Why Holistic Health is Important (Guest Post)
Hello Friends! Today I have a wonderful guest post for you all about Holistic Health and why it is important. I have always been big on focusing on all areas of my health, not just the physical. So this topic is near and dear to my heart. Today Serena from The Simple Holistic Girl blog and The SHG Community is going to help us learn more about holistic health and how we can implement the practice into our own lives. Thanks so much for being here Serena!
I am thrilled to be on Ivanna's site this morning to discuss holistic health with you!
Are you familiar with the term holistic? It can mean different things to different people, but simply put it means "whole, not in parts". So, when you refer to being holistic you have the understanding and consideration of the whole person - what we eat, breathe, feel, and touch affects our mind, body, spirit, and overall health (and vice versa).
Our mind, body, and spirit are powerful tools, both individually and together and when you drill down it can be fascinating to find out how vulnerable they are. Let's take a look at what can impact each one. This is not an all-inclusive list, but it will give you examples of how we live and what we do on a daily basis have an impact on our health.
Includes: emotional and mental health & wellness
Diet: Food is not the same as it used to be. So many preservatives, unnecessary fillers, and even pesticides have been used in and/or added to our food supply. This eventually has led to certain foods/ingredients triggering negative reactions in our bodies. For example, if you look at people who are gluten intolerant. They have suffered from mood problems, depression, and anxiety when consuming foods containing gluten. And our children are no exception, often displaying learning disabilities or behavioral issues such as hyperactivity as a result of a diet that is not compatible with their bodies.
Environment: According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), our homes rank among the top five environmental risks to our health because they contain a host of environmental toxins, like household chemicals. And on top of that, our bodies create their own toxins when we exhibit stress and negativity. The effects of these toxins could lead to even more stress, depression, hormonal imbalances, frequent colds, and fatigue.
Negative thinking: Negative thoughts lead to negative emotions and eventually negative behavior. Negative emotions can also lead to emotional eating (which can lead to weight gain), depression, and low self-esteem. The cycle then may get harder and harder to break.
Includes: our physical body, inside & outside
Environment: You’ve probably heard that our skin is the largest organ and can absorb up to 60% of what you put on it making it the easiest way to absorb environmental toxins. And did you know that within 26 seconds of exposure to some of the compounds used in standard cleaning products, they can be found in every organ of the body? Yikes! Many of the commonly stocked personal care and cleaning products in the store have ingredients in them that have been linked to dermatitis and increased skin sensitivity, as well as cancer, birth defects, reproductive toxicities, learning disabilities, hormone disruption, and many other health concerns.
Body function: A lack of physical activity has been shown to be the cause of most chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Diet: Processed and sugary foods & beverages, like fast food, soda, and junk food, don't have the necessary nutrients to keep your body functioning at its best. This may have you feeling fatigued, lethargic, and can even compromise your immune system over time making you more susceptible to illnesses.
Medicine: There are still many people that don't hesitate to choose a pharmaceutical drug over a natural remedy when sick. Sometimes the situation warrants it and that is understandable, however, even when the situation doesn't people will still choose the pharmaceutical path. Pharmaceutical drugs can wreak even more havoc on the body causing more harm than good. Many of the diseases they are designed to treat can be alleviated by a simple change in diet, a whole foods detox program, or stress management program, including exercise & meditation.
Includes: our spiritual health, inner soul, inner being
Forgiveness: This can be a touchy subject. To some, it is NOT easy to let go of the feeling that someone did you wrong, but not letting go will only make your spirit restless. These negative feelings can build up inside of you causing stress and tension. They can also suck your energy and leave you feeling empty and possibly depressed.
Stillness: Often times we are so busy we don't allow our bodies or minds to rest. Being still allows everything including our spirits to rejuvenate. Even sitting still for 5 minutes out of your day can help with stress management and creativity.
HOW TO BALANCE YOUR MIND, BODY, AND SPIRIT
It doesn't take a big effort to start adopting a more holistic lifestyle.
You can start with these 10 simple steps:
Surround yourself with positive people - don't be afraid to release some people from your life
Keep a food diary - find out which foods are your enemy and which are your friends
Eat to nourish - moderation is key when it comes to sweets, variety is key when it comes to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
Be more active (exercise is a good stress management tool and help keeps your weight in check and your body healthy)
Let it go (I know...easier said than done)
Read your product labels carefully, make your own if you can
Switch to more natural (and safe) remedies
Focus on the good in life - this will change your negative thoughts into positive ones
Learn to be still - do yoga, start a meditation practice or similar activity to rest and renew your mind - these can also make great stress management techniques
Evaluate your home environment - change what needs to be changed (this can be interpreted a variety of ways)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Serena is the Simple Holistic Girl behind The Simple Holistic Girl blog and The SHG Community. She is a blessed healthy living blogger, actress, health coach, ACE certified personal trainer, mommy of 3, and wife who helps busy women & moms (dads are welcome, too :)) create holistically healthy families with a focus on natural living through online programs and other tools. Check out her new smoothie ebook full of 50 smoothie recipes - now available for download! You can find Serena on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.