Redefining Health – Holistically

What do you think of when somebody asks how your health is? Or how your parent’s health is?

In my experience, we gravitate towards the physical most of the time (even though the dictionary defines it more holistically). We think of mobility and fitness, being active as opposed to sedentary. We may extend this to our mental state – though this is often only considered when there is a predisposition towards a condition such as dementia. Even my earlier posts talked about “getting fit” from a purely physical standpoint.

However, our true health is much more holistic and has four aspects to it. When each of these is cared for, we find ourselves in alignment and our being radiates our inner light and we feel so much greater than before. The four aspects or elements are:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Intellectual
  • Spiritual

The four areas cannot be taken in isolation as each is sympathetic with the others. When your physical health is good, your mood (emotion) is elevated. When you spend time with yourself (spiritual), whether this is meditation or a long walk, you feel more able to cope with tough challenges (intellect). There are scientific links between these areas and, in the worst cases, emotional suffering can lead to physical symptoms.

You have only one body and you can’t take it to the repair shop and have parts changed whenever they break. It takes time to heal from emotional or physical injury, so you should look after the one (and only) vehicle you have to go through life with.

Show restraint eating bad choices of food and you’ll feel cleaner and more alert (I know, I have tried this). Spend some time with yourself; find whatever feeds your soul – meditation, a long walk, Tai chi. You will feel lighter and more aware of yourself and what you need in life. Read and study books and you will get better perspectives on anything you choose to focus on from health to relationships to business to any skill you want to learn more about. And a better perspective helps all the other areas function more effectively. Find somebody you trust or work with a therapist or support group. Your emotions need a release and this helps you in other areas of life.

Each one feeds the others and if you neglect or suppress any of them and restrict your own inner you from expressing itself in the way it must do, the way it was created for, then you invite suffering for you and those around you.

In the past year, even more so the past month or so, I have taken more time out to reflect and journal. I take a walk by the river, meditate, use aromatherapy and my salt lamps, plus spend time in conversation. I eat more healthily and have cut out all sweets and cakes. I am going to start a physical program which includes exercises, chi kung and yoga.

By addressing and filling each of the four fundamental areas of life with things that interest and excite me, I feel more whole and more balanced. Things I used to tolerate are no longer acceptable and shifts are occurring in my core. I can see that my own choice to suppress my needs or desires in these areas has lead to my dissatisfaction with life

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