Updated: Aug 5, 2021
Like you, I have experienced stresses, joys, and much sorrow. I am also very dyslexic, so I shied away from anything to do with writing or public speaking as much I could. Through the years, I tried journaling but never was consistent with it. Due to my dyslexia, writing caused me GREAT anxiety. So, I would abort my efforts only after a few weeks. Then I discovered Mindfulness.
All my life, I have enjoyed practising holistic living but never really ventured into mindfulness territory. The reason for this is that I had never connected Mindfulness with holistic living.
Then I escaped a very abusive marriage which caused me to be physically ill and developing bodily weakness and susceptibility to colds and flu. The lifestyle of abuse I was under wreaked my immune system, making me feel like an old lady, not only in my body but in my mind as well. I spend over a year with women’s aid and had weekly counselling. I was still working full time, and my colleagues did not know what I was going through.
Then I had an accident that ripped my shoulder, and two of the main tendons snapped. I lost the use of my arm for three months. The divorce went through, now living alone, I was trying to manage one-handed which was not easy. I prayed and cried and repeated that - a lot! I knew that if I didn’t have a strategy, I could become invalid and forced to take early retirement. At that stage, I was so weak I crawled up the stairs on my hands and knees. I had physically slowed down because I lost the use of my arm. I could not drive and took over three months off work. However, my mind was still in work mode; it had not slowed me down permanently at all. So, I surfed the web, bought books, studied the mind and its working, and discovered Mindfulness.
I began practising Mindfulness and approached everything I did intentionally. This is part of my mindfulness journey. Please keep reading to become familiar with Mindfulness and to understand it, helping you become more mindful a little bit more every day. Mindfulness and Holistic Health Mindfulness cannot be separated from the idea of Holistic Health which cares for the whole person. In terms of understanding Mindfulness, we will take a brief look at Holistic Health and see how it fits together. What is holistic health? The term may conjure up all kinds of otherworldly ideas. Do you think of alternative medicine, naturopathy, or other Eastern-inspired health trends? If so, you’re at least partly right. Holistic health is not a kooky-spooky ideal; conversely, it is serious science. Mindfulness is a scientific and intelligent approach to health and wellbeing.
Therapeutics for holistic health is scientifically proven to work. Like alternative medicine, mindfulness focuses on wellness and prevention rather than just treating the problem. In other words, it gets to the ‘root’ of the cause and heals from the inside out. The holistic approach allows the body and mind to maintain its health and heal itself. Holistic health is about caring for the whole person — providing for your physical, mental, spiritual, and social needs. It’s rooted in the understanding of Shalom. The mind-body and spirit affect each other, having a knock-on effect for good health or sickness that affects your overall health. My approach in helping people, is that all the sum of your parts is connected, has a bearing upon each other. That is why in my book Nothing Good about Grief- I include a mindfulness experience to help calm and heal the Mind, Body and Spirit. The holistic approach can boost your relationships, mental and physical health.
Studies show that having close friendships lowers your blood pressure, reduces your stress levels, and can even improve your chances of surviving cancer. Understanding this, medical doctors who take a holistic approach to health don’t just ask you about your symptoms. They ask you about your overall health and your life — so they can make personalised recommendations to improve your wellness. Another example, if you’re experiencing chronic pain, a holistic health care provider might prescribe medications or recommend surgery to repair an injury. Still, they’ll also recommend that you increase your endorphins naturally by getting more exercise. They’ll ask about your diet and discuss how certain foods contribute to inflammation. They’ll ask you about stress, anxiety, and depression — all of which can cause pain or be caused by it — and refer you to a therapist if you want one. They might also recommend massage to relax your muscles, acupuncture to help with nerve pain, or mindful meditation to help with pain management and stress relief.
Our human existence does not allow us to live completely stress-free. Mindfulness will help you to go through the stresses of life and help you to find relief safely and naturally. To function independently in this life, you need to be well. Wellness is a big, important goal; however, it can feel overwhelming at times. The busyness of life can make it hard for you to prioritise self-care. The more you think about what you “should” be doing differently, the more daunting wellness can seem. Holistic health is about taking responsibility for your own health. Mindfulness helps you to get there. If you are doing something destructive to your healthy- being, recognise it for what it is, and endeavour to replace it with healthier habits of mind, body, and spirit. So, what is holistic health and wellbeing? Mindfulness is about honouring the mind-body connection and treating the whole person as the precious gift it is.
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