It's a word that is getting tossed around more and more with the rise of the fitness and wellness movement and the interest that individuals and society as a whole are taking in the only real measure of wealth - health. At the heart, living a holistic lifestyle means that we engage our lives with interconnectedness on all levels: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. Every being has a built in, internal intelligence that makes us capable of all of the things we are capable of which we may sometimes take for granted, like self-healing and recovery (reference a great book, Qantum Healing for more on that!). This internal intelligence determines how we develop, how each bodily system functions, how we react to the stressors of life as well as which foods we can and can't tolerate. Every person’s internal intelligence is unique. In this respect, taking a holistic approach has no defined method, no linear path or one-size-fits-all. Being holistic is about the exploration of what works for you, through experimentation, mindful living, educated choices and internal awareness.
How does it look to be holistic?
H - Health and Wellness
Living in a way that promotes progression of the physical, mental and spiritual self rather than knowingly consuming ideas or behaviours that cause negative health implications and only serve to limit growth.
O - Open Mind
Approaching life with open-mindedness and free thought creates opportunity and fosters mental, physical, spiritual growth. An open mind will allow you to lean towards what is the most meaningful practice, idea, sport or lifestyle to you.
L - Life Balance
Recognising the need to create a healthy balance between working life, social life, solo-life (alone time). Stay true to your goals, while paying attention to your health and wellness. Align your short term actions with your long term goals.
I - Internal Awareness
Internal awareness refers to the ability to focus energy internally to be in tune with the needs of the body and its healing requirements rather than always projecting energy outward.
S - Spiritually Connected
Everyone has a spiritual side. Spirituality can simply mean having a connection to nature, to the ocean, to animals, to other people, to science, to religion or to life in general. Spirituality does not have to involve reading star signs, unless that’s what you’re into, I see it more as a soulful awareness that you are a lot more than the thousands of thoughts you have everyday.
T - Training Diversity
Exercise can not be overlooked in a holistic approach. Similarly, each method of exercise can not be seen as superior to the other. Exercise should be approached with diversity and recognition that a focus on one form of exercise means neglecting the potential benefits and connection that may be experienced with others.
I - Independant of Thought
Are you living someone else's life? Chasing someone else's dreams? Establish your own thoughts, your own opinions, your own set of morals and values and stay true to who you really are. Our cumulative thoughts have a big influence on how we are.
C - Connected
We are a single system. Holistic living focusses on the 'whole' and each of these elements mentioned needs to be deeply connected and treated as an essential piece to the puzzle of optimal health.
So how and when will you add more 'holism' to your life? Make yourself accountable and write it down. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.