are. It also gives us the feeling of belonging.
The holistic approach to social health, among other things, also encourages us to:
- Make time for people you love and enjoy spending time with. Not many things can make us happier than being close to someone.
- Join communities, clubs, groups. Get involved with people who all enjoy the same things. It brings people together and helps form meaningful relationships.
- Avoid toxic relationships and people. Set boundaries and walk away from friends who negatively affect your life and, therefore – health.
This aspect is often associated with religion, and although it can overlap, it is not necessarily about faith.
Spiritual health is more related to seeing, acknowledging, and being grateful for what's around you and also connecting with your inner self or, in other words, your soul.
For your spiritual wellness, consider the following:
- Meditate. If you're not into it, then simply find yourself a tranquil place and stay there for some time every day.
- Observe the nature around you. Spend time in the natural environment and appreciate it.
- If you are religious, practice and study your faith.
- Spend time thinking about the meaning of your life.
Intellectual or Mental Health
Our mental health refers to cognitive abilities and brain functions. Its primary focus is to keep the mind sharp and concentrated.
Intellectual wellness also shapes how we think of ourselves and our environment.
To keep your mental health in a perfect state, practice the following:
- Become a life-long learner. Keep yourself busy with studying new things and include problem-solving exercises.
- Always be curious. Have an area of interest. Find out how and why things work the way they do.
- Consume foods rich in compounds like fatty acids and antioxidants that assist in keeping healthy cognitive function.
- Don't smoke, use drugs or consume alcohol. All of this harms your brain and body and, therefore, mental health.
Holistic Health Is an Approach to Life
These 5 aspects of holistic health can be easily applied to our daily routines. They also overlap with what is generally considered a healthy lifestyle by modern medicine.
So, being aware that your body, soul, and mind connect and influence one another and not neglecting or deprioritizing any of them means having a holistic approach to your health and life.
FAQ1. What does it mean to be a holistic person?
To be a holistic person means approaching yourself and other people as a whole, not focusing on separate aspects of human health. Holistics view a person as a unity of body, mind, and soul.
2. What are the 5 components of holistic health?
Instead of going for the body and its functions only, holistic health views a person as a unity of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health. According to the philosophy behind this approach to wellness, only by healing all 5 aspects can a person truly be happy and fully content with his life.
3. What is an example of holistic care?
These are only a few out of many alternative practices that are considered holistic care: therapy, massage, yoga, meditation, physical therapy, nutrition, acupuncture, exercise. Getting enough sleep, eating healthy, practicing mindfulness, and many more healthy practices are also attributed to holistic care.