What is Holistic Living?
The word ‘holistic’ comes from the word ‘whole’ which not only means a sum but the concept of inclusiveness. The theory of holism acknowledges the existence of individual fundamental components.
The guiding principle in Aristotle’s words goes as “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.
Holistic living takes into consideration the synergy of physical, mental, emotional wellbeing. Any imbalance in one can affect the other. In short, it is the healthy, balanced and sustainable way of living.
Why is everybody talking about Holistic Living?
We have always known that we must live a healthy life. But holistic consumerism is the contemporary trend. We believe the two key baits to this magnetism are holistic living practices being
The holistic approach is not really a new concept. It has only evolved over time and been presented and propagated in the language that masses understand.
While the average life expectancy of people has gone up across the globe, the quality of life with respect to health is at an all time low. People are suffering from chronic diseases and survive on pills for years together.
Being victims and witness to the rising health concerns, people have now begun to look for ways and means to ensure better living conditions for their future selves. In the quest of optimal wellness in the physical, mental and spiritual sense, the holistic approach ahs gained importance.
Apart from taking into account the internal factors, holistic experts also advocate external and environmental factors that impact the overall wellness of the community. WIth the complicating climatic equations and its influence on the environmental conditions, it is pertinent that we find a solution to live a healthier life in future.
How do I Start Holistic Living?
As we look into holistic living, it is important to remember that we are working beyond our body on the emotional, spiritual, social and intellectual health too. A perfect balance of all the 5 aspects is important to each day in the healthiest and happiest possible way.
To experience the real benefits of a holistic life,
- Being mindful
- Self Awareness
- Self Care
- Healthy and Sustainable Habits
- Education and Personal Growth
will set up a good base.
5 Aspects of Holistic Health
Eat Clean and You’ll Love Yourself Even More
Eating clean starts from being mindful of the source of our food. Raw food in the form of fruits and vegetables are adulterated with fertilizers and pesticides, all in chemical forms, to obtain high yield.
Even the grains available in the market are preservative treated during storage. Needless to mention the packaged foods that have become a part of daily life are loaded with chemical taste enhancers, artificial sweeteners and colours alike.
It is in our own interest to be intentional of what we are eating. Obtaining fresh produce that is grown organically can take care of these concerns. When you can, opt for natural vegan food. Last but most important, drink lots of water.
Commit Yourself to Exercising Daily
Holistic or not, we have all experienced the kick that even a 10 minute random workout brings in. Regular workout boosts energy, reduces stress and most of all keeps you fit. The science behind this accounts it to increase in endorphins, dopamine and serotonin levels. These are also the happy chemicals in our body and contribute to the lifted spirits.
What else are we looking for? Energy, lower stress and happiness all checked, we have no reason for skipping the next workout session. When talking of workouts, it does not have to be lifting weights.
Holistic living is about releasing stress and at the same time keeping healthy. Choose your workout to suit your needs and liking. It can be a simple stretching session, a yoga, a little walk around the park or any other form, but that of your choice.
Sleep Well – No Overthinking Please
Did you know a good night’s sleep is as important as eating healthy and exercising. In our busy life we give very little importance to sleeping well. Science has linked lack of sleep to increase in body weight both with kids and adults. It is also associated with eating adequately.
Good sleep also enhances memory and the ability to concentrate and become more productive. Also sleeping for less than 7-8 hours can be very harmful for health and risks heart diseases and stroke. Not to forget the negative impact on the immune system, metabolism, social skills and mental health in general.
Avoid Processed Food
Let’s start with understanding what processed foods are. They are not only the canned and packaged food that we buy off the shelf but even cooked food is processed in a form.
So what is to be avoided? Foods need to be selected or avoided based on their content. Always remember to reverse the food packet and read the ingredients.
Check for added sugars. You will find out that your bread and even jarred pasta sauce has significant quantities of sugar. If sugar is among the first 2-3 ingredients by weight, the product must be avoided.
Out of many other harmful ingredients to watch out for there is sodium. Processed foods are the main source of excess sodium in our body. Go for foods with no or low sodium content.
Avoid Smoking or Excessive Drinking
Smoking causes cancer. We have all heard this but did you know, over 90% of lung cancer is caused by smoking?
Studies have revealed that smoking for a short duration also results in lowered mental and social activity along with constant fatigue.
What is a Holistic Diet?
Holistic diet can only be understood with the concept of holistic nutrition. Holistic nutrition is the balanced healthy meal for the mind, body and soul. A holistic diet is made up of unprocessed food closest to its natural state.
The food is unadulterated, unprocessed, organic and locally grown. Holistic nutritionists believe that food must not be treated as mere fuel for the body, it should be the medicine for the holistic being.
Holistic diet broadly comprises of the following:
- Whole and Raw Food
- Organic Produce
- No Artificial Sugar
- Low Sodium
- Lots of Water
- No Refined Flour
- Good Fat
- Controlled Portions
- Balance Nutrition
Also read: Lifestyle Trends You Missed in 2020
Your 5 Step Guide to Holistic Lifestyle
Most of us are addicted to our fast paced life. Running behind deadlines and targets is our way of living. However, in this process, we miss out on life. And after all the struggle we find ourselves left in a state of stress and anxiety.
In our own world, we are unaware of the surroundings. Even when one has the time to reflect, it’s a complete chaos in the mind, and living in denial of the reality seems to be a better choice.
While we get ourselves to believe that slogging out is the way to prove our commitment and authenticity, we are unknowingly ruining our mental health. Living a mindful life will mean living a more conscious life. Allow yourself to come out of the mundane routine and observe and experience the surroundings.
Well, this does not guarantee that all experiences will be pleasant but you will also learn to accept and move on. You ofcourse get to enjoy the more beautiful moments and see a different version of situations and people around you.
Preserve Healthy Relationships
It is said women possess a sixth sense. We believe all of us do. The sixth sense is your intuition. The intuition resonates with positive vibes and blows up an alarm on the negative ones.
Learn to listen to what your intuition whispers to your mind.
Keep and nourish the relationships that send out positive and healthy vibes. It is said that with time one syncs up to the kind of company he keeps. Let yourself be surrounded by people who you look up to.
Ditch the toxic relationships and keep them at bay in the future. If you are facing any issues in getting out of such toxic relationships – considering talking with someone whom you can trust and talk about everything. Consider counseling or therapy through BetterHelp.
Respect Your Body and Mind
Spend some time everyday talking to yourself. The best way is to sit calm and listen to what your body says. Know when your mind and body are fatigued. Give them a chance to relax, rest and recharge. If not you will have to face a burn out.
Take the time to do what you love. Read a book, watch a favourite show, play music, meditate or whatever you like. If you need it, go for therapy. However you like it but do take a break to only come back stronger and fitter.
Another good idea to speak your mind out without actually speaking, is journaling, try it.
Reduce Reuse Recycle
A holistic lifestyle cannot be achieved if we ignore the physical world around us. Yes we are talking about our depleting resources. We need to conserve them and conserve them now. The depleting resource could be energy, water, soil, plants or the air we breathe.
We all know what is to be done to save each one of these. But the time has come when we start taking baby steps towards a better future. We can only expect to get clean food and water if we do not contaminate our environment.
A healthy body and mind cannot breathe polluted air. To get what we expect, we must take the first towards responsible living.
Man is a social animal. The good old saying holds true for all and will always do.
The mind, body and soul which hold their own place in human existence but can’t survive just by themselves. Similarly, humans cannot live in isolation.
Their life is meaningful only as a part of a community. We all owe to the society we belong to. Let’s not shy away from giving it back.
Interact, learn and unlearn through the experiences of practical life. This adds value and forms a strong foundation for holistic living in the real sense.
With the rising popularity of alternative medicine and holistic living, a number of non conventional career options have opened up for people to pursue.
One may professionally train under certified institutions for personal practice or professional engagements in this field.
Few such occupations are:
- Chiropractor and Doctors’ Offices
- Holistic Health Clinics
- Health Clubs, Fitness Centers and Spa
- Nursing Homes and Hospitals
- Sports Medicine Facilities.