Wholicious living: mind, heart, spirit and body
Living life ‘wholiciously’ is about caring for the health of your whole being - body, mind, heart and spirit. By paying attention to each of these parts of your life and nurturing them as much as you can, you can give yourself the best opportunity to experience true health and happiness.
Here are our tips for getting the most out of life.
Nourish your mind
A healthy mind is much more than the absence of mental illness and includes the thoughts you have every day and and what you tell yourself. Here are our tips for encouraging positive self talk.
Caring for your mind can include making time to relax, doing something creative each day, spending time with loved ones, being in a job environment that uses your talents and strengths, and managing your finances wisely. See Getting stress under control for ideas on how to nurture your mind and reduce your stress levels.
Positive self talk
Bring positive energy into your life by surrounding yourself with the right people, listening to uplifting music, and reading inspirational books and biographies. Create a positive inner life by keeping a gratitude journal and writing down what you’re thankful for each day.
Caring for your mind includes being optimistic. Optimism is about planning for the worst but also hoping for the best. It’s about seeing possibilities rather than limitations, focusing on what can be done and not what can’t, and focusing on solutions rather than problems.
Fill your heart
Your heart is the figurative centre of emotion that expresses love and compassion for others.
Caring for others through acts of kindness and volunteering can make a real and lasting difference to your family, friends, neighbours and community. Caring for others is the perfect way to nourish your own heart and build a sense of purpose and contentment in your life.
Love without expecting anything in return. Love and treat others in a way that you would want to be loved and treated. One of the best ways to show love is by giving people your time, a listening ear, and an open heart, and allow others to do the same for you.
Take care of your spirit
You may be caring for your body, mind and heart, but make sure you care for your spirit too.
Sense of purpose
A sense of purpose may just be the key to living a longer, healthier life. A research study known as the Blue Zones has studied communities around the world where people are living healthy lives up to their 100th year and beyond. It found that having a strong sense of purpose, and being able to contribute to a community, rejuvenates the spirit.
Costa Ricans call it 'plan de vida', and Okinawans call it 'ikigai', meaning ‘why I wake up in the morning’. Try finding your ikigai. It may be an activity such as learning a musical instrument or a new language, or simply providing for your children.
As well as having a sense of purpose, most of the Blue Zones centenarians had an unwavering belief in a higher power - a spiritual dimension - that provided greater resilience during difficult times. Prayer and meditation can be a great way to become more grounded, and getting involved with a spiritual community can provide great social support.
Taking the time to reflect, pray and meditate on the beauty that surrounds you, doing what you love, knowing your purpose in life, or ikigai, and being passionate about it, will nurture your spirit and help you live a purposeful and healthy life.
Ask for support
There may be times when you need more support in achieving your health and wellbeing goals. Don’t be afraid to ask a health professional like a dietitian, exercise physiologist, psychologist, counsellor or mentor to coach and empower you along the way.
Take care of your body
When it comes to your body, prevention is better than cure. It's about mutual respect: take care of your body and in turn it will take care of you.
Enjoying plenty of wholefoods - including wholegrains, fruits and vegetables, legumes, some dairy or fortified dairy alternatives, as well as a variety of nuts and seeds - will help keep your body in tip-top condition.
Be mindful that your food choices can also affect the environment. Use more plant foods such as legumes for protein and pick items that have minimal wastage or recyclable packaging.
Physical activity keeps your muscles strong, enhances your circulation, reduces stress and lifts your mood.
Caring for your body can also include a bit of pampering - look after your skin, have a massage and ensure you have enough sleep. Sleep gives your body time to repair and restore itself.