How To Live A Holistic Lifestyle
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on January 2, 2019 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in General Wellbeing
In the busy, rushed lives of today, it can be challenging to take a second for yourself, breathe and examine your wellbeing. A lot of people live life knowing they don’t feel as well as they should but aren’t sure what to do about it.
For these people, making a change and focusing on living a holistic lifestyle may be the secret they need. A holistic lifestyle focuses on connections between your body, mind, soul and environment and can help you feel better, think better and live better in the new year.
What does “holistic” mean?
The dictionary definition of “holistic” relates to the idea of holism, or that “the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts.” Holism is a way of approaching something as a whole instead of focusing on one idea or segment.
For example, holistic medicine or care aims to treat the whole of a person—body, mind and spirit—rather than a singular bodily system or symptom.
Thus, when we talk about a holistic lifestyle, we are referring to a way of living that enables an entirely happy and healthy life. Holistic living does not merely approach a healthy body, but also a healthy and happy mind and positive connections to others and to the world. Usually, people equate holistic living to what is natural—including what is natural to you and the world around you.
To live a holistic lifestyle, you need to take care of all parts of yourself—not just the body or mind. In this lifestyle, you must consider that all parts of you are connected and can affect one another if they are not taken care of.
This is also backed by science. For example, people with chronic pain felt in the body also usually suffer from mental roadblocks like depression and anxiety. Or, if you don’t eat a healthy diet and instead load up with sugary drinks and processed foods, your health might suffer, as well as your mood and ability to focus.
Tips for a holistic life
Living a holistic lifestyle is much easier than most people think. The basic elements of holistic living boil down to healthy choices for your body and mind and taking time to focus on your health and general wellbeing.
- Eat well and organic: You need to feed your body well to feel well. Avoid processed foods, as well as foods full of refined sugars and trans fats. Instead, focus on choosing nutrient-rich foods and aim to eat a complete, balanced meal multiple times a day. By choosing the right foods that provide the entire suite of vitamins and minerals your body needs to function, you’ll start to feel better both physically and mentally. If you have the ability to choose organically grown foods, as well, this can help you even more. Organic foods don’t have chemicals, pesticides and other additives that could be potentially harmful to your health.
- Manage stress: One of the worst things for your body, mind and spirit is stress. However, stress is unavoidable. When living a holistic lifestyle, you need to try to minimize stress as much as possible in a number of ways. Identify your stressors—whether they are in your job, your personal relationships, your health or other places, and remove them if you can. Cut out toxic areas of your life to focus on happiness. Find creative outlets and hobbies to bring you joy and relieve stress. Additionally, focus on sleeping well and eating healthily to put your body in the best position to combat stress internally.
- Meditate: Meditation has gotten a lot of attention recently for its powerful healing properties. People with mental illness, stress and physical ailments have claimed that regular meditation helps them calm down, refocus and feel better over time. Whether you do a daily 30-minute meditation session or quick 5-minute breathing exercise when you’re feeling overwhelmed, make sure you focus on your mind-body connection. Pay close attention to your breath and the feelings in your body, identifying tension and releasing it. When your session is over, you will feel more relaxed, focused and ready to tackle new challenges.
- Exercise: Another powerful mind-body connection you can make is through regular exercise. It can be very tough to maintain an exercise regimen in today’s busy world, but taking just 20 minutes each day to get up and move can be instrumental to lifelong health and happiness. Exercise strengthens your body, making it more resistant to physical ailments and illness. It also strengthens your mind, relieving stress and releasing happy hormones like endorphins that can help you achieve a positive outlook.
- Use holistic supplements: If you do fall ill or are in pain, before grabbing a bottle of ibuprofen or cold medicine, try utilizing natural herbs and remedies to heal your body. Herbs and spices have been used in medicine for centuries and can help you heal in a natural, holistic way.
By focusing on putting healthy, positive things into your body and putting positive and healthy things back out into the world, you can better connect your mind, body and soul and happily achieve a holistic lifestyle.
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan