The theory of holism (holistic wellness) was put forth by Jan Smuts in 1926 as a system of therapeutics that are primarily outside of mainstream or scientific medicine. These therapeutics are often inclusive of wellness guided by naturopathy, homeopathy, spiritualism, and/or other natural measures. Wholistic wellness is the balance of all elements of our body (mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and social) through holistic means.
The 5 pillars of wholistic wellness are mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and social. The goal of wholistic wellbeing is to get each of these elements of ourselves to homeostasis—with a sound foundation in each that is well connected to each other—and maintain a fluid balance among each.
When this goal is achieved, our energy force, which drives our health and overall wellbeing, is more likely to flow freely.
Mental health openness has increased in recent years, becoming a focal point for many people on their journey to overall health. Having mental wellbeing—a healthy mindset—is our mental tool against the challenges and stress presented throughout our lives. Mental wellbeing includes seeking talk therapy when needed; reminding ourselves of our worth, value, and potential; utilizing mental tools and thought processes to minimize anxiety, reduce stress, and/or recognize when we are not “ourselves.” Managing your mental health also includes setting healthy boundaries and communication in your relationships.
When you feel that your mental health is not at its full potential or your usual tools are not working to their maximum capacity, try meditation to help you refocus. For many, transformational coaching is a benefit while other may just need a means to relax and reset.
Your emotional wellbeing encompasses your self-esteem, self-confidence, self-worth, and having good emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence was popularized by Danial Goleman, an American psychologist, who explained emotional intelligence as having 5 key elements: self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, motivation, and social skills.
Having emotional health means you have the ability to own and appropriately express your emotions and feelings. When you have emotional health—positive emotional wellbeing—your relationships can thrive, and the health of your emotional mindset can carry over into other pillars as well.
Physical wellbeing pertains to the optimal functioning of the body—although not necessarily as being disease free. Some health issues cannot be avoided but this does not mean someone could not attain physical wellbeing. Under wholistic teachings, physical health and wellbeing relates to our energy levels, muscle and joint flexibility, endurance, eating and sleeping habits, resilience to stressors, and being free from addiction and unnecessary medication—to the best our individual selves can be with consideration to possible disease. Ayurvedic teachings are common as are naturopathic and food therapy teachings in order to attain a healthier body.
Spiritual wellbeing can relate to religious belief, but it does not have to. Having spiritual wellbeing is to experience the purpose or meaning of life through the understanding of oneself or of a power greater than oneself. It is from spiritual wellbeing individuals discover their source of strength, motivation, and inspiration. Spiritual wellbeing is the most flexible of the pillars as it is very personalized and can mean many different things to each individual person. The overall goal of reaching and maintaining a spiritual wellness is to learn how to access the self—to tap into our inner being (or soul)—to focus the mind and body towards a more positive existence. In turn, this often reduces levels of stress, anxiety, and depression while improving emotional, mental, and physical responses.
With social media platforms in constant use, social wellbeing has improved for some, but for others has made it more difficult. Social wellbeing is the feeling of social belonging; to be supported by and feel connected to in society or within your social group—your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers, or the groups you are a part of within your culture, religion, school, community, or work. Having a strong social connection to one or many can help support your social wellbeing; and in turn, helps to support your emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical states of wellbeing.
Too often do doctors and medical practitioners see patients as just a chart, treating solely symptoms rather than the deeper, root causes—at least not without pushback and insistence from patients who feel they truly know their body and that something is amiss.
Recent events, fed up patients, and a growing trend towards healthier living has brough holistic and wholistic wellbeing into the spotlight. Many people are unsure where to begin or how, or they may be unsure how wholistic wellbeing can transform their life—especially for physical and mental symptoms.
Reaching wellbeing on your own in each of the five pillars of wholistic wellbeing is possible—but it is not impossible to struggle or stumble on your journey to optimal wellbeing. Seeking transformational coaching—guided sessions to help you can obtain clarity (mentally, spiritually, and in relationships), wellbeing, and attain personal goals—can often be an ideal solution.