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Holistic Wellbeing – The Future Of Wellbeing Is About Whole People

Written by: Flora Bami, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Wellbeing is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and the ability to manage stress. More generally, wellbeing is just feeling well. A holistic approach means providing support that looks at the whole person, not just their mental or physical health needs. An approach to life that considers multidimensional aspects of wellbeing. It encourages individuals to recognize the whole person: physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual. It’s about understanding people as multi-faceted beings who have rich, nuanced experiences. These areas of life intersect and overlap to create the sum total of how we feel at any given moment.

Woman holds zen stones in her hand.
“A vibrant body, a radiant mind, a loving heart, and an honorable life.” — Stefan Emunds

Taking a whole-person approach to wellbeing is key to helping human beings live their happiest, healthiest, and most fulfilling lives. The holistic wellbeing definition is a departure from how we traditionally see health. Particularly in Western society, wellbeing is typically associated with physical health. We define health as the absence of illness or disease. However, that’s only part of the story. Health and wellbeing can only be understood as parts of a whole, and all of the dimensions are inextricably connected. Holistic means “whole,” and it recognizes that an individual has many components. Holistic wellbeing focuses on the whole human entity’s importance and how its parts are interdependent on each other. This is the recognition that anything that affects one system or part will also affect the entire body. There are different facets to the holistic health approach which is aware of the results of your actions and habits. We are integral, whole and undivided. How? By having our mind, soul, heart, and body in harmony. To build our overall wellbeing, we have to make sure all of these types are functioning to an extent.


Think of it like this: Imagine you are in a car. Your engine works great, and maybe your transmission works pretty well, too, but your brakes don't work. Because your brakes don't work, it doesn't really matter how well your engine works; you're still going to have trouble going about your life. The same is true for your wellbeing. If everything else in your life is going great, but you feel lonely, or you're eating unhealthfully, other areas of your life will be affected, and you likely won't feel as well as you want to. A holistic wellbeing approach looks at 5 pillars: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social. When all those components are in homeostasis, we have a much greater capacity to flourish and grow, to endure life’s challenges and stressors with ease. Because if all of these foundations are strong and connected, our energy force and our wellbeing are more likely to flow.

Physical wellbeing includes energy, flexibility, strength, fitness, sleep, and nutrition. The body is often described as a vessel. Taking care of it is essential to maintain stability, flexibility, and prevention of diseases. Mental wellbeing (or mental fitness) is crucial to overall health. Mental fitness allows us to communicate with others, think critically, and make decisions with ease. A healthy mind is able to learn and grow and can stay present in the moment. Poor mental fitness is associated with reduced resilience and resistance to stress. Emotional wellbeing Being emotionally healthy impacts your relationship with yourself and others. Emotional wellbeing determines how you interpret stressful situations and your ability to regulate emotions. It also improves your ability to ask for help and sit with uncomfortable emotions. Spiritual wellbeing is a sense of internal wellbeing and how you connect with something greater than yourself, whether that’s a higher power, nature, music, art, or humanity as a whole. It’s the ideals and beliefs you form throughout your life that form your own unique spirituality. People who are spiritually healthy are able to find purpose and meaning in life. They feel more motivated, are more resilient, and have a sense of their place in the world. Those with poor spiritual health tend to experience existential crises.


Social wellbeing is driven by a sense of belonging. Participating in organizations, spending time with friends and family, and feeling connected to others are all part of wellness with wellbeing. Researchers have found that those with strong social networks live longer and healthier lives. Our need for social connectedness is hard-wired. Studies show that the neural networks that promote social activity are the same networks that promote the satisfaction of physical needs like food and water. Social connectedness buffers stress and support wellbeing.


Holistic wellbeing includes body, mind, heart, spirit, and relationships. The human body is interconnected; our physical body depends on our mental state and vice versa. Our social support influences our mental wellbeing. Everything is interconnected. What we think, we start to feel. What we do (or don’t do) affects our thoughts. Therefore, we need to approach our wellbeing from a holistic perspective.


Over the last 3 years, wellbeing has moved from an easily dismissed, faintly hippie notion to something that’s taken seriously across sectors. A more holistic view of people’s wellbeing has become critical. People care about their health, wellbeing, and work-life balance more than ever before and employers are following suit. Adopting a holistic wellbeing strategy fosters a culture of wellbeing around the total person and supports the five dimensions of wellbeing that affect each of us in day-to-day life.


In this multi-dimensional model, the focus no longer is solely on offering traditional benefits, perks and wellbeing incentives, but on helping employees feel valued and supported both personally and professionally. The holistic approach to wellbeing benefits employers by creating an engaged, resilient human- force that is more creative, productive and invested in organizational success.


The Future of Wellbeing is About Whole People. We are not only employees; we are whole people.

People’s wellbeing it's an amalgam of components that weave together to form a healthy, happy, and productive human being. The holistic wellbeing approach aims to strengthen all of these components, leading to more resilient, happy, and productive people that function at their full potential.


The whole employee is greater than the sum of their parts, and the same is true of our societies, families, and organizations; they cannot stand on their own. They are collections of people. Is it any surprise that they are only as healthy as the people who comprise them?


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Flora Bami, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Flora Bami is an optimist, an experienced and passionate integral coach, with expertise in life, mindset, relationships, and wellbeing coaching. Her main focus is on making your relationship with yourself healthier and reframing your inner voice based on self-love, acceptance, and compassion.


Her mission in life is to support people in their life journey to reach their potential and feel better and happier through individual coaching and setting up wellbeing programs in big organizations.


Better people, better world!


Happier people, happier world!


After going through a deep transformation herself and turning trauma into a gift, she dedicated her life to supporting people reconnecting with their true selves.

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