Our definition of “wellness” is evolving. Originally describing good health, or an absence of sickness, wellness is now a fully fledged movement which explores how to actively thrive and flourish in an increasingly stress-filled world, and find a more harmonious, sustainable way of living for our population’s age.
Far from a simple fad, wellness is a rapidly growing market; this sector increases in size 10 per cent each year, and is currently valued at $3.7 trillion. Here are the five tenets of the wellness movement every marketer should become more familiar with.
“Self care” has become an overused term over the last year or two, and is often conflated with self-indulgence. Radical compassion focuses on forging a new, kinder relationship with yourself. Self-acceptance becomes more difficult when we are all engrained in the habit of comparing our own lives to those of people online, and our brains are innately hardwired towards negative bias which leads us to linger on bad memories more than good. This is where mindfulness comes in, equipping us with tools and techniques (such as improved sleeping, eating and exercising habits) to engineer a more positive outlook.
Rather than thinking of the mind and body as two separate bodies, wellness is about seeking greater beneficial connectivity between the two, whether that be exercise-as-stress-relief, or meditation boosting the immune system.
Gone are the days when health and fitness was just about running solo on the treadmill. A whole cache of influencers has arisen online to provide #inspo to people who are keen to adopt a healthier lifestyle, and communities are growing around specific niches. One of the booming spaces within the fitness industry right now is that of “healthy hedonism,” group-oriented exercise which doubles as a social event, such as Soul Cycle or Morning Gloryville.
The spaces in which we live, work and sleep were designed and built decades, even centuries ago — but are they fit for purpose? Human beings didn’t evolve to spend 90 per cent of their time indoors, where the climate is regulated and baffles our bodies, which anticipate seasons.
Healthcare spaces, especially, are due a redesign. Something as simple as natural lighting, or a view of nature, can significantly shorten hospital stays. For example; the Philips Mangiagali Centre reimagines the neo-natal intensive care unit from the perspective of the newborn; the entire ward is softly lit, and the baby is not separated from the mother, resulting in shorter care and discharge timelines.
The gap between human and machine is closing, but not in the dystopian manner you might imagine. Rather, biohacking uses a combination of biological and technological means to analyse and enhance sleep, nutrition, exercise, work, and overall wellbeing. As the “quantified self” becomes more of a norm, we can expect to see the average consumer using implants and sensors to proactively monitor their own bodies, and anticipate and prevent health problems.
For a wellness brand to really resonate with consumers today, it needs to actively engage with mind, body, and spirit.
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