The Four Aspects of Whole Health
When speaking about Whole Health, I often mention that the goal is a sustainable balance in all aspects of the being. You may have noticed that when listing these parts that I don’t use the typical Body, Mind, and Spirit divisions. Instead, I list four things: mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.
Sometimes, people are somewhat confused about the differences between these four categories. This is especially true when it comes to the line dividing mental and emotional aspects. For this reason, I wanted to further clarify each of the Whole Health aspects.
Mental aspects are essentially our intellectual self. This is the part of our mind that collects raw data about the world. It’s like a computer of sorts. Often, once our schooling is complete, we ignore this part of ourselves. We stop being curious about the world. We no longer learn new things or stretch ourselves so our thinking becomes stagnant (locked into old programing) then we wonder why we can’t sustain any sort of positive change.
Emotional aspects are our feelings. Here we aren’t just looking at emotional reactions such as anger, fear, love, or passion. We also include symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and weight gain because they are often the energetic expression of suppressed emotion. It’s important to remember that our emotional reactions are merely the result of judgement. Our mental aspects collect raw data without differentiation. It is only when this data is interpreted as bad or good that we react in a particular way.
Physical aspects include our physical body, inside and out. From a wider perspective, physical aspects can also include our material possessions. In this way, physical aspects are the parts of ourselves and our world that we can see, hear, and touch. Thus, when speaking about physical balance, we may be looking at self-care such as proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep or we may be looking at optimizing the things in our lives that keep us balanced, productive, and content.
Spiritual aspects are defined by our belief systems and ways of being. Although our religious beliefs obviously color the way we view ourselves and our world, we do not have to believe in a Deity or adhere to a religious dogma to have spiritual aspects. When we speak of spiritual aspects we are looking at core beliefs, the ones that tell us who we are, how the world works, and our place in it. These core beliefs are used to interpret the raw data (mental aspects) that we collect with our physical senses that will trigger emotional responses.