All About Holistic Health: The Seven Elements Of Wellness
While you’ve probably heard of holistic health//wellness [we even mention it in this podcast episode!] — what does that actually mean? A balanced + *holistic* lifestyle can be broken into 7 elements — this can be overwhelming at first, but we’re breaking it down for you.
Being *healthy* doesn’t stop at eating a balanced diet + exercising — in fact, diet + exercise equate to only 1/7 of living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Holism is defined as the theory that parts of a whole are in intimate interconnection [AKA they cannot exist without each other!]. Holistic wellness = an approach to health that addresses the body, mind, + spirit as being completely intertwined. Holistic wellness is composed of several elements of wellness —
This aspect is about being attentive to your thoughts, feelings, + behavior — both positive + negative! When we have good emotional wellness, we are able to be aware of + accept our thoughts + feelings rather than deny them. This creates an optimistic approach to life, allowing us to enjoy life during both the highs + the lows. Watch one of our fav TED Talks about emotional courage here!
Physical wellness is what most of us think of when we want to begin living a healthier lifestyle. Improve your physical wellness by focusing on diet, exercise, + sleep. Eating a well balanced diet is essential for fueling our bodies — this means eating plenty of fresh fruits + vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, + lean protein. Exercising regularly [around 3-5 times per week] keeps our bodies strong, gives us energy, ++ can even reduce stress. Developing + maintaining a regular sleep schedule [about 7-8 hours each night] positively impacts brain functioning, emotional well-being, ++ can even improve your day-time performance.
We know this is a VERY broad term + it has a different meaning for everyone [which is what makes it so cool!] — it can include include anything + everything from religious beliefs to personal values, ethics, + morals. The path to approaching good spiritual wellness also be a little bit different for everyone — some examples are yoga, prayer, meditation, + affirmations. Still unsure on how to get started on your spiritual journey? Try adding some of these well-loved reads that got us started on our spiritual journeys to your bookshelf: The Four Agreements, A Return to Love, + The Alchemist.
Occupational wellness is extremely important — especially since a large amount of our life is spent working! Take a moment to reflect: do you feel inspired by the work you do each day? Occupational wellness is all about receiving satisfaction, enrichment, + meaning from the work you do [this can be your work as a student or professionally]. Continue to pursue occupational wellness as you grow in your career by setting new goals + seeking out new learning opportunities, reflecting on the positives + benefits of your current job, ++ establishing a healthy work//life balance to avoid burnout. Worried your job//major isn’t right for you? Take a moment to pause + reflect on how you’re feeling ++ what you can do about it!
The relationships we have have with others [family, friends, significant others] can deeply impact our overall wellness + sometimes be challenging to navigate. Practice good social wellness by building healthy, nurturing, + supportive relationships with others you have a genuine connection with. Begin your approach to improving your social wellness by taking a moment to reflect on your current relationships to better understand yourself + your social needs. Improve + maintain your social wellbeing by surrounding yourself with positive, uplifting people who provide a nurturing, supportive relationship + ending those relationships which no longer serve you.
Not only can what you put in your body impact you, the environment you live in can, too! Environmental wellness is all about showing respect for + taking care of the Earth. Show some love to our planet by recycling, taking shorter showers, eating locally, ++ even making your sweat sesh *greener*. Practice living in harmony with nature by spending more time outdoors + appreciating all that the world has to offer.
“Allow nature’s peace to flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees.”
#7] Intellectual Wellness
When is the last time you did something for the first time? Intellectual wellness involves the practice of engaging in creative + stimulating mental activities to expand your knowledge + skills. Try taking on creative activities like writing or painting, picking up a new hobby, or traveling to a new place! Practicing intellectual wellness can help you see the world in a new way as you learn new ideas + skills.
Taking a holistic approach to wellness doesn’t have to be overwhelming — try completing this simple journaling exercise to help you evaluate how balanced your life is currently + identify areas that could use a little more TLC : )
++ Allison Tapocsi