10+ Powerful Holistic Lifestyle Tips for a Happy, Fulfilled Life

young happy people laughing

By Celeste Smucker

Terms like holistic lifestyle (along with related ones like holistic living and holistic health) are popular these days. 

If you are curious about what they mean and, especially how you would benefit from adopting a holistic lifestyle, you’ve come to the right place. 

A holistic approach acknowledges that you are more than your physical body. Just as important are your mind, your emotions and that part of you that is more subtle or spiritual.

If you step back and look at your life from this broader perspective you will be able to see how even the smallest change in one area can impact the whole. And how failing to act holistically can have negative outcomes in all kinds of unexpected ways. 

Let’s take a deeper look.

What Are the Benefits of Living Holistically?

colorful display of healthy vegetables, fats, fruits

There are many reasons to choose a holistic lifestyle. Here are just a few: 

1. Consistent access to your intuition by tapping into what are called the subtle dimensions. Did you ever have an “aha” moment or sudden intuitive insight into something you had been wondering or worrying about? 

Maybe it was an unexpected idea that answered a question or solved a problem. Or perhaps you had an experience of being “in the flow,” where everything seemed to just work out and you knew what the next step would be without stressing about whether you were making a good decision.

These are examples of what it means to tap into your subtle dimensions, which requires living holistically.
2. Stronger immunity. Both healthy nutrition and lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, or maintaining a consistent daily routine can positively impact immunity promoting better health and longer lives.
3. Reduced risk of chronic illness. Research supports the importance of diet in both preventing and living effectively with chronic conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases and rheumatoid arthritis. 
4. Stress reduction. The stress reduction benefits of lifestyle choices like exercise, healthy eating and meditation are well known. And these outcomes affect not only your physical body, including your brain and nervous system, but your emotional and mental health as well.

On the other hand, when you are balanced and in the flow, life becomes easier and energy increases allowing you to enjoy life more.

5. Increased energy and vitality. You may have experienced the energy losses associated with being anxious or stressed. In these states it can be difficult to focus, make good decisions and/or enjoy restful sleep. 

On the other hand, when you are balanced and in the flow, life becomes easier and energy increases allowing you to enjoy life more.
6. Restful, quality sleep. There are few things you can do on a regular basis that impact your sense of wellbeing more than a good night’s sleep. If you suffer from insomnia you will find that the balanced state associated with reduced anxiety and pain will help with sleeplessness as well.

7. Mental clarity. Are you tired of brain fog, or being unable to quickly and easily recall info you need? 

Maybe you’ve been embarrassed by not being able to recall someone’s name when you see them at a meeting or party, or hesitate to speak up because you fear you will forget an important fact or not be able to recall a familiar word.

Greater balance brings less anxiety and stress, increasing your mental clarity.

8. Increased emotional well-being and resilience. A recent article suggests you can increase emotional resilience by making better lifestyle choices such as reducing your intake of processed foods.

The authors state, “Processed foods lead to intestinal permeability, which, as previously described, allows toxins to affect distant organs, including the nervous system. It is recognized that lifestyle alterations, including a healthy diet and the pursuit of exercise, can have a positive impact on emotional resilience as well as cardiovascular health.” 

Of course, healthy lifestyle choices is what living holistically is all about.

9. Improved relationships. It's no fun to interact with people who are anxious and stressed. When balance brings more calm to your life, your relationships can’t help but improve.

How to Enjoy All the Benefits of a Holistic Lifestyle

Enjoying a holistic lifestyle requires a commitment to experiencing balance in the three critical areas of your life: physical (your body), emotional (your feelings) and mental (your thoughts). 

Focusing on your physical body is a good place to start.

At this level, holistic lifestyle choices could look like eating well and exercising regularly.

And to choose the best food and exercise routine for your body, start by noticing your imbalances.

For example, an imbalance that seems small and insignificant, like a dry mouth, can be a warning sign of possible dryness elsewhere in your body, like your digestive tract. 

If you ignore this early warning sign, your digestion could get drier and drier causing symptoms like gas or bloating that could lead to even more serious conditions like IBS or Crohn's disease. 

When viewed holistically, you will recognize that symptoms like these can cause discomfort or even pain elsewhere in your body. And these in turn can promote emotional imbalances like frustration or anger. 

They could also lead to symptoms of mental imbalance such as beating yourself up for not eating better or exercising more. 

On the other hand, you could recognize the dry mouth for what it is: a warning sign that your digestion is out of balance. 

If you see it as an early warning sign of more serious imbalances to come, you can make shifts in your diet and lifestyle habits that restore your digestion, calm your nerves and keep your mind in a more positive place. 

And of course, all of this has implications for keeping other aspects of your life healthy as well.

The key is to notice the symptoms, whatever the source, and correct the imbalances in order to support your wellness. 

Now you can enjoy the benefits of a holistic lifestyle.

11 Simple Tools to Help You Move Towards a More Holistic Lifestyle (Even if You Are a Beginner)

African American young woman walking golden retriever

When moving towards a more holistic lifestyle, start small and gradually increase your efforts as you see results. 

Here are some simple tools to get you started:

1. Be intentional but gentle with yourself.

My favorite spiritual teacher used to always say, “Walk where your feet are.” In other words, don’t expect to change your life drastically overnight. 

Recognize that when faced with a range of new options, your natural tendency will be to lean towards negative (or fear-based) choices. 

And this often means falling back into old self-defeating habits just because they are easy and familiar. 

Like when a friend or family member asks you to go with them to some kind of event. You don’t want to go because you need time to yourself after a stressful week. But you say “Yes” out of fear they’ll be angry if you don’t.

This increases your stress level and sets you up for future health challenges.

Creating greater balance in your life requires a clear understanding of what’s best for you and gradually making changes that support your intention. If you are gentle with yourself you’ll be more likely to succeed.

2. Tune into yourself and take note of how you feel after eating a particular food or engaging in a new form of exercise, or just going about your daily life. Best of all, jot down how you feel and why. 

Maybe you notice that watching the news causes you to feel negative or think negative thoughts. Then you may see that these thoughts cause you to be irritable, which interferes with your relationships or sends you running into the kitchen to eat junk food. 

To shift this pattern you could watch the news less often, turn off notifications, or choose to watch something inspiring once a day to balance the negativity. 

Or, when you notice the urge to check the news, you could redirect your thoughts with positive truthful statements (affirmations) 

Pick an option that is easy and enjoy some early success. 

3.Choose what supports your overall wellness even if it takes you on a different path from friends and family.

For example, if weight loss is one of your goals, you may be tempted to choose a diet program that works well for others. However, a diet or exercise routine that works for them may be a terrible choice for you.

Living holistically means choosing what is best for you and honoring your unique constitution.

4. Start a meditation practice. Meditation is a mini vacation from stress. The stillness helps you enjoy a calm, peaceful place inside of yourself that balances the noise of the outside world along with the ups and downs of daily life. 

If meditation is new for you, start slow. Find 10 to 15 minutes a day when you can sit calmly with your eyes closed and focus on your breath. Gradually extend the time.

Meditation is a powerful tool that helps balance all three of your primary dimensions at once. When you meditate:

* Your body immediately relaxes, reducing stress.
* Your emotions become more balanced because meditation feels good.

* Your brain reacts by generating more positive thoughts.

5. Follow a morning routine that supports your wellness. A morning routine creates a positive focus for the day. It could include meditation, a form of exercise, breathwork, journaling, or saying positive affirmations while you prepare a healthy breakfast. Just remember to choose activities that support your commitment to holistic living.

6. Eat healthy. Eating healthy is more than just good nutrition. It also means nourishing your body with foods that are best for your constitution. Some folks thrive on vegetarian or vegan diets while others flourish only when they eat meat regularly. Keep a journal of how different foods make you feel and find the ones that support your wellness.

7. Start an exercise routine. There is lots of research on the benefits of exercise for maintaining all aspects of your health and wellbeing. Find a way to exercise that suits your body and commit to a regular routine. Start small and keep a journal to follow your progress. 

8. Follow an evening routine. A good evening routine is designed to calm you down and prepare you for sleep, which is critical to maintaining balance in the primary dimensions. This could include turning off electronics a half hour before bedtime, reading a book that calms and inspires, enjoying a warm drink like chamomile tea or golden milk, or writing in a journal. Choose activities that calm and promote sleepiness. 

9. Write in a gratitude journal. Spend a few minutes every day listing what you are grateful for, even the small things. Or use one of many apps available for this activity. 

A study of 132 college students compared results from 8 weeks of either gratitude journaling, reflection, or app prompted reflection. The researchers wanted to know which of these activities would have the greatest impact on wellbeing. 

While all three gratitude groups enjoyed greater well being compared to a control group, the authors state that “Gratitude journaling appeared to have the most significant positive impact on well-being and affective functioning.”

10. Surround yourself with holistically minded people. It's easier to stay on track and appreciate the benefits of living holistically when the people you associate with share your values.

11. Work with a coach or accountability partner. This will help keep you focused and honest about your activities. These folks can also be a source of support when you miss the mark.

Enjoy Your Holistic Lifestyle

Japanese Zen stone garden

A holistic lifestyle is one that acknowledges all of you, your physical body, your emotions, mental state and spiritual self. All have equal importance and changes in any one of them will impact the rest.

Once you understand and experience this, you will be motivated to make better decisions about your health and wellbeing. 

And the positive impacts of even small changes will provide even more motivation to invest in a holistic lifestyle. 

So go for it. 

Stand back, take stock of your situation and start small.

You’ll be amazed at the positive changes in all aspects of your life when you choose to live holistically.