When we think of being whole, it sounds exhausting, right? As if you have to try and be a perfect version of this amazing being who beat all the odds has it all together, balancing the chaos, paying the bills, perfect (fill in title here...parent, spouse, friend), social butterfly who's the life of the party, no worries, if there are worries, they are handled with a smile but no one knows because of the smile and your swag. Yeah right. Who in the heck can live up to that?!
So let's break down being whole and living a holistic life in a more simplistic way that will not leave you feeling enormous pressure to just curl up in the fetal position.
First, holistic includes mind, body and spirit. These three pieces that make up a whole person can be subdivided into five (essential, social, creative, physical, coping) but that goes over into the Indivisible Self Model which we will get into another time. Like a whole other blog.
The mind though. Ugh. It can be so annoying with all those racing thoughts, self-doubt, mood, emotions, and all that mess that comes from our brain. The brain is known to be the culprit for mental issues that needs coping mechanisms in place to keep it from "breaking". For example, trauma can cause a break in the mind. We mental health folks call this a psychotic break. Usually when this occurs, a person begins to experience active psychosis, meaning hearing voices only they can hear, seeing people or things only they can see, and believing they are someone they really are not, like Jesus. Yes, I've actually had someone tell me he was Jesus and that I should worship him then in the same sentence told me I was his wife. It happens. At the same time, the mind can produce many many positive things including motivation, confidence, and empowerment.
The body is next. What do you think about when you think of the body? Do you think of your health? Your level of fitness? Your ugly toes? LOL! Kidding. I have my fair share of flaws on my body and gotta laugh at myself. Like I would have a full beard if I didn't keep it under control. No lie! Don't tell anyone I told you though. Anyway, back to the body, it is important to take care of your body. You only have one. When your body begins to wear down, it can become a source of stress. Let's say you go to the doctor and learn that you have high blood pressure because of your poor diet. There's just something about salty, greasy fries, isn't it? So after receiving bad news from doc, you find yourself feeling anxious and then after being put on a strict diet, a little bit of depression creeps in. If you don't take care of your body proper like, yes, diet and exercise, then your body will not take care of you. Does that make sense?
Last we have the spirit. Before you close the page because you are not into the spirit thing, no matter what you believe we all need something that keeps us grounded. What do I mean? Being grounded is having a belief system or a set of life rules or laws that keep us from living like we are smack dab in the middle of The Purge. It's the moral compass that keeps you from acting simply off impulse or on the fly. When your spirit is in a good place, you also have intangible things happening. What are those? Glad you asked. You have peace, joy, faith, hope, and can't forget love. So yeah, the spirit part is pretty important too.
Put them all together and you have the holistic approach. When all three (mind, body, spirit) are in sync, you will feel balance. When one is off, it will throw the other two off. Like I mentioned earlier for example, when your body ain't right, your mind will be all stressed. If your spirit is troubled, you may overeat to comfort yourself or do something reckless that will hurt your body. Just to give you all another peek into the therapy world, some turn to drugs or alcohol to comfort whatever is troubling their spirit. We (therapists) call this self medicating. You cannot work on one without working on the other. Let's get whole!!!
Peace of Mind and Blessings,