Health does not exist as a singular concept. It is an integration of various aspects. The four important components of well-being are interconnected. This makes it vital to engage with well-being from a holistic perspective. This article gives an insight into holistic wellbeing, its components, and ways you can achieve them. You can find helpful tips and simple ways to take care of your well-being.
What comes to mind when you think about the word “health” and “well-being”? Did you only think about your physical body or did you include your mental health too? Often we think about only our physical health – taking care of your body is important. But we need to consider the entire body and not just its physical aspect. According to the World Health Organisation, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Have you noticed that you focus on your health mostly during or after your physical body is unwell? When recovering from an illness, you direct your energy to recover from any ailments. Usually, we tend to neglect taking care of the mind in the process of recovering. So what should you do? The answer is taking a holistic approach to your well-being.
Table of Contents:
- What is Holistic Well-being?
- Aspects of Holistic Well-being
- Ways to Achieve Holistic Well-being
- How to Get Started
- Integrating Holistic Well-being into Your Daily Life
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Holistic Well-being?
Holistic well-being includes body, mind, social, and spirit. The human body is interconnected; our physical body depends on our mental state and vice versa. Your social support influences your mental well-being.
Let’s understand this better. Think about the last time you fell sick. You would have noticed your body feeling tired, exhausted, and feeling weak, this is because of your body trying to fight back the infection. Do you recollect what went on in your mind? Your mind will have more negative thoughts and you are likely to feel overwhelmed, worried, drained, etc. Now think about the time when you were unwell and had no one to take care of you. Those times you would have felt more ill than you did when you had someone taking care of you.
Everything is interconnected. What you think, you start to feel. What you do (or don’t do) affects your thoughts. Therefore, we need to approach our well-being from a holistic perspective.
Aspects of Holistic Well-being
Physical well-being: The Body is often described as a vessel. Taking care of it is essential to maintain stability, flexibility, and prevention of diseases.
Mental well-being: This includes being mindful of your thoughts, emotions, and which influences your interactions with yourself and others.
Social well-being: Social support is a crucial aspect of our well-being. This aspect includes the connection you have with others, the way you interact, connect and form bonds with others.
Spiritual well-being: This encompasses feeling connected to the inner self and/or believing in a higher power. Spiritual well-being may help us find meaning in life and inspire us to move forward.
Ways to Achieve Holistic Well-being
There are multiple ways you can develop holistic well-being. Your aim should be to strengthen the mind-body connection. This will lead you to engage with your inner self and your core.
A healthy mind will lead to a healthy body. Here are some ways you can achieve this:
1. Get going
Did you know that getting enough movement enhances moods which promotes a good night’s rest? Movements also strengthen our joints, make us flexible, and boost the immune system.
2. Grab those nutrients
Consume nutrient rich food. This enhances the health of our organs. Adequate amounts of nutrition ensure our organs’ health and release of hormones essential for our brain and mind.
3. Hush the rush
Our body is not used to today’s fast-paced life. If you find yourself saying “I am exhausted” more than usual, you may need to focus on getting enough rest. Sleeping improves memory, enhances creativity, and helps deal with stress. Sleep and rest also help you recover physically.
4. Substance abuse
Consuming substances like alcohol, smoking, and other drugs give only momentary relief but do more harm to all aspects of your life. Substance abuse is not only bad for your health, but it also causes you to drift away from your social system.
5. Manage your thoughts
The mind is like a chatterbox of thoughts. Managing thoughts requires focusing on what is helpful and what is not.
6. Express, don’t suppress
Suppressing emotions creates both mental and physical stress. Frequent pains and aches might be a reminder that your body is impacted because of your emotions.
7. Build connections
The pandemic provided us an opportunity to understand the importance of having companions. Your support system can include friends, loved ones, family, and/or coworkers. They provide a shoulder to rely on during tough times.
How to Get Started
Your well-being depends a lot on what you consider is beneficial and not beneficial to you. A good way to start is by asking what aspect of well-being is important to you and why? A great practice would be to select one of the four aspects of well-being you want to work upon. Let’s start with mental well-being.
Step 1: Select a mental well-being goal you want to improve this month. Example: I want to be kind to myself.
Step 2: Make a plan. Focus on how you will integrate the mental well-being goal into your daily life. Example: I will say my positive qualities out loud every morning while I am getting ready, or I will write two good things that happened to me before I sleep.
Step 3: Remind yourself. Set reminders for yourself to ensure you are sticking to your goals. You can either put an alarm on your phone or a sticky note next to your mirror.
Step 4: Focus on the benefits. You are more likely to stick to your goals if you focus on the benefits rather than your motivation level for the task at hand.
Integrating Holistic Well-being into Your Daily Life
Daily life is filled with so many tasks! Due to the hectic schedule, a crucial aspect of your life is sidelined, which is your overall well-being. Make holistic well-being a priority by following these simple steps:
- Plan on one well-being goal as soon as you wake up. It can be as easy as eating one healthy meal, taking the stairs, or a self-care activity
- Start small. Small success releases dopamine, the reward chemical which increases your motivation. Devote 10 mins of the day to your well-being.
- Get company. Find people who want to work on the same well-being goals as you. Social support encourages us and also helps us build bonds with others.
- Focus on the positives. Looking at small progress keeps you motivated and increases the chances of success.
- Be kind. Self-criticism will lead you nowhere. It’s important to trust yourself and your process.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to attaining holistic wellbeing. What matters is your efforts to attain them. Consistency helps you stick to your well-being goals, but achieving holistic well-being is not an end goal – it is a continuous lifelong process. Thanks to the mind-body interconnection, you may see the holistic results soon.
A therapist can help you in the journey of achieving holistic wellness – Connect with our therapists now!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A. A holistic approach to wellbeing integrates all aspects of your health. Since our mind and body are connected, it becomes crucial to take into consideration all the components. Start with an area that is comfortable for you.
A. Motivation is not the key component to take care of your well-being. What is important is the “why”? When you know the reasons for taking care of your overall well-being, it becomes easier to stick to it. Remember, consistency matters more than the drive.
A. Start with one goal and do it for just 10 minutes. Increase the time slowly or as your schedule permits. Be kind to yourself whenever you are unable to follow consistently.