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What is Holism? Meaning & Examples of ‘Holistic’ [Definition]

What is Holism? Meaning & Examples of ‘Holistic’ [Definition]

What exactly is holism? You may have heard of this term a few times, but because it is such a vague term, you don’t really know its meaning yet. Read on to finally clarify the term ‘holistic‘…

Holism meaning: what is it really?

When you hear someone say ‘holism’ or ‘holistic’, it means ‘ whole / world ‘ (from the Greek word ‘holos’) and ‘ in connection with everything ‘. You could also say ‘ comprehensive ‘. In a way, ” non-duality ” is also synonymous with holism.

Holism is a spiritual way of dealing with goals, issues, complaints and problems. This is also referred to as the ‘new age’ approach.

What does that mean practically? Suppose you are working ‘holistically’ with your nutrition, then you not only change what you put in your mouth, but you also change, for example, your emotions, thoughts, social activities and physical rest. So you don’t see the parts of your body or life as separate things.

Why would anyone have a holistic view?

People live holistically because they don’t just want to isolate a problem just to fix that bit. They prefer to involve all areas of life to support the problem.

To make this clear, we can look at the examples below:

  • If you eat too much sugar and get fat, it will affect your entire system. For example, you could feel depressed as a result.
  • This also applies the other way around: if you feel depressed, you can more easily reach for unhealthy food and go to the gym less easily.
  • If you eat fast food, the burden on the environment and the lack of love in the preparation can affect your thoughts and emotions.

What are other examples of holistic living?

what does holism actually mean

  • For example, someone who lives holistically will consciously separate waste because such a person knows that it also supports the environment .
  • In healthcare , a holistic approach is applied by – in addition to a doctor’s visit – also referring to a Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAG), which also involves thoughts and emotions . These are holistic doctors, psychologists and therapists. They look beyond the body as a separate mechanical object. This allows you to heal your complaints holistically through holistic medicine.
  • Holistic food means, for example, that you do not use a microwave and do not eat processed food from packages and bags, but prepare food yourself with love. A holistic health coach will guide his / her clients in this.
  • With a holistic massage , not just any massage is given, but the giver and receiver of the massage is aware of all the extra benefits that a massage adds to a life.
  • A holistic vision is applied in nursing by also paying attention to people, for example by also listening to the patient’s life story.
  • Holistic education means that there is also a lot of exercise and that there is room for creativity, instead of just sitting still and expanding your knowledge. Through a holistic learning style, students pay more attention to the big picture instead of details, they look for connections in the subject matter and they more often make connections with other learning domains. This also has to do with the inductive learning style.
  • A holistic approach is also possible in business and it is possible to do business holistically. Nobody really knows what this means exactly, but it means, among other things, that all employees are aware of what is happening in the company, and that all entrepreneurs are also involved in other parts of the company.
  • Holistic advice means that you not only provide an answer to the request for help, but that you also advise changing the entire lifestyle.

Finally, check out Lex’s explanation of holism and a holistic view of people

To your success!

About The Author


Hello! Thanks for reading these articles. My intention is to make happiness as simple and clear as posssible. By the way, excuse my English. I am not a native English speaker since I live in Amsterdam. Much appreciated if you use the comments to make suggestions on my grammar. See ya in another blogpost!