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Holistic Health - Integration Of The Mind, Body, Spirit And Emotions

When it comes to health, often, our views swing in the extremities. Either we are evangelists for preventive care or fierce critics of the same. We suffer from confirmation bias and have a tendency to search for, interpret and follow a path which suits our understanding and makes us believe that we are leading a healthy life. Rarely, do we stop to ponder that if the answer to all our health problems is always either popping a pill or joining yoga classes, then we actually have next to no control over our health.

We are living in an age when illnesses and diseases are starting to manifest themselves in forms and ways unheard of a few decades back, where lives are often reduced to a treadmill of existence and a never-ending quest to be better than our peers, neighbours and colleagues. In such times, health often takes a backseat and is never in the scheme of things until that doctor's visit becomes a necessity. It is now, more than ever, that holistic health needs to play a crucial role. 

According to the American Holistic Health Association, Holistic Health, “teaches patients to take responsibility for their own health, and in so doing, is: cost-effective in treating both acute and chronic illness; therapeutic in preventing and treating chronic disease; essential in creating optimal health”. An extremely power definition which positions holistic health as a lifestyle treatment, one which doesn’t stop when we walk out of the doctor’s office or stop taking our medications. It extends and encapsulates even the seemingly mundane chores from our day to day lives. The ways by which we lead our mind, body and spirit defines our holistic health quotient.

It is easier said than done. For a diabetic patient, the priority is to take that specific drug at the precise time of the day. But, does it actually improve our condition or just maintain the status quo? This is where holistic health comes in. It urges us to look beyond and submerge ourselves in activities where there is physical, emotional and spiritual nourishment. 

Did we get that time to enjoy our cup of tea, did we manage to drop our kids to their school buses and at the workplace did we praise our colleagues enough. All of these elements constitute our emotional and physical makeup thereby proving to be crucial cogs in our journey towards holistic health.

Because of the multi-dimensional approach to holistic health, it is imperative to note that the journey for no two individuals could turn out to be the same. For some, it might involve more physical elements whereas for another the focus could be more on spiritual health. So, there needs to be a level of personalisation and contextualization and for us, as individuals, to accept responsibility for our own level of wellbeing, and everyday choices that affect our health.

Speaking from personal experience, one of the relatively easier ways to get on the holistic health bus is by defining a personal wellbeing plan first. The plan could include all aspects, ranging from physical, mental, emotional and spiritual parts and then clearly outlining an aspect or activity in each that we are passionate about and gives our lives a purpose. Once we have the plan, we need to be patient enough to see it through as it could easily get overwhelming when mixed with our existing schedules. With time, we would soon begin to see how we can balance the two together and once we start to care for all aspects of our health, we would feel more complete, balanced and healthier. 


Tags assigned to this article:
health balance mind Body soul holistic health

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