What is Holistic Living?
Holistic living is a lifestyle that nourishes the mind, body, and soul. And although that sounds a little hippy-dippy, it’s actually quite wonderful.
A holistic lifestyle is a way of living life that lets you look at the big picture – the whole person. I like to think of holistic as being connected to a wholeness.
You don’t try to make your life better by focusing on one thing like healthy eating, personal growth, spirituality, or creating contributions. You focus on everything because it’s all interconnected.
And a holistic lifestyle isn’t one size fits all. It just means that you observe yourself – all of yourself – and create a lifestyle that nourishes you as a whole.
It’s pretty well accepted that there are 3 parts of your life to nourish – mind, body, and soul. Some people like to separate mental and emotional or add a social element. But I think using just 3 simplifies things since social falls neatly into the ‘soul’ category.
Holistic living acknowledges that all three parts are interconnected. Each affects the other. For example, if you aren’t getting enough sleep (body) because you are anxious (mind), you may withdraw from your friends and family (soul). They all work together and they all affect each other.
We actually have a lot more control over the mind than we think, it just takes practice to learn how to control our attention. It’s important to cultivate a healthy mind because our mindset ultimately controls our actions. What we think, we create.
Nourishing our minds means creating a positive outlook on life. We must tend to our mental and emotional health. And it’s helpful to take time to gain a deeper understanding of how your mind works so that you can have better control of it.
The body part of holistic living is usually the easiest to understand because it’s physical. We can easily see and measure the effects of nourishing the body.
Nourishing the body in a holistic way involves a lot of elements.
You know that it’s important to take care in determining the foods you eat. The more you nourish your body, the better it functions. And you also know that exercise is important.
But when taking a holistic approach to nourishing the physical body, we also take into consideration things like sleep patterns, our connection with nature, the types of products we use in and on our bodies, and the health of each body system.
In holistic living, we also focus on wellness – living in a state of good health. We want to live in a healthy state rather than fix problems as they occur.
The ‘soul’ category can be a little harder to pin down, especially if you’re still figuring out where you fit into the world. But that’s okay, nourishing your soul can help you get closer to that understanding.
Of course, nourishing your soul means spirituality, but it’s also so much more. Living life aligned with your core values and living with purpose are essential. Nourishing your soul requires deepening your connections with others and spending time on meaningful contributions to the world.
Over time, as you nourish ‘soul’ elements, you’ll create a deeper relationship with yourself and how you connect with and understand the world around you.
Qualities of Holistic Living
Outside of knowing that we need to nourish the mind, body, and soul, it’s helpful to understand the qualities that help us live a holistic life.
Mindfulness means being aware and present in the moment. Being mindful will help you have better control over your attention.
Mindfulness is key to living a holistic life because we need the presence of mind to fully understand ourselves and our needs as a whole. Additionally, the present moment is the only place where we can fully experience life and integrate growth into our lives.
You may be new to mindfulness, but I guarantee you’ve practice mindfulness many times. Any time you take a deep breath to focus, you’re being mindful. When you take time to think before you act, or take a step back from your emotions and act based on your values, you’re practicing mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the first quality of a holistic life because it pulls us into the present and focuses our awareness so that we can integrate the next 3 qualities into our holistic life.
To live intentionally is to live life on purpose. When you live from a place of intentionality, you live based on your core values. When you live intentionally, it’s easier to integrate a holistic approach to life.
Intentionality encompasses purpose, simplicity, prioritization, time management, and control over where you place your energy.
To live holistically and see the big picture, you must live on purpose instead of on autopilot.
Since holistic living involves nourishing the mind, body, and soul, it’s important to find balance. As we’ve talked about, you need to nourish every part of yourself in order to be well as a whole since everything is interconnected. Take care in each element the time and energy it needs so that the 3 can support each other.
Holistic living isn’t an all-or-nothing approach. Instead, find balance by incorporating small, sustainable changes into your life and grow your holistic lifestyle over time.
Holistic living isn’t a destination, it’s a lifelong journey. It’s a lifestyle. And so, it’s fitting to live a holistic life as a practice.
Holistic living is something you must do every day and practice to integrate into various aspects of your life. As we talked about with balance, there is no need to do everything all at once. Instead, create a holistic lifestyle practice by creating sustainable habits and slowly incorporating them into your life.
With practice, you’ll be able to experience continued growth along your holistic living journey.
- Author Shelby Blacker