At GGC HQ we’re looking into our crystal ball and jotting down our predictions for health and wellness’ biggest hits in 2018.
Kindfulness is the new Mindfulness
Mindfulness has been on our radar for a few years now – we’ve been mindful while eating, colouring, breathing, and exercising. And, while we’ll remain uber-enthusiastic about the mindfulness mantra, we will welcome its partner in crime – kindfulness – to our repertoire. As it turns out, many of us have lost the capacity to be kind to ourselves and others. We recommend kicking your day off with a positive affirmation card and paying yourself a compliment in the mirror, gorgeous, because kindfulness is the new mindfulness. If you’re feeling enthusiastic, there’s even smiling at metta meditation – which involves sending goodwill and kindness through a series of repeated silent chants. Lastly, be kind to others! Smile at strangers on the street and hold the door open for old ladies. It’s so simple and gives you (and those on the receiving end) warm fuzzies – and anything with those vibes has got to be good for you!
It seems like a distant memory, but remember the days when you didn’t care whether a café/hotel/airport had wifi or not? Switch off and switch in to the slogan ‘disconnect to reconnect’. It will be a massive chart-topper in 2018, as nabbing a little radio silence is becoming increasingly necessary in our digitally-dependant society. Enjoy the positive mental health benefits of disconnection, including lower anxiety, less stress and better sleep quality. Picture this… a few days sans the pings of status updates and Insta stories. Sure, a little FOMO may creep in but as more and more of us begin to notice the impact of social media on our health and wellbeing, a little time away from the screen won’t seem like such a bad thing.
Sure, it sounds like something people who burn incense are into, however the dark art of crystal healing is now lighting the way to better health. Everyone from Adele to Victoria Beckham is embracing the pleasing aesthetic and alleged healing properties of precious gems and stones.
Crystals have a repeating chemical structure, which is thought to contain and store energy that can provoke some crazy positive benefits. Better yet, each crystal has its own special superpower – like amazonite is good for detoxing, clear quartz aids concentration and amethyst helps prevent drunkenness. The new age treatment of Crystal Light Bed Therapy (which sees you lay out beneath seven glowing rainbow-coloured Vogel-cut quartz crystals – one for each chakra – while they shine on and off in healing rhythm to cleanse, balance and align energies) has become the new “it” treatment. It has captured the attention of So-Cal yogis and East Coast fashionistas and will no doubt be riding the tide to a shore near you in 2018. So, whether you choose to wear them, bask in them or decorate your home with them, get your crystal on.
Peace and quiet
Given that silence is golden, and digital noise around us continues to grow, our need for an audio holiday is even greater in 2018. While we’re not necessarily advocating a long-standing vow of silence, recent research suggests a period of such quiet time can lower stress hormones and boost overall happiness (endorsements from Gisele Bundchen and Emma Watson don’t hurt either). If all you want is a little damn peace and quiet then this year you’ll find yourself in luck. Silence is getting supersized by a new swathe of silent hotels, spas, restaurants, gyms, airports and even hair salons. This new kind of wellness retreat helps people to switch off and allows their brains to wallow in silent indulgence. This year get into silent eating (no loud chewing – dreamy!), silent bathing, silent spa treatments and silent hair appointments. Shhhhhh…
Taking a stand
Get on your feet, people! We’ve been hearing all over the shop that sitting is the new smoking, and studies are being thrown around about how people with desk jobs will die younger than those with active jobs. Prolonged periods of sitting are simply not good for our health; it slows down our metabolism and in turn affects our blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cardiovascular health. Given the rise of the standing desk, we will continue to see research into wellness in the workplace flow on to the our work life in 2018. As the way we work continues to evolve, it’s inevitable that the tools we use to work also change alongside it – so if there is a desk that promotes good posture, regular breaks and gives you a massage we’re keen. However, what we really hoping to see is one that will fetch your coffee, hum meditations and do your work for you… come on, we saw the treadmill desk in 2017, it probs ain’t that far off?
While fitness trackers have been all the rage, this year Fit Bits will be upstaged by mind trackers. Mental health has thankfully been such a huge focus within the realms of health and wellness over the last few years, and along with this has come a greater understanding and acceptance of mental health issues and how commonly they manifest in many people in different ways. Stress, anxiety and depression are now being openly and honestly spoken about, so the tech-world has come back at us with apps like Headspace (www.headspace.com) and Buddhify (www.buddhify.com). The trackers of 2018 will be monitoring and recording our breathing patterns and sleep, and then creating data around our stressors.
Ok, so we made that heading up (#filingpatentnow) but working out with your kids is going to be a trend to watch this year. Finding time to exercise with little ones in tow can seem damn-near impossible, which is why we saw a spike in mums and bubs classes in 2017. In 2018, it’s all about “fun” for the whole fam bam. While some may think bringing kidlets along for a workout might hinder their ability to feel the burn, quiz those same folk after they’ve run laps with said kids on their back and competed against them in weighted hula hoop contests.
We already know that no two humans are alike, so what may have your BFF at her healthy peak can be the doldrums for your health. Research suggests that each of us is unique in the way we absorb and metabolise nutrients, so there has been an emergence of DNA testing companies looking to help people understand how exactly they should be eating according to their genes. It’s the glass slipper of diets – because rather than trying out various diets to find the one that fits you, science can now tell you that while some people with certain genetic variants thrive on – from a high protein/fat diet or a Mediterranean style diet. More broadly, this could transform the way we think of health in general. Increasingly, spas and retreats will offer DNA analysis and consultations, in order to tailor guests’ treatment plans to their health needs, and determine any predispositions they might have to certain types of diet, exercise and lifestyle choices.
In 2016 we chowed on Kimchi, in 2017 our Kombucha cup ran over. 2018 is the year of the friendly fermented foods. There has been a growth in research around Gut Microbiome Analysis, which has helped people understand the balance of bacteria in the gut. The current scientific understanding suggests that what we want is a good diversity of bacteria in the gut, as opposed to previous times when we’ve aimed to get certain strains of bacteria in there. Fermented foods are all about the probiotic properties, and therefore they boast incredible gut healing superpowers. Second to that, its other superpower is that fermentation boosts the nutritional content of food. So, for example, while fresh vegetables are a treasure trove of vitamins and minerals, if you ferment them then beneficial bacteria creates enzymes and additional vitamins, which makes them even healthier than they were in their raw state. Stick a fork in me, I’m done!
Over the past two millennia, the ancient tradition of sauna-ing has undergone multiple face-lifts. While the oldest known sauna is actually just a pit of stones in Finland, the contemporary craze of infrared saunas has taken off, likely spurred on by Miranda Kerr announcing that she had one installed in her guesthouse. This trendy iteration of the 80s pastime, which many-an old man indulged in, instead uses infrared light waves to create heat in the body instead of the air. The lower temperatures mean you can stay in longer and, if devotees are to be believed, is excellent for treating everything from high blood pressure to arthritis. Hot stuff, we say.
Wabi-sabi: the art of imperfection
In Japan, the concept of wabi-sabi is so deeply ingrained that it’s difficult to explain to we Westerners – being as no direct translation exists. But here goes. Wabi (meaning ‘transient beauty) and sabi (‘to see through appreciative eyes’) are your new words to live by in 2018! Wabi-sabi is all about embracing imperfection, finding wisdom in earthiness, and drawing appreciation and gratitude from life’s simple and authentic pleasures – celebrating the cracks, revelling in the faults and having the willingness to enjoy them all the same. The Japanese concept is the antithesis of mass consumerism, mass production, and the tech-saturated digital age. Flea markets, the patina of aged wood and a single native flower are all wabi-sabi – while sleek shopping malls, highly polished man-made tiles and a dozen red roses are not. To discover wabi-sabi is to see the singular beauty in something that may first look unattractive. Best of all, wabi-sabi doesn’t cost a thing, it’s a state of mind that allows us to take stock, slow down, appreciate and embrace life’s little imperfections!
Hemp, the new superfood
Oh high, hemp! After being legalised for noshing on in 2017, you can expect to see hemp exploding on health food menus near you – from hemp muesli, smoothies, muffins and slices – you’ll be going green in 2018! This doesn’t mean you’ll get your buzz on at breakfast, as none of these products will carry any references to marijuana or cannabis, nor will they be making hallucinogenic claims. Low-THC hemp seeds can be consumed safely and are purported to be exceptionally rich in healthy fats, protein and various minerals by Hemp Foods Australia. With a mild, nutty flavour, hemp is bound to become a delicious and nutritious addition your diet. With health properties that are sky high, it’s probably one of the few super foods that lives up to its name.
Happy, healthy new year!
Blog lovingly provided by Jess Rule.
Image: Kimmy Smith Fit
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