What is holistic thinking? It’s something that not a lot of people are familiar with but may come to see as a vital angle to tackle the world from. First, let’s go out there and define just how the average person thinks these days when they do any thinking at all.
Most people these days think analytically. This is not a bad thing. I can’t stress this enough. There is nothing wrong with being analytical. I’m only saying that sometimes, it provides too narrow a viewpoint and the situation might benefit from a different perspective.
You see, analytical thinking is all about logical reasoning. It involves taking a system and understanding its parts, seeing how they work together to produce a larger effect. They see the world as events and products of individual factors and their attributes.
The flaw in this line of thinking is that it can sometimes distance itself from the context of what they’re analysing. There are also times when the analysis zeroes in on one detail but ends up missing the forest because they’re too obsessed with one tree.
Now, let’s take a moment to contrast that with holistic thinking.
Holistic thinking is about dialectical reasoning and involves looking at a system through its patterns. You understand how it works through the effects it has, and then react to them. Individual parts are less of a concern, and you view things through the external forces that work on an object.
The focus of holistic thinking is in context, relationships, and background elements. In other words, you’re not focusing on a single tree. In fact, individual trees are not really on your mind. Your concern is the forest, and the impact things like nearby communities and the lumber industry have on it.
Analytical thinking is all about reductionism and the details. Holistic thinking is about looking at the big picture. Both approaches have their benefits, but also their flaws.
Sometimes, analytical thinking is the best approach. For example, if you’re trying to figure out what part of your workout is most effective, you’ll want to analyse individual bits. Maybe even try to cut out this or that, until you’ve pinpointed what works and what doesn’t.
Approaching the workout as a whole doesn’t let you do this. You need to look at each part on its own, analyse its effects, to get a result.
In contrast, when working with something like posture with kinesiotherapy – which you can learn more about from this website – it pays to see things as a whole. Posture is more than just the spinal column, but also your muscles, upper body, lower body, and even movements.
Looking at just one part causes you to miss the interactions of the whole. Without looking at that whole, along with factors such as lifestyle and diet, you’ll lose something crucial to your objective.
As I’ve said, most people tend to think analytically by default. It’s how we’re taught in school, most of the time. However, who knows how well we could do if we started learning how to think holistically?
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