The 4 pillars of holistic health

The 4 pillars of holistic health
The 4 pillars of holistic health. Image source: Unsplash

Health is not one dimensional and it isn’t only about being disease-free, although this does come into it. Health is multi-faceted and all-encompassing, as it’s about having the energy and general wellness to live our lives to the fullest. This Health Awareness Month, let’s unpack the four main areas of what make up a holistically healthy life.

  • Social health

This wasn’t something health experts used to pay a lot of attention to, but in the past few years – especially since the enforced isolation of the Covid-19 pandemic – we’ve realised the importance that human connection has on our overall health. In fact, in 2023, the US Surgeon General released findings stating that social disconnection is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

The irony is that we now have an abundance of digital tools that are supposed to bring us closer, but they have in fact isolated us further by keeping us physically separate, which is having devastating health consequences. The American Medical Association says that loneliness can lead to higher blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, anxiety, depression, memory issues and even death. So, what can we do to combat this? While online connections are certainly beneficial, it’s important that you are connecting in real life with others too, whether this is at the office, through sport or hobbies, or with friends and family.

  • Physical health

Probably the most obvious aspect of our health, which we know we need to prioritise, is taking care of our physical bodies. This includes getting enough high-quality sleep, incorporating regular movement into our daily lives, ensuring we get adequate sunlight and spend time in nature, as well as consuming a nutritious diet filled with unprocessed foods. And while we probably know what we should be doing, these things can be a lot harder to put into practise.

It’s also important to be proactive about managing stress, as this has one of the most detrimental effects on our longevity. Being physically healthy also has a financial impact in that you’ll spend less on medical bills which can relieve financial strain somewhat. If you’re looking for an affordable medical aid for your life stage while you’re young and healthy, Fedhealth’s flexiFEDSavvy may be perfect for you, as you can customise it to fit your exact health needs.

  • Mental and emotional health

We’ve come to realise the impact of our mental and emotional states on our physical bodies, and luckily mental health is now being spoken about much more than in the past. This certainly hasn’t made these issues go away – Forbes reports that 23% of US adults experienced a mental health condition in 2022 – but it has opened up a dialogue, meaning that there are far more places people can go to for help. Whether it’s using meditation or mindfulness to manage our emotional wellbeing, joining support groups or seeking professional help, our mental health should be a top priority in our quest for holistic health.

  • Spiritual health

Spiritual health can certainly mean having religious beliefs that provide you with a community and support, but it also encompasses believing in something bigger than yourself. Being spiritually healthy means having purpose and a sense of peace, and this can come from various sources, depending on your environment and beliefs. Above all, it is about discovering a deeper meaning to life, and in this way, spiritual health connects all aspects of your wellbeing.

While physical health is important to overall health, it’s only a part of the equation. Being in a state of balance – true health – means looking at social, emotional and spiritual health too. By taking a more holistic view, you can ensure you live a life that’s not only physically healthy and disease-free, but also meaningful, fulfilling and joyful.