Habits are a sum of who we are. Healthy habits lead to success. Here are 7 habits to start for a more holistic life.
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Living holistically is deciding that it’s time to take your health/ wellbeing into your own hands.
It’s making the conscious choice to heal yourself and every aspect of your life and to form new habits that support your health.
When things get tough we can easily go through life wondering WHY things are happening and not once stopping to think WHERE things are happening.
Maybe you’ve been in chronic pain/discomfort and are willing to try anything to end it.
Maybe you’re just generally dissatisfied with life and need something new.
I’ve been in both situations and many others like these. Each time I found myself revisiting the idea that everything is connected and that the source of my problem could be from other aspects in my life.
So yes, even though I already knew everything was connected and have been living a holistic life for years, I still had and have times where I focus too much on the main problem and not the bigger picture.
It’s very easy to get distracted and only see the glass as half empty. Our brains are programmed to pay attention to the problem.
However, that does not mean it’s productive, or in our best interest overall. It just takes a little reprogramming to begin stepping back and seeing things as a whole.
When we start to implement small habits it leads to the beginning of HUGE transformation. We can look at the idea of reprogramming as replacing bad habits with good ones.
Deciding to make this change is the first step to starting your journey into holistic wellness.
Whether your life lacks luster or is full of positivity, taking the holistic approach will add dimension and healing to your life in a way you couldn’t imagine.
What is a holistic way of living?
Living holistically is seeing your body as more than just physical. It includes your mind, body and soul. Its addressing an ailment or problem we are having by looking at the whole body.
When you decide to live holistically you think of your life as parts of a whole and nurture each part individually to ensure optimal health.
Why is holistic health important?
Looking at the body as part of a whole allows us to address all aspects of health. When we address the whole body instead of the symptoms, we have a better chance of reaching balance.
Living a holistic lifestyle has many benefits. Just imagine what would happen when you address every aspect of health and make positive changes accordingly.
Some benefits can include:
- A positive outlook on life
- More energy
- Less pain
- More motivation
- Better sleep
- Increased Creativity
- Stronger Immune Functions
- Improved Stress Management
- Stronger connection with oneself
7 Simple Ways You Can Begin Living A More Holistic Life
1. Keep A Journal
Spend a few moments, or more each day writing without any distractions. You can review your day, document your emotional state or even just free write whatever comes to mind.
One habit I have gotten into is taking a few minutes during my lunch break to jot down my overall theme of the day.
You can try to make it a habit to write a few sentences before you go to bed.
Or even during your commute to work if you take public transportation.
This 2018 study found positive effects of journaling for mental health.
It stated that journaling has potential to increase overall well-being and could be used to improve quality of life.
Some benefits of daily journaling include:
- boosts memory
- stress reduction
- inspires creativity
- regulates emotions
Go get yourself a journal and start a daily log.
The Lucid Habits Ritual is the perfect journal to start your wellness journey! (linked below)
I do suggest getting a journal that you connect with, or feel good about.
Maybe consider visiting a local shop, hand select one and support a small business while you’re at it.
2. Stay Hydrated
I’m sure you’re already aware of the importance of staying hydrated whether or not you’re on that holistic journey. However, I can never pass up on the opportunity to remind people of how much our bodies rely on hydration to properly function.
As a massage therapist I see the effects of dehydration on a muscular and epidermal level daily. Dehydration can cause muscle weakness, low blood pressure, headaches and dizziness to just name a few.
When we are consistently hydrated we are assisting our bodies natural detoxification functions.
One thing that motivates me to stay hydrated consistently is a cute, good quality water bottle.
Yes, I’m serious.
This is the water bottle I have, but again, browse around for the one that resonates with you.
Maybe you need one with motivational messages or one in your favorite color.
This trick works! I suggest this to my patients and many of them see progress in motivation to drink more water.
Part of staying hydrated requires drinking throughout the day instead of large amounts at a time.
And making sure that you drink half of your weight in ounces.
Ex: I am 108lbs.
108 ÷ 2 = 54
I need 54 ounces in a day to make sure I am properly hydrated. That number will vary depending on the weather and if I am doing any kind of physical activity.
As always, listen to your body. You will know when you need more. If you are not use to drinking that much water, start with less and add ounces gradually.
3. Start A Rising Ritual
I cannot stress how much of a game changer it is to start your day off with some kind of a routine or as i like to call it, a rising ritual.
You might already start your day with some kind of mental to-do list.
Maybe you shut off your alarm and immediately scroll through your phone for a while as you get ready for work.
A rising ritual is just a morning routine with intention and a lot more presence.
Starting your day with a calm intention really sets the tone for your entire day.
Here’s an example of what I think the perfect morning ritual would be:
- Rise up (hopefully your alarm is gentle and you can let it go for a bit)
- Say “Today is going to be a great day!” out loud
- List 3 things you are grateful for (this could be said out loud or written down)
- Turn alarm off
- 5 mins of breathwork
- 5 mins of stretching
- Wash face/ brush teeth/ shower
- Drink water
- Make my bulletproof coffee
- Proceed with the day
Though it’s not the exact ritual I currently have. I do take time to practice as many of these as I can.
Your ritual might look different. You might have more time to sit and mindfully drink your coffee or tea.
Maybe you hit the gym or do an at home work out.
Either way, It’s best to avoid immediately scrolling through your phone or checking emails.
The point is to start your day with presence and not wake up and rush through the morning. You can start with adding one thing every week until you have the perfect morning ritual.
4. Connect With Others/Use Social Media Intentionally
Take the time in your day to put your phone down and connect with the people around you.
I’m sure I don’t have to explain why this is important or how it benefits your wellbeing.
But I hope this reminds you to put your phone down more.
And while you are using your phone, to use it more intentionally.
Here are some tips that can help you use your device more intentionally:
- Unfollow any accounts that aren’t educating you or making you feel good.
- Follow accounts/ join groups that support your journey, that teach you, etc
- Move your apps around every month. This will help you not unconsciously open an app out of habit.
- Turn off all notifications (you’ll be fine)
- Set a “do not disturb” time 3 hours before you go to sleep.
- Start with one hour a day where you either shut off or leave your phone in the next room
5. Eliminate Inflammatory Foods/Practice Intuitive Eating
This one might be a bit more challenging if you don’t really think too much about what you eat. However, I encourage you to give it your all as I personally believe what you ingest is the foundation to overall health.
What we eat affects how our bodies function. Most importantly our gut. There are countless studies linking the connection between the gut and the brain.
And I’m sure you’re aware of the role our brains play in regards to our mental health. Food is more than what we fill our bodies with to satisfy hunger. Food is nutrition for our entire being.
What we eat is broken down to feed us on a cellular level. We want to make sure our cells are getting real whole foods.
Along with consuming better quality foods, we want to eliminate the foods that causes inflammation.
Here are a few things you can eliminate to get the ball rolling:
- Highly processed foods
Knowing what you eat is a huge aspect of holistic living.
My favorite “diet” is no diet. I practice what I like to call intuitive eating.
It’s making sure to be aware of what you consume, listening to your body when it responds a certain way to specific foods and knowing when to stop eating when satisfied. Intuitive eating is a great way to connect and become intune with your body.
6. Express Gratitude
You might hear this one a lot. Give thanks and show appreciation for all you have in your life and it will in turn attract more things to be grateful for.
An easy way to do this is by stating 3 things each day that you are grateful for.
These could be very minor things such as having a job, or being healthy. The more you practice gratitude the more your brain produces feel good hormones that increase overall well-being.
This also works if you aren’t necessarily in a good mood.
Next time you’re in a mood or wake up in a funk, list a few things you’re grateful for and watch it your mood slowly dissipate. It’s similar to the idea that when you force a smile your brain believes you have valid reasons to smile and you actually start smiling.
Another way to express gratitude is by telling the people around you that you appreciate them. You can send them a text or better yet, write them a handwritten note.
“This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before”-Maya Angelou
Long term stress is known to cause dysfunction in sleep, appetite and even the heart.
Today’s average person is stressed about some aspect of life, whether it be work, marriage, finances or school, we all have some aspect of stress.
And although sometimes we can’t control that stress in our lives, what we can control is how we respond to stress.
How you respond to what happens in life can completely shift your perspective and even possibly leave you without the effects of stress.
Whether it’s meditating, soaking in the tub or putting together a puzzle.
Take some time everyday to be still and practice self-care.
Find your destressor and make it a habit to implement it into your day.
My favorite ways to de-stress are:
- Energy work
- Epsom Salt Bath with candles
- Long walks
As a working mom I can never find time to do all of these as often as I need.
So epsom salt and essential oils are my go to ways to relax since it doesn’t require much.
Just a bathtub and 15 minutes makes all the difference.
Making the decision to start living a more holistic life can seem overwhelming when you don’t really know how your programmed habits are negatively affecting you.
By just starting one new habit a day, you can affect your health drastically.
I hope that understanding the importance of a holistic approach and what exactly you can do to start today, will motivate you to make changes.
And If not, don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you’re struggling.
I can offer some tips and resources to help you get started.
What action will you take to get started on your new life today?