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A Holistic Healing Approach to Transforming Your Life

Therapy is not a cure-all. To have the best results that last the longest, healing needs a holistic approach. This means ensuring that you are taking care of your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social health.
Woman closing her eyes with contentedness and feeling at peace.
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Unifying Mind, Body, and Spirit for Total Wellness

When you are in the deep lows of life, it can be nearly impossible to take care of yourself. Making decisions and following through with them are enormous challenges.

In this article, I will provide my checklist for holistic healing. The aim is to reduce the effort needed to remember this checklist. Save this list for when you feel unsure of what you can do to feel better overall.  

Note: As a therapist, I am making this as a resource for my own clients. Feel free to share this article. The intention is for it to be used alongside therapy as a holistic approach. Some of them on the list are obvious, and you may have heard them repeatedly. You don't need to do every single item each day but focus on one or two.

What is Holistic Healing?

Holistic Healing is a method of healing that focuses on the person as a whole, rather than treating specific issues. The aim is to address current issues while working towards the prevention of new ones. It encompasses physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual facets of health.

Checklist For Holistic Healing

1. Exercise

Science consistently shows the enormous benefit of exercise on mental health. It causes the release of "feel-good" hormones (like serotonin and endorphins). One minute of exercise is better than none. The goal should be to eventually do 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity each day.

2. Sleep

If you aren't getting enough good-quality sleep, your mental health is going to suffer. Sleep issues worsen or even create mental health issues. Poor sleep contributes to depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation. The recommendation is to have 8 hours of sleep per night. Practice good sleep habits by not using a screen one hour before bed.

3. Healthy, Nutritious Diet

When focusing on a diet for positive mental health, a plant-based diet is the most beneficial. This is a diet that reduces processed foods and meat consumption. It should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

4. Vitamins

A daily multivitamin can help if there are any unknown nutrient deficiencies. Deficiencies in B vitamins (including B1, B2, and B12) are associated to depression, anxiety, fearfulness, and irritability. The act of taking a multivitamin is an easy way to show yourself you are prioritizing your health and wellness.

5. Nature

Regular exposure to nature significantly contributes to good mental health and well-being. Spending time in nature improves mood and helps with coping with stress. It can reduce anxiety and depression symptoms.

6. Sun Exposure

Low vitamin D levels are associated with depression and impaired memory. It impairs executive function, especially mental shifting (switching from one task to another). It also negatively affects informational updating and processing speed.

7. Religious Practices

Engaging in religious practices gives us a sense of connectedness to others and the idea of something bigger than ourselves. Research shows that having religious practice reduces suicide rates, alcoholism, and drug use.

8. Reduce Alcohol Consumption and Drug Use

Using alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism can make mental health issues worse in the long term. It makes it more challenging to address core issues. Substance use is linked to co-morbidity. This means you are more likely to experience multiple mental health issues at the same time.

9. Gratitude

Science consistently shows the impact of gratitude on happiness levels. Practicing five minutes a day can have a significant impact on your overall mood and relationships with others.

10. Socialization

As cliche as it is, humans are social beings. No matter if you are an extrovert or an introvert, we all need connections with others. Being isolated increases physical health risks and negatively affects mental health. Isolation increases Alzheimer's risk. To thrive, we need that feeling of connectedness and belonging. The strength of them matters as we benefit more from deeper relationships.

11. Meditation

Meditation has multiple benefits for mental health and physical health. It reduces stress and anxiety. It also enhances mood, promotes healthy sleep, and increases cognitive skills. Meditation develops your emotional regulation skills. It is an excellent coping skill for dealing with negative emotions.


Therapy is not a cure-all. To have the best results that last the longest, healing needs a holistic approach. This means ensuring that you are taking care of your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social health.