All About Holistic Health - what is holistic health
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What Is Holistic Health?

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If this is your first visit to My Wellness Basket, welcome! If you are a regular reader, I thank you for your continued support and your efforts towards wellness and holistic health!

As much as I write about wellness here on the blog, I’ve realized I’ve never devoted a post to holistic health. I’ve not completely defined it or summarized its components. So let’s dive into it now! What is Holistic Health?

Holistic Health: What is it?

In general, holistic health is about taking care of your WHOLE SELF. It means taking care of not just your physical well being through diet or supplements, but really focusing on every aspect of your health.

Holistic health focuses on the well being of the whole person. This includes various interconnected components including physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health.

While those four are the primary holistic health components covered, it also involves environmental health, social health, occupational health, intellectual health, cultural health and even financial health. Let’s discuss each of these with more detail.

Physical Health

This component of holistic health tends to be the one you will hear about and see covered the most. It is the part about taking care of your physical body through various means.

The body, when approaching it holistically, is taken care of through balanced nourishment, regular movement and exercise, proper sleep, and avoiding harmful toxins and substances. It’s all about giving your body the proper fuel it needs and avoiding what brings about illness. It also means addressing the rest of the holistic health components.

Mental Health

Mental health is about keeping your mind sharp and healthy. The parts of keeping your mind healthy include staying curious and learning new things, finding ways to challenge your brain and keep it strong and vibrant. It also includes finding ways to manage your thoughts or mindset and seeking help when you become overwhelmed.

Emotional Health

Emotional health involves your emotions. It means recognizing, understanding, and managing your emotions in a healthy way. This component focuses on teaching us to recognize our feelings and expressing them. It also involves stress management and getting through difficult challenges.

Spiritual Health

While this can involve an individual’s religious beliefs, that’s not the only component of spiritual health. Spiritual health is, from a holistic health standpoint, about finding a sense of purpose or meaning in our lives. It’s finding a connection to something bigger than ourselves. This may be approached through prayer, meditation, spending time in nature, and other aspects of exploring your own values and beliefs.

Environmental Health

Not everyone thinks about it, but your surroundings play a role in your health too. Environmental health is about living in a safe and healthy environment.

This area of holistic health includes aspects of the natural and human built surroundings that affect your health. Clean air, sanitation and hygiene, climate, water, safe use of chemicals, protection from radiation, agricultural practices, and more make up our environment. All of these things affect our health either positively or negatively.

Social Health

The recent years regarding lock downs has brought to light even further how important social health is to individuals.

Having positive relationships and connections with other humans are important, even to quiet introverts like myself. Friendships, spending time with family, and participation in various social activities all contribute to our overall well-being.

Occupational Health

While the primary focus on occupational health deals with aspects of health and safety in the workplace, it also includes finding satisfaction and fulfillment in your work or activities. Feeling productive or really engaged in whatever you do for work can positively impact your overall well-being.

Intellectual Health

This category isn’t about a person’s IQ or how much they know. Intellectual health is about learning and growing continuously. This includes creativity, curiosity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. 

Financial Health

Responsible management of finances and being able to financially plan for your future can reduce stress and therefor help you maintain your overall wellbeing.

A Summary of Holistic Health Components

These are of course only brief definitions of the categories that make up holistic health or a holistic health approach. Some sources list a few more. Most list less. But the idea is that individuals take notice that every aspect of our lives affect our health.

It’s not just about food and exercise, though those two can make a significant impact. All of these components are interconnected. Many overlap. Some more than others. Taking care of just one aspect can positively affect your overall health. Addressing several or many will have a larger impact.

Holistic health encourages you to find balance and harmony among all of these areas to the best of your ability.

There’s much more going on here than friends eating dinner. Aspects of holistic health have an opportunity to be addressed through social health (friends getting together), environmental health (fresh air eating outdoors), physical health (nutrition, hydration, and possibly walking to the meeting place), mental health (stress relief in being with friends), and so much more!

What is a Holistic Health Practitioner?

As holistic medicine is the form of medicine that addresses holistic health. Practitioners, therefore, consider the whole person – body, mind and spirit and possibly all the other aspects of holistic health I described above.

Holistic medicine doctors and other holistic practitioners believe the whole person is made up of interdependent parts. This means each part is dependent on the other parts. Therefor, if any part is not working properly, all the other parts will be affected. So any imbalance in physical health, whether it’s heart, liver, muscles or others part, will affect your overall health in other areas. It is the same with emotional, or spiritual health as they too can negatively affect your overall heath.

In conventional medicine the usual focus is on the symptoms presented. Whereas a holistic doctor may many forms of health care including conventional medication as well as alternative therapies to treat a patient.

For example, if a patient presents herself to a holistic doctor complaining of migraine headaches, instead of simply handing her medications to deal with the pain of the headache, a holistic doctor will look at a number of possible causes for the headaches including diet, sleep, stress, and other health factors. The treatment chosen by a holistic practitioner may include lifestyle modifications (diet, movement or other habits) to actually prevent the headaches rather than just relief when one occurs.

My Wellness Basket

My Reasons For This Blog was created to help you address as much of your holistic health as you can and to do so in the most simple and successful ways as possible.

I can’t address your occupational health, your financial health, or even your nutrition on a personal basis. But I can at least write about the importance of it and attempt to lead you to sources that can.

My Wellness Basket focuses on nutrition, rest, movement, and mind as well as simplicity.

Nutrition tends to be more about your physical health. But it greatly impacts your mental health and overlaps with others.

Rest affects your physical health as well as mental and emotional health. Stress really can’t be managed well if your are physically exhausted all of the time!

Movement also highly impacts your physical health. Again, this overlaps with other areas.

When addressing Mind on My Wellness Basket, I am focusing on mindset and how it affects our mental, emotional, and physical health. But even on this blog there is more to it than that. Our mindset affects our social relationships. It affects our spiritual health in that it is greatly connected to our beliefs and values. It overlaps with many others as well.

When I address simplicity, I’m talking about it all. It’s important to keep things simple in order to keep going at a steady pace. This goes for every aspect of holistic health!

In the course of addressing the topics of nourishment, movement, rest and simplicity, I will, eventually, touch upon other areas as well.

My Approach

In all of it, I hope to present you with information that leads you to finding out more about these important aspects of health so that you can make decisions for yourself and your health.

I’m wanting to bring this information to my readers in bite size doable pieces. I want to keep it simple.

I also want to remind you, imperfect progress is still progress. Focus on making changes and improvement, even if it’s little steps. It’s still progress!

Not everything will be simple. Changing habits is never an easy super simple process. But it can be broken down into more simple steps. I’ll always try to do that for you.

Please Comment!

I encourage my readers to make comments and ASK QUESTIONS! I want to know what areas of holistic health you want to know more about. What areas are you struggling with? What should I keep writing about?!

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  1. I like the holistic health concept. I hope I’ll soon have enough free time and energy to care for myself better. Thank you for the informative post.

    1. I hope you will soon take it to the next step of trying a few things. It’s easy for us to put off self-care. But in actuality, it’s less time to take care of ourselves BEFORE illness strikes than after! Remember, just take baby steps. Imperfect progress is still progress!

  2. This is such a useful blog post. I worked for years in the holistic health industry, it was always a challenge to explain exactly what holistic health is. Great topic to discuss.

    1. It can be. When you go outside the box of the usual conventional medicine, people tend to look at you funny because they don’t understand at first. But that lightbulb comes on and it’s so exciting!

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