The Four Bodies: A Holistic Approach to Wellness And Healing

Learn about the four distinct, but inseparable bodies that create you

What if our society generally bas a backward idea of wellness, which is why many people have many problems? When did being healthy become such a task? One that has become more vague than ever. Have you ever wondered if there’s a better approach to health and wellbeing, one that makes sense?

Well, there is, and what you’re going to learn in this article will change the way you look at wellness in general.

Because we don’t just have a single body, we have four of them. Even though they’re all interconnected under the human umbrella, they serve as separate functioning dimensions of your life experience.

The four-bodies approach refers to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of your being. This is a more holistic view of well-being which suggests that you are an ecosystem that thrives when you’re balanced across all dimensions of experience.

Each body serves a different purpose and is responsible for a different dimension of your life experience. To live your best life, you need to find balance with your four bodies.

Let’s look more into each of these bodies, and how you can find equilibrium among them.

The holistic approach to wellness

Western healthcare has always been a solution-oriented approach.

You have a symptom, you treat it. For the most part, this fix-it approach has gotten the job done, but there is clearly more to wellness than what meets the eye.

The truth is that we’re only looking at a fraction of wellness, and trying to slot the whole thing within a specific category. But this isn’t how you become healthy. To get a full grasp on wellness as a whole, you need to understand how different parts of you all factor in to create a whole.

Look at wellness as a balanced ecosystem. Nothing that happens to you is an isolated occurrence. Each body is thoroughly interconnected with the others, and they all influence one another to some degree.

Just trying to fix a single body doesn’t cut it anymore. If you just look at your emotional issues but neglect the spiritual side, these issues will just keep coming back up. If you only try to fix your exterior (being your life situation), let’s just say there’s a reason why the exterior isn’t looking so shiny.

As with the approach of personal ecosystems, the four-bodies approach is a holistic way to look at wellness as a whole. Because you’re not just your body, your mind, or your emotions. You’re a conglomerate of different territories which all have their own identities.

Physical body: The realm of form

The physical body

Your physical body represents the external dimension of your life experience. This refers to your body itself, your physiology, your physical health, and your sensory relationship with the world around you.

Look at your physical body as a vessel for consciousness, it’s like the container of your life experience. It’s through this vessel that you interact with your surroundings, and in turn, these interactions influence your experiences. Your commute will be very different if you’re driving a beautiful, polished Lamborghini compared to an old decrepit lemon. 

Whether it’s your physique, or your muscle, skeletal, blood, or organ health, your physical body is a reflection of your other bodies. Our society emphasizes physical health via exercise, eating healthy, and self-care, but tends to overprioritize your physical health concerning the other bodies. Regardless, it’s important to have a healthy body and relationship with the physical world to be a fully functional, and thriving person.

Arguably, your physical health is the easiest to take care of, as there’s a direct cause-and-effect relationship. Signs of poor physical health are generally visible, and you can feel a tangible difference from a body in decay, to a body in optimal health.

Polarity: Yang (Masculine)

The physical body is considered a masculine constituent of your wellness. This is because it's systemic, where there is a clear cause and effect relationship. Your body operates in a way that is calculated, logical, and routine, and this is the best way to take care of it.

Element: Earth (Grounding)

The physical body is associated with the Earth element due to it's physical nature. As the physical body must be grounded within reality to flourish (that is to give it the correct nutrients and expose it to the right conditions for it to thrive), there is an innate connection with mother Earth which provides for it, and what it's energetically connected to. Keeping your intake as pure as possible and direct from the source is a good approach to manage your physical body.

Poor health of the physical body

Your physical body being in a poor state is like the vehicle of your consciousness breaking down. There will be physical issues that prevent you from being at full vitality and capability. When there’s an issue with your physical body, it will manifest as a malfunction in some form. This is most commonly seen as illness, disease, or abnormalities.

Here are some signs of your physical body being in poor health:

Optimal health of the physical body

When your physical body is at its optimal health, you feel robust. All parts of your body are functioning as they should. You feel clean, healthy, and energized. Your vehicle is thriving because you’re giving it the treatment it needs.

Here are some signs of your physical body being in good health.

Restoring the Physical body to optimal health

To restore your physical body to optimal health (and to maintain it), you need to incorporate practices into your daily routine that enhance your physical health. Having a healthy physical body is an endurance game. You can’t expect to be operating at your best when you have a lifestyle that doesn’t accommodate it.

This means that you need to adjust your lifestyle in a way that nourishes your physical health. First and foremost, you need to practice self-care by getting exercise, eating healthy, and taking care of your body. If you’re treating your body poorly by sleeping little, getting no exercise, and eating lots of junk, of course, your body is going to reflect the treatment you’re giving it. If you drink a lot of alcohol or smoke, this going to be harmful to it too.

Therefore, try to reduce how much junk food, sugar, and anything that you consume which is harmful to your body. Make sure it has all the vitamins and minerals it needs. Get plenty of sun and fresh air, and give your body some love and care like a massage now and then. Groom it, stop biting your nails, take care of your hair. Your body will respond to the love it is given, so if you give it a lot of love by nourishing it, it will reward you with vitality and performance.

After all, balance is key. You don’t need to be extremely strict like some people are, but you do need to actively take care of your physical body and incorporate those practices into your daily routine.

The Mental Body: The realm of mind

The mental body

The mental body refers to the realm of the mind. This body involves intellectual properties of yourself including your thoughts, belief systems, and perceptions of oneself and reality.

Look at the mental body as the toolset required to navigate reality. This is how you organize yourself, plan, and of course, survive. Your mental body has a big influence over your well-being as the way you think leads to your actions, attitudes, and decisions.

Your belief systems create the foundation for how you choose to live your life. Your knowledge and intelligence determine how you go about certain things in life, how you process information, and what the results of those processes are.

Being in the realm of mind, your mental body also encompasses things like your identity, personality, traits, and characteristics. It’s all the little pieces that make you who you currently are, and all those little pieces are malleable.

The mental body is also responsible for how you interpret situations, and how you view yourself too. If you have a poor image of yourself where you battle with limiting belief systems such as self-doubt, or you foster ways of looking at life that don’t serve your happiness, this advertently affects your well-being and sense of happiness.

Polarity: Yang (Masculine)

The mental body is masculine in nature. As your mind is responsible for navigating yourself within reality, thinking, planning, acting, behaving and doing, it's a driving part of yourself which has an outward energy: to structure. This is due to the analytical, structured, logical, and rational nature of the mind, which is very well attuned to masculine energy.

Element: Fire (Drive)

The mental body corresponds with the element of fire. As fire represents movement, drive and power, the mental body is responsible for driving your life and creating it into something useful. It's the sense of reason and doing. It's the part of you that organizes your life, and lays the road that your body drives on.

Poor health of the mental body

When the mental body is in poor health, it creates problems with your mental domain. On the more mild side, this can create issues such as mental cloudiness, poor judgment, inefficient thinking, and limiting belief systems.

These problems affect your well-being by causing a lack of efficiency, clarity, or organization in your life.

On the more severe side, a dysfunctional mental body can lead to problems such as personality disorders and mental illness. People who have severe issues with their mental bodies may develop behavioral patterns such as narcissism, OCD, or paranoia. You may be egocentric and have a warped sense of self, or a distorted position of authority, importance, or power.

As your mental body also affects your social life, a poor mental body can lead to excessive shyness and insecurity caused by beliefs of unworthiness.

Here are some signs of your mental body in poor health:

Optimal health of the mental body

A healthy mental body means that your thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions serve you, and help you achieve your full potential in life. Having a healthy mental body is a big step in wellness, as your beliefs form the reality that you are living.

When it’s functioning at its best, the mental body facilitates the ability to solve problems efficiently. It provides reason and allows you to act from a place of composure and understanding without bias or discrimination. It also facilitates effective communication, concise thinking, and the ability to comprehend a broader scope of information and ideas.

Having a healthy mental body also means that you generally have a good relationship with people. You don’t foster the limiting belief systems that cause insecurities, but rather healthy belief systems that promote confidence, charisma, positive traits and characteristics that help you navigate the world of people.

Here are some signs of your mental body in optimal health:

Restoring the mental body to optimal health

To restore your mental body to optimal health, you need to work on your mindsets and belief systems. Luckily, everything that forms the way you think and behave is malleable as it’s a property of the mind, meaning that with some work, you can completely change how you identify with the world, and create mental systems that drive your growth and potential.

Restoring your mental body starts by reinforcing better ways of looking at yourself and your reality. You want to cultivate thoughts, beliefs, and perceptions that benefit you and other people. Start by identifying the different mental systems that aren’t serving your happiness, and identify better systems and beliefs that do. Continuously reinforce those beliefs and make a conscious effort to change the way you think.

Stretch your mind by pushing yourself to think in different ways. Have interesting conversations with people, and observe different behavioral traits people have that are helpful. Utilize the full capabilities of your mind by learning, studying, and researching. Most importantly, strive to create change in your life by creating a stronger foundation to plan, organize, think, and perceive.

You also need to identify the negative reoccurring patterns in your life and make a conscious effort to prevent yourself from slipping into them. For example, if you identify a pattern where you shy away from intimacy, or perhaps get triggered in certain situations, be aware of it and take healthier steps to work on those perceptions.

The Emotional Body: The realm of feeling

The emotional body

The emotional body refers to the realm of emotion. When it comes to your emotional body, your state of wellness is identified by how you feel.

If you carry a lot of emotional pain in the form of trauma, resentment, guilt, and anger, you feel terrible. When you feel terrible, it impacts your equanimity, sense of contentment, enthusiasm, motivation, and morale.

Look at your emotional body as your internal compass. It tells you what feels good and what feels bad. When you follow this compass, it leads you in a direction that facilitates healing, growth, and happiness. If you ignore this compass, it leads you astray, where you’ll battle emotional pain, emotional baggage, and undesirable feelings.

How you react to, and feel about different situations in your life is also tied to the emotional body. Whether you feel like life is generally unfair, or whether you have a lot of regret about things that happened in your past are signs that your emotional body is out of balance.

Experiencing emotional pain is a part of life. This is how we learn and grow as people. If a friend turns their back on you, you’re going to feel betrayed. But if you’re swimming in it where you constantly feel like crap, then there is something that needs to be healed within your emotional body.

Polarity: Yin (Feminine)

The emotional body is feminine in nature as it is deeply connected with feminine values and characteristics. feeling, intuition, and connection with self are all elements of the divine feminine. This means that the emotional body is at its best when you navigate it with feminine principals such as empathy, nonresistance, and feeling.

Element: Water (Flow)

The emotional body is represented by the water element. As water is about flow, creativity and expression, emotions are synonymous. Your emotional body is functioning at its best when it flows without resistance, that is to experience all the emotions and sensations without creating a forcing current, or preventing the expression of self.

Emotional body in poor health

When the emotional body is in poor health, it translates to a lack of joy in your life. It means that you are not healed, and this has a huge impact on your well-being, and ability to live your best life.

You’re likely to experience reoccurring painful emotions in the form of resentment, guilt, shame, hatred, and so forth. These stagnant emotions are often the residue of old traumas that have not successfully been healed. This emotional pain can lead to self-destructive behavior, self-harm, and self-sabotage because you have a mound of trauma getting in the way of your sense of inner peace.

When your emotional body is unhealthy, you may find that you have lots of triggers. You may lash out at people or find that you have disproportionate reactions to certain situations. Certain things may cause you to feel painful emotions, and those painful emotions tend to linger around for a long time. You likely also have poor ways of managing your emotions which lead to projection, blame, and escapism.

If your emotional body is unhealthy, you may have a disintegrated sense of self. That means you’re wearing a mask and you’re not authentic to who you are (or what you’re feeling). You also struggle to express yourself freely.

Here are some signs that your emotional body is in poor health:

Emotional body in optimal health

If your emotional body is in optimal health, you feel good internally. This means that your expression of self is joyful, where you mostly feel positive emotions such as gratitude, compassion, and hope. You have good emotional intelligence and know how to manage your emotional body for clarity, healing, and learning.

Being emotionally healthy means that you are generally healed. You don’t carry around pain from the past, and you embrace tomorrow with a clean slate. Having a healthy emotional body means that your emotions are in balance and that you’re centered within yourself. Situations may cause you to feel pain, but you will quickly heal from that pain.

By having a healthy emotional body you are centered within your heart space. This means that you listen to your heart and the energies that come from the heart. You tap into the higher self instead of wasting your time away with the egoic self.

Here are some signs that your emotional body is healthy:

How to restore the emotional body

Restoring your emotional body simmers down to healing. This means that you need to work on clearing trauma and any feelings that no longer serve you. The best way to heal your emotional body is by listening to it. Sit with your emotions and feel into them rather than pushing them away or deferring them. Make a habit of being in alignment with your emotions, and your emotional body will recover.

Work on your emotional intelligence and make sure that you listen to your body’s signals. Do the inner work by constantly working on yourself to become a better, happier, and healthier person. Learn how to embody behaviors and attitudes that make you feel better about yourself, and facilitate a happier life experience.

Shadow work is an important component of emotional health and balance. This is the process of integrating the abandoned parts of yourself which is required for proper integration and healing.

Spiritual body: The realm of consciousness

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The spiritual body refers to the realm of the spirit. This body is often interpreted as the soul or spirit, and it’s the energetic body that connects you with higher planes of existence.

Your spiritual body can be seen as the driver of your vehicle. This is your consciousness, not the body, not the mind, and not your emotions. It’s the spiritual constituent of your being that is connected to the deepest levels of reality. In essence, your spiritual body is the true you beyond all the layers of self that exist within this realm of experience.

Your spiritual body is your sense of meaning in this world. You can create, to manifest, your drive, and a deeper meaning in your life that exceeds the physical body, the mental body, or the emotional body. The spiritual body is your anchor to something deeper inside yourself that connects you to all consciousness.

In today’s world, most people’s spiritual bodies are in poor health because modern society generally doesn’t acknowledge the existence of the spiritual body. This is responsible for the general lack of a higher meaning to our social structure, however, it is making a resurgence.

Polarity: Yin (Feminine)

Your spiritual body, and spirituality in general is feminine as the pursuit for meaning is a subjective, organic process without structure or rules. Spirituality is something that must be cultivated via nontangible means such as intuition, nonresistance and feeling, which is why it's feminine in nature.

Element: Wind (Wisdom)

The spiritual body is associated with the element of wind. As wind is the element of the elders which represents wisdom, your connection to spirituality orbits a deeper wisdom within you that exceeds the realm of form.

Spiritual body in poor health

Your spiritual body in poor health means that you’re disconnected from it and that you’re disconnected from the source of creation (or god). Being disconnected from the source causes a state of unconsciousness in a lack of a deeper awareness of self. When it comes to wellness, the spiritual body is the spark in you. It is the very reason to not just live, but thrive, change the world, and help others out.

Having an unhealthy spiritual body is like living as a husk with no meaning. You just grind through life with superficial desires, but there is no substance. There is no reason. You may find yourself getting exhausted, or that something is missing in your life, but you’re not sure what. You may feel empty inside, despite how much you try to fill that hole.

When people are disconnected from their spiritual bodies, they tend to become increasingly materialistic. Their values become warped. Disconnecting from your spiritual body results in a contraction of consciousness. This means that your scope of awareness reduces, and brings you into a state of spiritual unconsciousness.

Here are some signs that you are not connected to your spiritual body:

Spiritual body in optimal health

Spirituality nourishes you. When you are connected to your spiritual body, you have a more complete sense of wellness as it fills a hole inside you that can’t be filled any other way. You are at service, and feel the most fulfilled being at service.

Spirituality is your cord into other dimensions of experience. When this connection is strong, you tap into your soul nature more. This means that you start having more spiritual experiences and insights, and can get deeper into your spiritual practices. A very strong spiritual body may facilitate the development of psychic abilities or spiritual gifts.

When you are connected to your spiritual body, you have a higher awareness about life and oneself. You recognize that you are not your body, and a deeper connection with spirit allows you to embody the higher self rather than the egoic self.

A strong spiritual body creates space for better ways of looking at reality and your place in it. It provides better philosophies to live by, which make you feel fulfilled, happy, and at peace with your reality.

Here are some signs that you are connected to your spiritual body:

How to restore the spiritual body

To restore your spiritual body you need to nourish it. This creates a stronger connection between your physical body, and the soul inhabiting it. It’s important to understand that you are more than your body. You are an infinite consciousness that is connected to all things in this universe and beyond. When you have that seed of curiosity about what you really are and life after death, make sure you water that seed and encourage it to grow!

Walk your own path of discovery to try and find a deeper sense of meaning within your life. Life is an individual journey and if you do the same things without exploring your reality, you’re not going to be fulfilled. Pursue a journey of personal and spiritual growth, and see what dimensions of your life experience unfold.

Pursue spiritual wisdom and practice spirituality. Everyone resonates with different spiritual practices whether it’s meditation, yoga, fasting, prayer, worship, or whatever makes you feel connected to a deeper part of yourself. I encourage you to explore different cultural modalities, and ancestral wisdom, and strive for understanding.

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