We all have four ‘bodies’ that combine to form a cohesive operating system: our emotional body, intellectual body, spiritual body, and physical body. Because it is the one that is most visible, the physical body often occupies much of our consciousness, especially when it comes to perceiving others. However, unless equal attention is paid to all four bodies, it’s easy for us to become imbalanced and experience depletion in one or more areas. Depending on where the deficiency occurs, this can manifest as anxiety or depression, boredom, a feeling of being alone in the universe, or physical aches, pains, or illness. To fully comprehend how to ensure the bodies are in balance, we must first understand exactly what each body incorporates and how to keep it nourished.

The Emotional Body The emotional body is how we feel about ourselves and others and includes everything from self-esteem to mood to feeling loved and appreciated. Keeping the emotional body healthy involves creating and sustaining synergistic and positive relationships, both with others and with ourselves.

The Intellectual Body Without proper stimulation of our intellect, it’s easy to slide into boredom and feelings of listlessness. Developing enjoyable and challenging hobbies is an ideal way to nourish the intellectual body, as is finding a career that is fulfilling and matches our inherent talents.

Spiritual Body Feeling a connection to a higher power and knowing that we aren’t alone in the universe is at the core of the spiritual body. Developing a meditation routine or practicing a deeply felt religion can help keep the spiritual body in balance.

Physical Body Without our physical health, it’s difficult to concentrate on the other four bodies. Eating nutritious foods, getting enough exercise, and taking care of any health-related issues before they become major crises are all core tasks to keep the physical body strong.

Keeping the four bodies in alignment means not paying so much attention to one body that another suffers. All four bodies are intrinsically linked, and what affects one inevitably affects the others. If we spend too much time alone and deplete our emotional body, for example, it’s likely that we’ll start to feel disconnected from our spiritual guides and may even begin to develop illness. As we bring awareness to all four bodies, we can naturally begin noticing which areas get most of our attention and which tend to get the leftovers of our energy.

A holistic approach to life is one that addresses the concerns of all bodies and recognizes that none of them exist in isolation. This means developing schedules and habits that encourage our emotional, spiritual, physical, and intellectual energies on a daily basis. By taking time to pay attention to and nourish each of our four bodies each day, we can create a healthy and balanced life where nothing is neglected and all work together to achieve a greater whole.