Whole Person Health: Going beyond the body!

You already know how important your physical health is, but do you also realize how crucial taking care of your mental and emotional health is? You are made of three parts – body, spirit, and soul; and all these parts are interconnected and make up the whole person you are. So, any issue in one part of your being will also affect your entire being. For instance, when you are down emotionally, you also seem tired physically and unable to function as effectively as usual. And, when you are sick or physically exhausted, it’s hard to engage in any mental activity or keep up with your spiritual routines.

That’s why my approach to health includes the whole person. This approach is also known as a holistic approach. Although some people associate weird stuff with the word “holistic,” there is nothing strange about the word itself. Holistic simple means whole. It comes from the Greek word holos, meaning “whole” or “all.”

The mind-body connection

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” Proverbs 17:22 (NLT)
A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones. Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)

As we can see in the above scriptures, there is a strong connection between the mind and the body. I often tell people that you can eat all the healthy foods you want. Still, suppose there is chronic bitterness, resentment, anger, frustration, jealousy, and other unresolved emotional issues in your life. In that case, your physical health will drastically suffer. These emotions stimulate the release of stress hormones and other inflammatory substances in the body, and prolonged high levels of these substances can seriously deteriorate your health.

On the other hand, emotions such as joy, peace, satisfaction, relaxation, and fulfillment release healing substances in the body. Therefore, as you are working on improving your health, it’s crucial to find ways to promote these emotional states in your daily life.

Beyond the plate

It’s undeniable that food is the foundation of good health. However, keep in mind that things that nourish you go way beyond the plate. A deep relationship with God through prayer and meditation on His word, enjoyable work, meaningful relationships, enjoyable physical activities, hobbies, self-care, and other things that give you joy and satisfaction are all food for your spirit and soul.

In my “whole person” approach to health, I encourage people to be intentional about nourishing their spirit and soul, as they do for their bodies. Without proper nourishment for your whole person, you won’t be able to achieve or maintain good health.

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