We’re living in tough times. The pressures, unpredictability and obstacles of 2020 can seem overwhelming. Living a holistic lifestyle helps to counter those challenges, allowing us to gain balance and perspective, while satisfying all of the areas that combine to make us whole. Here are six essential pillars of a holistic lifestyle that will help you to live a happier, more complete and satisfying life.
The Wellness Wheel
Holistic living is all about achieving balance between all areas of your life. The Wellness Wheel is a visual aid that was developed to help achieve that goal. There are a number of variants of the Wellness Wheel. One of the most popular versions includes the following seven dimensions:
- Emotional Wellness
- Intellectual Wellness
- Physical Wellness
- Social Wellness
- Environmental Wellness
- Financial Wellness
- Spiritual Wellness
The Wellness Wheel encourages us to evaluate each of these areas of our life and determine whether we need to give more emphasis to it. It’s then up to us to brainstorm ways to do so.
Establish a morning routine that emphasizes silence. When you first get up, you are in a relaxed frame of mind. Stacking silence on top of relaxation, allows you to unleash maximum productivity and creativity. Resist the temptation to let the business of the day take over. You will get to those things in due time. But now, when you get out of bed, is the time to strengthen your mindset through the power of silence.
Spending time in silence each morning allows you to turn off the white noise in your head so that your brain can be more efficient throughout the remainder of the day. You may choose to spend thirty minutes in mindful meditation.
Mindfulness is all about ridding our minds of all the extraneous things that take our attention away from the things that really matter. When we are able to achieve a state of mindfulness, we can slow down and be present in the now. Developing mindfulness is like coming out of a fog and, for the very first time, being able to focus clearly on the things that have been by your side the whole time.
The opposite mental condition to mindfulness is mindlessness. That’s the fog state. And yet that is the very state that many people are operating within. They see a world that is grey. Most of the experiences that pass before their eyes, they miss. In this state, they take things, both big and small, for granted.
Mindfulness provides you with the means to be focused, to zoom in on a situation and to be in the moment. One of the greatest benefits of mindfulness is that it allows you to slow down the flow of conscious thoughts that flood through your mind. In slowing down, you will be able to sift through your thoughts and distinguish what is really important. You will also be able to keep a bigger picture in mind. This greater perspective will remind you that there is more to your life than the immediate challenges that are right in front of you.
The science is beyond doubt that exercise has a positive impact on your brain. This gives added meaning to the statement that a healthy mind resides inside of a healthy body. Exercise starts the mechanism rolling whereby more oxygen goes to the brain cells, which develops cognitive ability. According to self help guru Tony Robbins, exercise also helps to develop the quality of courage by increasing your ability to stand in front of your fears.
Spend time each morning engaged in meaningful movement. Even 15 minutes of exercise is hugely beneficial. You don’t have to join a gym to get fit, either. Dropping down on your bedroom floor and pumping out sets of pushups, supersetted with crunches is beneficial. Be sure, though, to get a good mix of aerobic (with air) and anaerobic (without air) exercise. That may include doing a bodyweight workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and going for a run on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Include time each day to read material that allows you to grow your mind. Specifically, read stuff that improves your psychology. To quote Tony Robbins, “80% of success is psychology and 20% is mechanics.” Books about leadership, the power of the mind and habit building will sharpen your psychology to help you get more out of life.
You don’t have to spend a great deal of time reading each day, but it should be a daily habit. Even fifteen minutes devoted to psychological reading can be hugely beneficial.
Here are 5 great books to get you started in your daily reading habit:
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen
- The One Thing by Gary Keller
- The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
- First Things First by Stephen Covey
- Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy
Getting your thoughts down on paper is a great way to clear your mind. When your head is clear, you are able to be far more productive. Journaling allows you to have that clear mind. The mind’s capacity is about 5 thoughts at one time. Yet we keep it loaded with hundreds of thoughts every day. With journaling, you are able to get down on paper the things you were previously forcing your mind to remember. You’ll then be able to focus your attention on what lies ahead.
There are a number of ways to organize your journaling habit. One that has proven effective is to write your thoughts down under the following categories:
- Day’s accomplishments
- Lessons learnt
- Specific areas of action
Addressing all areas of your life by adopting a holistic lifestyle will allow you to be more productive, more fulfilled and more complete. Start with the Wellness Wheel and then adopt the other pillars in the order that they most address your identified areas of need.