The words “holistic” and “wellness” are thrown around a lot these days. But what does it actually mean for wellness to be holistic?
Holistic wellness is an alternative approach to health. It considers the complete person, not just physical health and symptoms. It focuses on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being.
Rather than just treating symptoms, the goal of holistic wellness is to balance all aspects of someone’s life. Think thriving rather than just surviving. Everything in your life from the place you live to your income to your social circle affects your overall health. This approach aims to address it all.
Here are five key elements that make wellness holistic:
5 Things That Make Wellness Holistic
Integrating mental and physical health
Your mind and body are intrinsically connected. Holistic wellness acknowledges how mental health affects physical health and vice versa. Practices like yoga and meditation are ideal to support both aspects.
Emphasis on prevention
Typically, people only focus on health after something is already wrong with them. We treat the symptoms instead of preventing them from occurring in the first place.
Holistic health prioritizes prevention through a healthy lifestyle, including:
- balanced nutrition
- regular physical activity
- stress management
- making lifestyle changes
It views maintaining overall health as a proactive rather than reactive practice.
Consideration of environmental and social factors
Your environment and social life has a direct impact on your health. If your home stresses you out, that negatively affects your health. If you experience social isolation (aka loneliness), you are more at risk for negative health problems. If you work too much, you will also experience the negative effects of stress.
Holistic wellness encourages a work-life balance and cultivates relationships that support personal health.
Use of alternative medicine
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t see a regular doctor – you should. At the same time, holistic wellness incorporates alternative medicine for extra support. It treats the whole person rather than just the symptoms. This can include:
- Herbal remedies
- Holistic doctor consultations
- Massage or reiki
Focus on all aspects of life
Practicing holistic wellness is about more than just physical health. It includes:
- emotional stability
- financial health
- personal fulfillment
Integrating holistic practices means looking at the bigger picture of one’s life. This includes sleep, exercising, and mindfulness to foster resilience and happiness.