The Benefits of Holistic Living

Benefits of Holistic LivingThere are many questions surrounding the ideas of living a holistic lifestyle. Most of the curiosity stems from those who do not practice or even know about such ideals and mindsets.

Holistic living is rooted directly to spiritual practices and beliefs about the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and soul. The practice of holism, or living a holistic lifestyle, has many benefits for not just the person participating, but for everyone and everything else the lifestyle affects.

The main belief is that everything in this world is connected. Your actions have a direct effect on those around you, the environment, the global industries, and your well-being. The world is to be viewed, as one working system as a whole, not as individual parts that do not have to do with each other.

Now before you go ahead and judge these like-minded people, junior communication student, Ayse Yasas urges you to “Do. Your. Research."

"Many people in my life have poked fun at me after going vegan but I know that a lot of them would change their mind if they knew what I knew. Ignorance really isn’t bliss because once you realize just how much what you do affects the world, your life and habits will change,” said Yasas.

To people that lead a holistic lifestyle, if you get sick, it is seen as more than just a physical ailment. Sickness has just as much to do with your mind as it does  your body. It is viewed as a psychological problem that can be caused by more than just a scientific or physical explanation. Mainstream society tells us we have to go to the doctor when we feel sick to get western medicine that only treats the symptoms, but rarely cures the problem or solves it.

Julie Schaaff, a yoga professor from the health and physical education department, said a holistic lifestyle, “Focuses more on prevention and emphasizes individual choices and responsibility.” She continued, “For example, many students suffer from headaches.  The quick fix is to treat the symptom with a pain reliever.  In the holistic model, however, we would try to figure out the causes of the headaches to try to prevent them.  Maybe the student has poor posture when working on the computer, or is dehydrated, hungry or stressed or something in his/her environment is causing allergies/congestion.”

The benefits of holistic living are endless and quite hard to ignore. The lifestyle calls for much healthier and more natural foods and avoid most products that are processed and filled with high sugar and fat. Exercise is also a huge part of aligning the mind, body, and soul and connecting with the Earth and the energy within.

Caress Fenton, a senior health and physical education student, lives a holistically inspired lifestyle. “I eat a vegan diet which is full of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. I also am a very active person and enjoy running, doing yoga, and other fitness activities that benefit my body and health. I am very conscious of what I put in my body and what I do to it because maintaining a healthy body helps maintain a healthy mind. I also began to use essential oils as a way to stay healthy. Essential oils are very beneficial for one’s mind and body,” she said.

Small steps are they key to living such a lifestyle. You do not need to switch to a vegan diet overnight, or become a gym enthusiast, but making small efforts in your life like the practice of yoga or mediation, eating less meat and/or processed foods, and having an open mind can make all the difference. These values help maintain a positive mindset through life’s trials and tribulations and promote a more peaceful and mindful attitude.

Chair and associate professor of the department of health and physical education, Christopher Hirschler makes sure he carves out time in his busy life to instill holistic values and practices into his life.Without his daily workouts and walks through Hartshorne Woods, his life would be filled with chaos and anxiety.

Hirschler encourages those who want to make a change in their life to “experiment with your life, investigate your options, talk with those who are living an inspired life, and understand that it's important to focus on the pursuit, not to ever expect that you'll arrive at some imaged permanent state of bliss.”

During one’s life journey, it is important to explore and experiment with different ways of living to discover what type of lifestyle best fits your needs. Leading a holistic influences an individual to become truly connected with others and the Earth.  

PHOTO TAKEN by Amanda Gangidino