In an age where medical advances are improving every day, the fact that the prevalence of chronic diseases has continued to increase in an alarming rate is almost impossible to believe. Had more people been encouraged to make healthy adjustments to their lives, most of those sickness could have been prevented. That’s why it’s more important than ever to go back to the basics, through holistic living.
Holistic living is a very simple way of life that most people have forgotten about, partly because of the hectic pace of our modern society. People are constantly rushed and are so busy being enticed by their endeavors, barely having any time to sit down to have a meal or go to the gym. It is almost obvious that sooner or later all this stress starts to pile up and take a toll on them. That is when all the illnesses start to appear.
As the term implies, holistic living is about the relationship between your mind, body, and spirit, and how those three are interconnected and have an effect on the major areas of your life. That includes your health, career, relationships and self-development. It concerns viewing your life in its entirety and allowing nature’s remedies to attain maximum wellbeing. If you’d like to rejuvenate yourself to being healthy inside out, consider the following tips that you can apply today:
1. Practice mindfulness meditation
Sourced from Mindful.org, “mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us”. It’s about perceiving things more objectively and trying to make the best out of the present situation every time. When we practice mindfulness, we’re “practicing the art of creating space for ourselves—space to think, space to breathe, space between ourselves and our reactions." The goal is to achieve a clearer state of mind and a higher level of awareness, thus allowing one to be more receptive to all the goodness in the world. It also helps to address stress and help you make sound decisions in life.
To start, make out time each day—15 minutes is enough—to meditate. Sit down in a comfortable position, relax, and focus on your breathing. Inhale and exhale as long as you can. Let your thoughts come and go while you focus on your breath. If you’re overwhelmed on how to start, there are many helpful apps on meditation such as The Mindfulness App that includes timed, guided sessions.
2. Eat clean, whole foods
Your body is a temple, and you should always take care of it. It starts by getting the proper nutrition your body needs and nourishing it from within. Our body thrives better on clean, organic foods. Instead of grabbing an overly-processed packaged food, make your meals from scratch at home. Processed foods are loaded with high amounts of sugar, fats, and unnecessary synthetic additives that can be detrimental to our health. Cooking your own meal allows more control in what you are actually putting your body. Be sure to incorporate lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, quality meats, unprocessed grains, nuts and seeds into your diet.
3. Focus on positive relationships
Do you have a friend who leaves you physically and mentally drained after interacting with him/her? Being compassionate and empathy are excellent skills to have, but sometimes it can be exhausting to be a constant sounding board for a friend, especially when you are a sensitive person who tends to absorb the emotions of others. A healthy friendship is a two-way street and if you’re experiencing one that has become one-sided, it might be best to reconsider if the friendship is worth keeping.
4. Allow yourself to grow
To live holistically, it is essential to always challenge yourself, and not let yourself get stuck in a rut where you don’t grow or learn. You don’t have to change drastically, just take your time and continuously find avenues to grow. Read new books, enroll in courses, pick up a new hobby, and surround yourself with like-minded individuals whom you can learn and grow from. Constant learning can enhance our understanding of the world around us, provide us with more and better opportunities to soar higher and achieve more.
5. Be active
After a long day of work, plopping down the couch watching Netflix or surfing the Internet can sound a lot more appealing than slaving away at a crowded gym, but consistent exercise has been proven to help increase overall stamina. Exercise has many health benefits including removing excess weight, aiding your digestion, eliminating toxins, reducing stress and boosting your mood and self-esteem. If you have a job that requires you to sit in front of the PC all day, one recent study says that you can offset that by exercising at least one hour a day.
If you find yourself way too tired after work, start easy by taking a yoga class or going for a walk around your neighborhood. When you have more energy, incorporate other exercises such as running and HIIT workouts. Whatever you choose, do something that motivates you and releases you from the daily grind.
6. Thinking positive thoughts
Even if it doesn’t seem like it, every cloud has a silver lining. No matter how negative and challenging a situation may be, believe that there is a positive aspect to it and good things are coming. Focus your energy on the positive side of things. Stop all negative self-criticism, as entertaining them can cause detrimental effects on mental, physical and emotional well being. To practice exuding positive vibes, start a daily positive journal. Before you sleep, review your day by noting three, or more positive moments of the day. This will help retrain your thoughts and adopt a more positive, grateful attitude.
7. Digital detox once in a while
While the Internet is possibly the greatest invention of mankind, there are some pretty serious drawbacks. Most people are completely oblivious to see the real damage the digital world is doing. We wish we had more time on our hands, but fail to see how scrolling through our Instagram feeds all the time has robbed us of our time. It is time to put down that phone and stop letting life pass us by. Instead of living life vicariously through a TV series, let’s start experience the simple pleasures of what the real world has to offer us.
8. Take time to be alone
In today’s constantly connected world, spending time alone can be associated with being lonely, sad and antisocial. But in fact, seeking solitude can make a world of difference to our overall well being. Spending time with yourself gives you an opportunity to unwind and revitalize your mind, as constant interaction with people can sometimes be exhausting. It provides time for you to think deeply, allowing you to make better decisions and work through problems more effectively. Solitude also allows you to discover yourself and gain a better understanding of what it is that makes you happy.
9. Take care of your surroundings
No matter who you are or where you live, we all share one home: the Earth. Holistic living considers the surrounding environment, and this means taking care of our planet and doing whatever it takes to leave the planet better than we found it. To get started: get in the habit of recycling, use reusable grocery bags, turn off electronics when idle, limit shower time and carpool to work. On top of making an effort to make a less harmful impact on the environment, think about how you can impact positively on your society too. Support and buy from local farmers, volunteer at a cause you are passionate about, and lend a hand to those around you who might need it.
10. Be generous, kind and loving
A holistic lifestyle involves a sense of compassion and joy for the world you live in. This means extending generosity and treating others with respect. Practice acts of kindness: do a favor for someone without being asked, smile back at the waiter who is serving you, reach out to make a new friend, don’t judge too quickly, get involved in your community, donate your old clothes to a charity. All forms of life should be respected, including yours too. Don’t be so hard on yourself when you reach a low point, your failures are part of the learning process. Allow yourself to relax and unwind properly.