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 —
#1] Emotional 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!
#2] Physical Wellness
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.
#3] Spiritual Wellness
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.
#4] Occupational Wellness
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!
#5] Social Wellness
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.
#6] Environmental Wellness
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