By Rena M. Reese
Holistic Health is well-defined by its Greek root “Holos”meaning “whole”. To have whole health it is necessary to have a global look at your entire essence. Our experience may seem primarily physical because we receive input through our five senses and our minds. A holistic approach to life must supplement physical and mental feedback with our emotional and spiritual sources too. These four essences choreograph our total life experience. Beyond our cholesterol reading, heart rate and body fat there is a symphony of truth that plays out as our total health.
It is not surprising to learn that when our health is viewed holistically, we achieve greater levels of wellness, purpose and happiness. If depression, disease or an illness has found its way into your body and life, your HQ or Holistic Quotient can help you uncover a relevant area to consider making an adjustment.
Discover Your Holistic Quotient
Rate each of these 4 areas of Holistic Health: Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual
Use a 10 point scale where 1= Does not describe me at all and 10= Absolutely describes me.
1. Physical Health- My body feels energized and equipped to carry me through my day. I wake up alert and excited for the day ahead whether it is Monday or Saturday. I move my body daily with some form of exercise and I treat my body with respect. I am vigilant in picking the best ingredients in my food/drink and enjoy enough sleep and self-care. I consume minimal artificial colors, sweeteners and colorings in my food.
2. Mental Health- I feel safe in my primary environment/s. I have personal space that is only mine as well as the freedom to make decisions that impact my life. I am generally optimistic and see a reason to be grateful for even the tough circumstances in life. I am a constant learner, open to new experiences that expand my life and mind through books, classes, new friendships and creative pursuits. I live in the present moment most of the time, not letting the pain of yesterday or the uncertainty of the future take my focus from right now.
3. Emotional Health- I allow myself to experience each of my varied emotions in appropriate ways. I understand that all emotions are “normal” even if there are some I prefer not to experience. If I experience sadness or guilt for example, I honor that, but don’t stay there too long. I can process “what is” as outside of me and not actually being me. I am able to make adjustments to future decisions given the results of the past. I am able to love, trust, and hope. I can relate to others positively and am not ruled by fear or past wounds. I believe there are no failures, just opportunities for learning.
4. Spiritual Health- I am engaged in work I love and find great purpose in. I allow time to honor the creative part of me either professionally or in my personal life. I feel connected to others, to nature and my divine source. I feel as though I am making a contribution that is meaningful to the world-at-large, whether it impacts one or one million people. I feel awake and connected to all that is seen and unseen. I regularly enjoy meditation or planned silence.
Score your Health and Wellness Quotient: Add up your four scores and get your results.
32-40 If you scored in this range, that is pretty, darn wonderful. You likely pay attention to all four areas of your essence. When one area needs attention, you probably act quickly to give that part of you what it needs– from a vacation to setting a needed boundary in a relationship. For continued holistic health look at the section/s you scored as having room for improvement and name some specific things that come up for you as being a place to boost this area. Is there a new dream you’d like to start making a reality? Is there a creative pursuit that is waiting to be born?
28-31 The majority of respondents fall into this scoring range. Many think “this is life and life is not perfect. I cannot expect any better given my responsibilities, my age, my health history, or my financial situation.” We settle here because we believe it is normal or we try to think positively about life, while not giving attention to areas of dissatisfaction. While this positive attitude is wonderful, an honest assessment of our whole-life is required in order to change something that will create a huge pay-off toward holistic health. When you boost the vibrancy of your spirit for example– your mental state, emotional state and physical condition are boosted too. To continue your quest for greater global wellness look at the section/s you scored as having room for the greatest improvement and write down three things you’d be doing or experiencing if that part of your life was a at a 10. When you do that you will have created a new to-do list.
20-27 Chances are if you are in this range, you have been giving of yourself in a profoundly unselfish way–to your own detriment. Look in the mirror and say, “You can only give as good as you’ve got.” No amount of your being exhausted or settling for less than you require and deserve or putting yourself last on a regular basis will ever inspire the people around you to vie for their own happiness and health. It is quite the opposite. Give yourself permission right now to pick one of your lowest scores from this survey and decide you are working on that area now. Begin by writing down three things you’d be doing or experiencing if that part of your life was a at a 10. Underneath each of those three things write three bullet points that are specifically what you can do to make that happen. For example: If one of your areas in deep need is physical wellness and you list “enjoying a good night sleep” as one of the level 10 indicators– your bullet points may read like this.
Enjoying a Good Night Sleep
- No caffeine after 3pm
- new mattress/pillow
- relaxing meditation CD just before going to sleep
Chances are really good that you know exactly where you can give yourself a boost. You likely intuitively know that you have been silencing some part of you because it feels hard to change something. But change can be easy and even fun–and the way you’ll feel afterwards is the epitome of a holistic high.
A score below 19;
Scoring below a 19 on this HQ Survey is not meant to demoralize anyone, but inspire instead. Perhaps you need someone to tell you, “It is YOUR turn for health and wellness. It is YOUR turn to place your attention on what you need and you want–and if you’re like most of us–you deserve so much more than you believe you are worthy of.” Chances are really good that you are living out patterns of action that have been in place for perhaps decades. The first step is awareness. By completing this survey you are likely more aware than you were before. Congratulations for that step. You already know what your priority task is– you know what that single thing is that would have a huge effect on your mental, emotional, physical or spiritual health. Right? Can you write it down? Can you say it out loud? Can you decide to make some plans to step towards that one thing? Allow yourself the space to hear what you spirit craves, your mind knows, and what your body desires. And most importantly, ask for help. Find a professional aligned with your vision– or even to help you create a vision– and find a community to grow in. Remember, you become like what you are around and you are the sum total of the 5 people you spend the most time with. Pick those 5 people wisely.
Rena M. Reese is the founder of Soul Salon International, an inspirational multimedia company which offers coaching, consulting, web-design, publishing support, and fundraising opportunities for individuals and groups. She is the author of several inspirational titles, a professional speaker and coach as well as the host of a weekly radio program, The Soul Salon. Her articles are syndicated in print and online and this article was first printed in Affluent Magazine. Please visit www.SoulSalonInternational.com and connect with her on Twitter @TheSoulSalon