Holistic Wellness

Holistic Wellness - A Guide For Beginners

Everyone wants to be happy and healthy and have fulfilling lives. We typically watch what we eat and try to fit exercise into our busy lives.  We monitor our alcohol, caffeine, and sugar consumption and give up smoking. But these things are only one aspect of well-being - the physical aspect.    Holistic wellness encompasses much more than just physical health. If you're interested to know how we achieve holistic wellness, then read on.

What Is Holistic Wellness?

Holistic wellness is about caring for the whole person.  It's not just physical health which we typically judge health on.  Holistic wellness is also the emotional, mental, social, and spiritual elements too.  It's a fine balancing act to work out how to achieve total wellness between them all.  We can't be perfect.  However, we should be aware of all the different elements that contribute to a happy and healthy life.Each aspect of wellness can be prioritized as just as important as any other.

Dimensions Of Holistic Health

There are many definitions available for wellness (or well-being).  Some models are based on as many as nine different dimensions.  They include elements such as occupational wellness or financial well-being. But what they all have in common are the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual elements. These dimensions all influence and support each other. To have holistic well-being, a person needs to develop a degree of wellness in all of these areas.

Realistically some areas will be more developed than others, especially when going through challenging times and needing to prioritize what is more important in the here and now. But good mental and emotional health is the key.  The goal for holistic wellness should be to ensure a balance between them all.  It's just like when we think about having a balanced diet. Our diets may not be perfect, but we aim to eat something from each major food group as often as possible.  And this is what mental and emotional health is all about - balance.

Holistic wellness is all about balance.

 

*This post may contain affiliate links which means we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. 

Physical Well-Being

This is the most commonly addressed side of holistic wellness.  It deals with the physical body's growth, development, and movement and how we can care for it.

The media is full of advertisements and articles with advice about food, diets, exercise programs, and dramatic weight loss stories. We can get confused with the conflicting information and the fad diets that come and go. We get worried by News stories about the latest research that links this, that, and the other to cancer or other diseases.

So what is the right thing to do to care for our physical well-being? Well firstly, take a calm, sensible approach when determining your own needs and plans. Focus on one thing at a time.

Is Quitting Smoking Your Healthy Goal?

The only person who can stop you from smoking is you. It doesn't matter what anyone else says or does.  If you don't wholeheartedly want to give up, you won't be able to - well, not permanently anyway. I gave up smoking for a year each time I wanted to have a baby but it wasn't until I was 39 years old that I gave it up for good. Looking back at my failed attempts makes me realize that I just wasn't mentally ready.

Holistic Wellness

 

These days there are great resources to help with withdrawal symptoms such as medications, gum, therapy, hypnosis, and support groups. I had previously tried a number of these things and had good results for a while.   Unfortunately, I started up again.  By the age of 39, I was sick and tired of everything about smoking that I gave up cold turkey, and it was the easiest experience - and that was because my mind was made up.

Is Weight Loss Your Holistic Goal?

If weight loss is your holistic wellness goal then there are several options to consider, depending on your circumstances.   One size does not fit all. 

First Time On A Weight Loss Plan

If you have never been on any long-term weight loss plans before then focus on your food plan first. Learn about the different food groups and how they all play an important part in maintaining a healthy body. Find a mentor or coach who you can follow - someone who has been successful in losing fat in a healthy, long-term manner.

 

Plan your meals for the week. Cook in bulk and freeze them in individual containers.  If you don't have time, order calorie-controlled meals from international distributors such as Jenny Craig or look for a local provider.

You can also buy small frozen meals from your local supermarket. Some of these meals can be costly but you don't need to get one for every day.  Buy a few each week and stick them in your freezer. Use them on your busiest days, when you're really tired and don't feel like cooking. 

Give yourself plenty of time to get into a routine with your new food plan and don't beat yourself up if it's not perfect. It takes time to form new habits and time to work out what works best for you.  

If you are physically able but exercise hasn't been a regular part of your life before, consider adding some cardio and resistance exercises gradually.  If you want to work out at home, YouTube has a huge range of programs for free to choose from.  But remember to check with your health professional first, if you have any concerns. 

What is holistic wellness?

Yo-Yo Dieting

Unfortunately, many of us have been on multiple weight loss plans with varying results each time.  Sometimes we lose lots of weight and other times we find it hard to lose anything.  

And we keep asking ourselves why is it so hard to lose weight.  Why does the weight pile back on again?  The answer to this is similar to the smoker who just can't seem to kick the habit, no matter how hard they try.  It's your unconscious mind which could be causing the problem and it is a lot more powerful than your conscious mind. 

Somewhere deep down in your unconscious mind there is a reason why it's safer not to change.  The key to overcoming any of these weight loss or addiction issues is changing how your unconscious mind thinks, and this is where hypnosis can help. 

There is generic hypnosis audio that you can purchase and download online or there are personalized hypnotherapy sessions available through either face-to-face consultations or online sessions.  Virtual Gastric Band hypnosis is specifically for weight loss and results reported in the media have been positive so this could be something to look into as well.  

Do You Need To Get Moving?

When you're happy with how your eating is going then add some form of exercise. Again, do this gradually and realistically. I've started with two visits a week to the gym with my husband. We've been doing this for about a couple of months now and it's becoming a normal part of our week. It takes about three to four weeks to create a new habit. 


 

But remember we're all different and what may be right for me, may not be right for you. We are of different ages, have different tastes in food, different interests in sports and outdoor activities, have varying amounts of leisure time and we are all at different starting points, so do what is best for YOU.

Key Message

Whatever it is you want to achieve toward holistic wellness:

  1. Start with Small, Measureable, Achievable, and Realistic goals with a Timeline.  (Don't overcomplicate things.)
  2. Implement that goal until it becomes a habit that you are happy with. (This could take weeks or months.)
  3. Tweak your goal if you are not happy with it. (I was too tired to go to the gym after work, so I don't.)
  4. When you are ready to add a new goal then start from step 1 again.
  5. Your new goal may be something completely different or you might be ready to make your original goal more challenging. And don't forget, if you need advice and inspiration, find a mentor, either someone you know personally or follow someone online. Physical well-being is just one dimension of your total wellness.  Read on to find out what else you can do.

How to write SMART goals.

One Last Important Tip

Work on developing a growth mindset, especially if you have tried dieting many times before.  Having an untrained unconscious mind is like having an enemy who is trying hard to stop you from achieving your weight loss goals.  Having the right mindset is a huge asset for assisting you with any of your goals especially at challenging times. 

Social Well-being

Humans are innately social creatures. Some of us are more sociable than others and typically we are the most social when we are young, footloose, and fancy-free. As we age and start families our priorities change and so does our socializing behavior.

But social well-being is not based on how much we socialize but that we have opportunities to connect with others. Connecting with people can mean many things. It could be the relationships you have with friends, family, or colleagues. Or it could be interactions with fellow students or community groups such as sports teams, churches, hobby clubs, or volunteer groups. Social well-being is about having a sense of belonging, and being part of a group where you can interact, contribute and receive support.

What Is Mental Health And Wellness?

The mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions of well-being are the whole purpose of this website and what I consider to be the most important parts of total wellness that need to be addressed first.

My reason is, that if we are mentally, emotionally, and spiritually well, then we are better equipped to deal with physical or social well-being issues. 

So what is mental health and wellness? Mental health and wellness are about how we think, feel and act.  Having a strong psyche is what will drive you to find solutions to your problems, reach your full potential, and ultimately have a happy, fulfilling life.

Life can be very demanding and we humans typically follow the same norms and routines the way our parents did before us and their parents did before them.  Many of us are brought up to believe that you have to go to school to get a good education so that you can get a well-paying job to support yourself and your family. We hear that life is tough. That's just the way it is. It's like that for everyone so you just have to suck it up and get on with it.

*This post may contain affiliate links which means we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. 

When Things Go Wrong

So, when things go bad, maybe due to illness or marriage breakdown, stress, grief, and worry creep in. It starts gnawing at you, bringing you down and wearing you out. Friends and family may be supportive but after a while, you may feel pressure to sort yourself out and get back to your usual self.

Sometimes you can dust yourself off and get back on track. But it's not always that easy. Prolonged stress can be very harmful and lead to depression. That's what happened to me after years of living under stressful conditions when I had been caring for my sick husband. I had coped with stress for so long, that I thought I was superwoman.

Depression Kicked In

But it was when the stress stopped, that things changed. I think I had been living on adrenaline. Then one day I got a simple cold and my world came crashing down. I had no interest in anything, no motivation or ability to concentrate.   My doctor advised me to take a year off my studies and just recuperate.
Thankfully my husband had fully recovered by this time and it was his turn to look after me. I was lucky because I was only restricted from living a normal life for one year. Some people's lives are affected for decades.

 

Mental illness has been on the rise for over 50 years.  We also see that there is a frightening epidemic of mental illness developing in children and teenagers. Sadly, New Zealand has the highest youth suicide rate in the world. 

 

Spiritual Well-being

Achieve spiritual wellness
Less talked about is spiritual well-being. Until recently I was unsure about my spirituality. I believed in 'something' but wasn't sure what that was. When I was growing up, I hadn't been brought up in any particular denomination. My father was a non-practicing Catholic and my mother was Presbyterian. Occasionally my brother and I went to church with my mother and I went to a girl's Catholic high school. This was because it had a good reputation and small classes. When we were children, my parents told my brother and me that we could choose for ourselves when we grew up.

It wasn't until I was in my early fifties that I read The Secret and began to develop my spiritual awareness. This book has changed my life.  And judging from the 35,878 positive reviews on Amazon when I last checked in September 2022, it has changed the lives of thousands of other people too.  It's been a wonderful journey so far and I am so pleased to learn and believe that true happiness comes from within.

Where To Now?

I hope you have found this information valuable.  If you want to share your experiences or have any questions, please feel free to leave them below. 

Before you go check out this video on Holistic Health.

*This post may contain affiliate links which means we may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. 

DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE


The information on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.   Ask them any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

 

 

 

 

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.