Think of the word “health”. What does it mean to you? What does it communicate to you?
My guess is that most of us tend to associate the term with physical health, rather than our wellbeing as a whole.
And then the term “physical health” itself is often misleading, or interpreted the wrong way.
Physical health isn’t weight loss. Or never getting sick. Or cutting carbs. You get the point.
If you are serious about your (true) wellbeing — and you probably are, since you are on this page — then keep reading…
What is holistic living?
Holistic living is a lifestyle in which you take care of and prioritize your holistic wellbeing. This means cultivating habits and practices that directly or indirectly improve your physical, mental, and even spiritual health, which are in harmony with each other.
Let’s go back to the example of physical health mentioned above. Suppose you now approach it from a holistic point of view: you no longer focus on a single goal or number (e.g. weight), but physical health as a whole.
This means e.g. optimal hydration, quitting caffeine and stimulants in general, moving your body, switching from artificial processed food to natural food… and so on.
So really, the holistic approach is the only approach. You just have to reimagine and reconsider the whole idea of health, be it the health of your body, mind, or spirit.
Why holistic living is key
All elements of our being are deeply interconnected. You may think they are not, but this doesn’t change the structure of our being.
Eat tons of sugar and caffeine and your mental health will worsen. Dwell on negative thoughts long enough and your body will suffer.
Perhaps you can’t objectively prove that spirituality affects our health as well, but the connection of body and mind is undeniable.
This is why holistic living really is key if you are health conscious. And the more you see health holistically, the more you’ll fall in love with it.
In other words, the thought of cultivating your health won’t sound like a burden anymore — it will be part of your life and give you joy.
On to the actual list of tips…
So here they are. If you’d like to add your own tips, or share your own thoughts or experience on holistic living, please do so by leaving a reply at the end.
Holistic living: physical health
1. Eat nourishing food
The one made by Mother Nature, not a complex artificial process. In other words, natural food. Which is very often low in calories and high in nutrients. Also, stay hydrated throughout the day.
2. Have perfect posture
Or “good” posture, if perfect sounds scary. Really make an effort to be conscious about the posture of your neck, back, shoulders, etc. — when you walk, stand, or sit. It affects anything from your breathing to your digestion.
3. Move your body
You don’t need to go to the gym for two hours a day. You don’t need to be an athlete. You do need to move your body daily because that’s what it was designed to do.
4. Get a massage
Few things are as “holistic” as professional massage. This is because after a good massage, it’s easy to notice improvements in terms of your overall health — body, mind, and spirit.
5. Love the sun
Provided you protect your skin, do your best to be exposed to natural light throughout the day. Besides vitamin D, it will do wonders for your mood. Ever felt depressed or unmotivated during the coldest month for this exact reason? I have.
6. Have a natural sleep cycle
Which means, try not to go to bed super late, and try not to wake up super late as well. Also, follow all the main sleep hygiene tips — no screens before bed, no heavy meals, the right room temperature, etc.
7. Don’t smoke/drink
I’m honestly not sure whether this is obvious or not. If it’s not obvious to you, then it is now. Go easy on the alcohol, and if you do smoke, then get help so you can quit as soon as humanly possible.
Holistic living: mental health
8. Think positive
Nothing too complex. But it makes a huge difference. Ignore what you dislike, and don’t want; focus all your attention and energy on what you love and what you want. This alone can make you happier than the average person.
9. Discover your personality
Are you a radical introvert, or lean more on the extroverted side? What motivates you? You probably have an idea already, but it can be helpful to get in touch with, and understand, your personality. Even with a simple personality test.
10. Be clear on what you want
What are your goals, or dreams, or ambitions? What do you want in your life? Write it down, review it, think about it. Most importantly, don’t be vague. Be really clear on what it is that you want.
11. Learn about psychology
I have mentioned how getting in touch with your personality can help with mental health. Well, why not go further and read a few things on psychology? If books sound boring, just watch videos on YouTube.
12. Keep a journal
Besides the chance to go back to your notes one, two, five years from now, and the fascinating experience of seeing how much you’ve changed since — the act of writing down your thoughts helps you to detach from them (so you control your mind, not the other way around).
13. Cultivate gratitude
Here’s another ridiculously easy (and free) tip for happiness and wellbeing in general: never take anything for granted and develop the habit of noticing the little things. You are blessed — you just forget that you are.
14. Be financially stable
This doesn’t really get mentioned when it comes to mental health, but it is important. It’s hard to think clearly if all you have to think about is money or lack thereof; or if you hate your job, or have poor money management, to name a few.
15. Know your triggers
Reflect on all the recent times you experienced anger, or depression, or anxiety, and wish you didn’t. What was the trigger? We are human beings; we are vulnerable. Sometimes you don’t have to be strong — you just have to avoid the triggers.
16. Quit caffeine
And stimulants in general. For example, energy drinks (which are not healthy by any means, and don’t help you lose weight by any means). They affect your mood, sleep, and even your ability to think clearly.
Holistic living: spiritual health
17. Practice meditation
It has been practiced for thousands of years. It is still practiced today. It led the Buddha to enlightenment just like it can lead you to a higher level of awareness. And science agrees it benefits your overall health, too.
18. Learn not to identify
If I identify with (that is, think I am) my negative thoughts, then how can I silence them? If I identify with the past version of myself, then how can I evolve and become the best I can be? Identification really is, spiritually speaking, an enemy.
19. Be authentic, be yourself
Anything that is fake — anything from a fake smile to a fake personality — creates tension. There are times when it’s appropriate not to fully express your nature/feelings, but do be aware that it blocks spiritual energy.
20. Learn to let go
Let go of clutter. Like, physical piles of items that just sit there because you haven’t used them in years. But by extension, let go of anything that suffocates you, that hinders your spiritual growth. An example that comes to mind: self-imposed guilt.
21. Try energy therapy
If you’re skeptical, that’s understandable. But I swear it works. Well, it works for me. It may work for you as well, so at the very least give it a try. Reiki, sound baths, flower essences, etc. The results can be subtle… or almost miraculous.
Not in a religious way; not necessarily. And let me remind you, spirituality itself has nothing to do with religions. But you have to believe. Those who have the courage to believe (in themselves, their dreams, their purpose, or anything else) have power.