What does health mean to you? I guess for most people you are either healthy or sick. Right? What if health was much broader and there are different areas to look at to create optimum health? What if health was multidimensional?

As someone who has been through burnout and many chronic diseases, I can tell you that health is a very significant topic for me.

I never knew that just being unhappy could give  me the feeling of being sick. By feeling sick I started to feel depressed. So what was the whole story about my health? What made me sick? What made me unhappy? No doctor could ever find a real problem.

It took me years to figure out how to address my health problems. When you go to a doctor they do not often have the time to get to the root cause. Some doctors are quick to give you a pill for the ill. But often a pill is not the solution.

Looking back at my life when I was mostly unhappy and sick I know that I wasted a lot of time and money. But now I know I was on the right path and I had to go through all of that journey to understand and make the right changes at a point in my life. What I learnt was that there were four areas that influenced my overall health in different ways but which were all connected:

1) Physical health

2) Mental health

3) Emotional health

4) Spiritual health

In my case, being in a job which was amazing but just not right for me (I was managing director of a technical company with a great salary), and being married to a man who turned out not to be right for me, I felt sick in all these areas. And yes, there was no pill that changed my neck pain, my sinus infections, my stomach ache or my sleepless nights. 

However, by looking into the root causes I was able to get healthier physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The spiritual part played a big role in my life as I had totally denied it and I was too afraid to develop it. I was  also too inexperienced to know how to develop this part of my life. When I accidentally found a naturopath who opened that door for me I saw light at the end of the tunnel.

It was like creating the bridge to my truth, to my purpose and soul alignment.

Physical health
is the condition of your body and includes everything from nutrition and the absence of disease to genetics and your fitness level. This may be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of health and while it’s important, it’s only one aspect 

By going to the gym almost every night I tried to get rid of my anger by running on a treadmill for hours or boxing into a bag. It helped in the moment but the root of my anger was not addressed.

Mental health
is the condition of your mind – from your mind-set and the way you speak to yourself to your relationship with stress and even your ability to cope with challenges. 

I was stuck in my negative mindset and playing the victim over and over again. I was unable to get out of that mindset by myself. I felt so stuck in my job and marriage that it created even more tension and contraction, hence more neck and back pain.

Emotional health
is the condition of your emotions and includes your relationship with yourself and others as well as your ability to tune into, accept, and manage feelings through challenges and change.

I was unable to communicate my emotions and also here I remained stuck for many years. I was going to the gym, seeing a physiotherapist regularly and was not really addressing the true problem. My emotions like anger and fear were deep rooted in my tissues and jaw muscles. Comfort food like chocolate or chips were no solution at all.

Spiritual health
is the condition of your spirit and is a broad concept with opportunity for many perspectives. Though it’s often linked with a sense of connection to something greater than yourself, spiritual health also includes how your personal identity helps fulfill your purpose. Having spiritual awareness can help you find meaning and individual purpose in your life and can help you live in a way that reflects your values, morals, and beliefs.

In my spiritual path I felt so deeply blocked that I was questioning my purpose of being here every day, in my job, in my marriage. It was only when one day a reiki practitioner talked to me and asked the right questions I finally understood that I had to look at my body and health at a multidimensional levels and for sure at the spiritual level.

The moment I started doing that, good health started to sneak in.

I was able to understand how and what to eat and what exercise to do in order to release tension instead of creating more. Changing my mindset from being a victim and feeling powerless I started to empower myself. Opening up to my truth and purpose I was also able to communicate and release emotions.

Happily divorced and being an entrepreneur living in the Caribbean was my path of healing. There are many more options to taking pills if you open your mind and are willing to look and listen.

Photo by Zachary Kadolph on Unsplash


  • Petra Rakebrandt

    Executive Meditation Coach, MBA

    Petra Rakebrandt is a Wellpreneur, an intuitive Health Coach, Yoga teacher, energy artist, specializing in a Yin approach to healing. She helps people suffering from loss of energy, chronic pain, depression, and anxiety, find their gifts so they can feel at ease in their body and mind. After transforming her own health with Energy Medicine (Polarity Therapy), Reiki, ThetaHealing and Nutrition, she dedicated her life helping others achieve their highest potential – physical, emotional and energetic. Her holistic approach includes interactive therapies such as yoga, meditation, journaling, bioenergetic bodywork, and natural remedies. As a former Managing Director in a technical company, corporate wellness is part of her consulting work. She is the founder of Petra Rakebrandt-Mind-Body-Soul and the author of "Yin is the new black-How to get rid of imbalances in life". She teaches regularly internationally retreats.