Taking a holistic approach to your health, means working on your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being collectively. It’s personalisation for your body.
I truly believe that our minds can play a role in how we feel physically. During my first scoliosis surgery, I was told that I wouldn’t be out of the hospital in time for my birthday. Let alone out of bed. 5 days after two operations done together, I was discharged and recovering at home.
Despite the advice, I told myself that I would be out and pushed to see that result.
Now, that’s one example and in the grand scheme of things, I am not advocating that you ignore your doctor’s or surgeon’s advice. Neither am I suggesting that all physical conditions can be treated with a positive attitude. Case in point when my great-uncle passed away in early January. He was the most positive, upbeat person who joked about his experience with cancer throughout.
Mental health has been silenced for decades; treated as a less serious concern. But research suggests strong links between the impact our mental health has on our physical.
The Physical Side
Remember that time in school when you grazed your knee? If you’re like me, you will have a catalogue of those memories. The worst is when I tripped over a metal door stop and banged my head against a classroom wall.
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver – Mahatma Gandhi
We notice the physical side immediately; perhaps due to pain or seeing blood slithering down (gushing if it’s by your fingers).
Likewise with fitness and diet, we place our goals on the finished result. We determine transformation by what we can see when we glance in the mirror.
But even our exterior can be left in the dark. Particularly, visiting the dentist and keeping updated with yearly eye checks. I had not had my eyes tested in nearly a decade. Convinced that I still had perfect vision, I was horrified to discover that my 20/20 eye sight had somewhat diminished. The blame – using my laptop too much.
Due to our convenience culture, you can now buy prescription glasses online. Providing that you know what strength you need, this makes the whole process easy. If you are reading have not yet had or booked your yearly eye test, consider this your reminder.
Taking a holistic approach to health, you can ask yourself lifestyle questions regarding how you physically feel. For example, if you are feeling fatigue – how was your sleep? What’s happening in your life that could potentially be disturbing your sleep patterns?
The Mental Side
I suffer from depression, anxiety and perfectionism (possibly causing the two) and take a holistic approach to my treatment. What I will say, is that from speaking to people also battling, everyone has their own solutions. A friend of mine is on depression tablets, another received therapy and a third takes ‘me’ time away.
Although I am not a professional (strictly opinion), I control my emotions by looking at my overall health. I use the Remente app to rate my mood daily. Usually, I tend to find that if I am not exercising, resting adequately, stretching or eating well, my stress levels rise significantly.
By the time depression hits, you most-likely will not have the energy to take care of yourself. This is where physical intertwines. So I also try to keep aware of my symptoms; talk about them if I see them progressing, and try to create a step plan to bury myself out.
Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity – Hippocrates
I like writing super simple check-lists – making dinner, making my bed, drinking lots of water. Daily tasks that feel more challenging.
Sometimes work, relationships and life just hits you at 90 degrees, and you have to bear that in mind. Be kinder to yourself in those moments. A douse of self-love is a nice step to getting back to positive.
The Spiritual Side
Studies have shown that being spiritual is great for our overall health. Spirituality takes many forms. From your faith in God or religion, astrology, to general belief in your purpose.
I am highly spiritual; I look for meaning consecutively and especially in nature. The best is when I am high on a hill, looking down and realising that I am just one, small fish in a huge pond. All my problems I have multiplied, are not so big after all.
There are spirit guidance sessions and spiritual meditation that people use to alight their spiritual side.
Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outdoors – Norman Cousins
The small acts of human kindness – focusing on them can help your overall outlook. Taking time to reflect on gratitude and the good that has come in your life. Often, we get so busy and caught up in the day-to-day, that we forget to show awareness to wonderful things happening. Sometimes, I forget how happy I am that I have this blog and it’s developed from a year on.
A holistic approach to health is simply taking a broader outlook. Recognising all the sides of your health and putting them together to piece a jig-saw.
What are your views on a holistic approach? Do you believe that the mind, body and soul can all work together?
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