Internal Aspects of Wellness
Hey guys. Welcome to the Saluber Coaching Show. Helping you make wellness a priority. My name is Dr. Matthew Blaylock and in today's episode, I'm going to be talking with you about what is wellness. Basically, it's the difference between surviving and thriving. It is what determines your level of satisfaction with your life. Wellness is the choices that you make each and every day of your life. In this episode, I'm going to start by dividing it in two three parts. And, in this first part, I'm going to talk with you about what it means that humans are a holistic system.
Meaning of Holistic
So, holistic is just a fancy word to say that humans are a complete, unified, or whole system. It's not possible to separate out different parts or aspects from the others. All of the parts or all the aspects work together as one to make us who we are. Now, when I talk about these aspects, in general, there are five aspects to us as humans.
The first aspect is the physical aspect. It's the most tangible. It’s the most obvious and concrete. You can feel the body and you can touch it. You can see the body and you feel things inside of your body. When you have a hurt or pain, you know where it is inside of your body. Have you ever met a human that doesn't have a body? The last time I checked that's called a ghost or a spirit. The body is also a wonderful picture to describe this concept of a holistic system. The human body is made up of 13 individual systems. We have the skeletal system, the muscular system, the cardiovascular system and the respiratory system. And, all of these individual parts function together as a whole to make us who we are as humans. We can't separate any one part of that system out and still keep the complete functioning of the system. That's a small picture to describe what it means to be human. We're a whole unit. A whole system that functions together. So, the physical body is the first.
The next is the mental aspect. We all have a brain and nervous systems that is responsible for the thoughts that we have and the beliefs that we have and the ideas that we have in some way. This brain - our neurology - is linked to this idea of mind and what it is to think. As humans, we're aware and conscious of who we are. And, this link between the brain and the body is very obvious. What we think affects our body and our body in many ways affects how we think.
Now, the third aspect is the emotional aspect. Not only do we have a physical body and minds that think, we also have feelings or emotions and these emotions also affect how we function throughout the day. Our bodies and minds and emotions all affect directly our level of health and well-being. There's a branch of science called psychoneuroimmunology and it's proven time and time again that our thoughts and our feelings affect our body directly. It affects our immune system and it affects our livelihood, our lifespan - how long that we live and how healthy we are throughout our life. And, these emotions are directly related to our thoughts and the condition of our body.
The fourth aspect is our social or relational aspect. How we relate to other people, and that also has a very direct relation to our health. It has been shown through studies that people who have deep and wide social connections. They have a lot of social support. They tend to get well more quickly when they get sick. They tend to live longer. They tend to have more satisfaction in life. They tend to be more upbeat. And, these relationships will affect the condition of our body. It will affect our thoughts. It will affect our emotions in a direct way.
Now, the fifth aspect is the spiritual aspect. It can be thought of in terms of religion, but also it's just that part of us that is striving for something more. Whether it's making an impact in the world or whether it's achieving some dream or whether it is the actual part of the soul or spirit that people often talk about, there is something that's more than simply flesh and bone and thoughts and feelings. It's that intangible part of our being and it is impossible to talk about being a human or talk about our health outside of the interaction of those five aspects. There is always a relationship that cannot be separated. Again, the human system - the human being - is a unified system. And, if we look at only the body as the source of health, we're reducing the complexity. We're trying to make things too simple. It is too reductionistic.
Wellness looks at humans as a complete system. All of those parts are taken into consideration. Not only what's going on inside of us is important at any given time, but also what's going on outside of us. There are external factors that we have to consider within the context of wellness. That's going to be the source of the next episode. I'm going to be talking about those external factors in the next episode of this series. So to take home a message for you. What area of your life do you feel that you need some more balance? What area of your life, at this point, do you feel that you might need to give a little bit more attention to like your physical aspect? Maybe you need to exercise more or change your diet or maybe you need to sleep on a more regular schedule. Or, do you need to deal with your thoughts in some way? How about any persistent emotions or moods? Do you need to deal with your relationships? Is there something in the spiritual aspect of your body that you need to deal with? Let me know in the comments below if there's anything that comes to mind for you? Thank you and I'll see you in the next episode.