Have you made changes to your diet, but it's becoming harder to stick to them? Do you feel as if certain aspects of your lifestyle are out of step with your current needs? Are some aspects of your life running smoothly, while there are other areas which you know aren't at their best?
As our bodies age and our lives change, we sometimes need to change our approach to managing our health. And one of the most empowering steps you can take, in order to achieve and maintain optimal health in the long term, is shifting to a holistic wellness mindset.
What exactly is a holistic wellness mindset?
What exactly is a holistic wellness mindset? It's all about taking a big picture, whole-person approach to our health and well-being, with as much breadth and depth as needed. Beyond our physical health, how are we doing emotionally? Spiritually? Are we as connected and satisfied socially as we would like to be? Are we feeling as intellectually stimulated and challenged as we would like to be? The breadth that a holistic wellness mindset affords equips us to look at all dimensions of our life that contribute to our health and well-being.
This mindset also equips us to look beyond the surface as we address our health needs, so we get to the root cause of issues, rather than suppressing or covering up symptoms. For instance, if ongoing headaches are an issue, one might eschew reliance on painkillers and instead dig deeper to explore how dietary habits, stress, hormone imbalances, or poor sleep quality might be acting as triggers.
Holistic wellness is highly personal and individualized.
One of the most empowering aspects of holistic wellness is that it's highly personal and individualized. You have your own unique physical make-up and biochemistry; your unique background and genetic influences; your unique tastes and preferences. On top of that, your daily life, with all of its activities and responsibilities, is uniquely yours.
Adopting a holistic wellness mindset puts you at the centre of things, rather than forcing you into an ill-fitting mold. Your needs and your priorities are the starting place. Rather than chasing someone else's ideals, you decide for yourself what it is that would bring you more satisfaction in different areas of your life.
Holistic wellness is dynamic and adapts to your changing needs.
The exercise plan that worked for you in your 20s won't necessarily serve you as well in your 50s. Rough-and-tumble sports might need to give way to activities where there's less chance of injury. On the other hand, if you've been mostly sedentary over the years, you might want to step things up and start moving, so you don't don't stiffen up and become achy and inflexible. Perhaps it's your diet that needs an overhaul as you get older. Or, you might be dealing with challenging life situations and you need better stress management skills in order to cope.
Whatever your personal situation, more likely than not things won't stay the same as the years pass. A holistic wellness mindset allows you to stand back and assess your life to see what's going well as it is, where changes are needed, and where there's room for improvement. You might want to explore territory that was never on your radar before, and you might notice significant shifts in your priorities.
Ultimately, wellness translates into different things for different people. A holistic wellness mindset puts you in control, allowing you to assess what wellness means for you in the here and now, across all areas of your life, so you can take steps to achieve and maintain it as you and your life continually evolves.
Tips for achieving optimal wellness, inside and out.