- Adam Stanford
What is Holistic Wellness and How do I Achieve it?
Holistic wellness is an approach to health and well-being that takes into account all aspects of a person’s life. It recognizes that physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, environmental, financial, and occupational wellbeing are all interconnected. Holistic wellness is a comprehensive view of health and wellness that looks at the whole person, rather than just one aspect of their life. It encourages individuals to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing, and to take an active role in creating a healthy lifestyle.
The Eight Dimensions of Personal Wellness
Physical wellness is about taking care of your body. It includes making healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular physical activity, and getting enough sleep. It also includes preventive and medical care such as regular doctor visits and screenings, taking medications as prescribed, and following your doctor’s advice.
Social wellness is about developing and maintaining healthy relationships with other people. It includes cultivating positive relationships with family and friends, as well as developing healthy relationships with people in the community. Social wellness also includes developing positive communication skills, learning how to resolve conflicts, setting good boundaries, and respecting other people’s boundaries.
Intellectual wellness is about developing and exercising your mind. It includes engaging in activities that stimulate the mind and help you learn new things. Examples of intellectual wellness activities include reading, writing, learning a new language, playing chess, or doing puzzles.
Environmental wellness is about existing within healthy surroundings. This includes a clean, sanitary, organized place to live, preferably with natural light coming in and items or decor that you enjoy looking at. It also includes the conditions of your neighborhood and even the city you live in. Environmental wellness can also be improved with frequent visits out into nature such as hiking or camping.
Financial wellness is about developing and maintaining healthy financial habits. It includes budgeting, saving, and investing, as well as learning how to manage debt and credit responsibly. Financial wellness is having your financial needs met and living within your means.
Occupational wellness is about finding a job or career that provides meaning and satisfaction. It includes developing skills and knowledge that are relevant to the job, as well as setting goals and pursuing opportunities for growth.
Emotional wellness is about developing and maintaining healthy emotional habits. It includes identifying and expressing emotions in healthy ways, developing compassion for yourself and others, and managing stress. It also includes learning how to cope with life’s challenges in healthy ways. Emotional wellness is the only dimension that is directly impacted by every other dimension which is why understanding holistic wellness can be very helpful for the therapeutic process.
Spiritual wellness is about connecting with something greater than yourself. It can include exploring your beliefs and values and engaging in activities that bring meaning and purpose to your life. It can also include meditating, doing yoga, or engaging in other activities that bring a sense of peace and contentment. Spiritual wellness often involves a sense of community and connection and for some it may be fostered through religion while for others it may not include any religious practices or beliefs at all.
Practicing Holistic Wellness
Here are some tips for practicing holistic wellness:
Eating a balanced diet, getting regular physical activity, and getting enough sleep are all important for overall health and wellbeing.
Make time for activities that bring you joy, such as reading, writing, or engaging in creative pursuits. Remember that your mind needs regular exercise too.
Connect with others. Spend time with family and friends, or join a club or organization that shares your interests.
Take care of your environment. Recycle, conserve resources, reduce waste. Choose colors and objects for your home that you appreciate or feel good about. Keep your home clean and organized, maximize any sunlight that comes in, and consider adding some houseplants. Get outdoors and into more natural environments often.
Make a budget and stick to it. Make sure to save for retirement and invest in your future.
Pursue meaningful work. Find a job or career that is meaningful and satisfying. Try to leave toxic work places in pursuit of healthier ones when possible.
Consider how you can find more meaning and purpose in your life. Many people find this in their relationships and community as well as by doing things to help others or spread more joy.
When it comes to achieving holistic wellness, it’s important to remember that it’s a journey, not a destination. Everyone’s journey is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. The first step is to assess your current lifestyle and identify which areas you would like to improve. Take some time to reflect on each of the eight dimensions of wellness and identify specific steps you can take to make positive changes.
Set achievable goals and identify strategies for reaching those goals. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself, and to celebrate the small successes along the way. Achieving holistic wellness is a process that takes time and dedication. But by taking a comprehensive approach to health and wellbeing, you can create a healthier, happier life for yourself.