Last year was a big year for wellness — and this year promises to be even bigger.
On Dec. 29, Jason Wachob — C.E.O. and founder of MindBodyGreen — released his "10 Wellness Trends to Watch in 2016," which highlighted several nutrition products like Bulletproof Coffee, as well as luxury clothes and destination hotels for wellness aficionados. Earlier in December, the Global Wellness Institute posted "10 Shifts in Wellness for 2016," which claimed that medical technology and imperceptible wellness will permeate every aspect of home, work and travel. Well+Good predicted that you will be drinking beauty products and eating superherbs in 2016.
Regardless of what our wellness lifestyle actually looks like in 2016, one thing we know for sure is that it is drawing a lot of attention and generating a lot of money in the new year.
As someone who has invested 15 years in this industry, it’s both exciting and scary to me that there is so much "wellness-mania." I love having lots of options for health, wellness and fitness, but I worry that some of the integrity and authenticity of the things I love will be lost as they become more and more popular. Maybe I’m just being silly, but I hope that the deeper attributes of wellness outlive the booming trends.
Here are the top 10 wellness things that I wish for you next year:
Not the superficial, having-the-time-of-your-life happiness, but a deeper contentment that comes with cultivating gratitude for every good thing in your life. I’ve developed this kind of happiness by consistently reminding myself of the people, places and things that bring me joy on a daily basis. Keeping a gratitude journal and saying "thank you" a lot are two ways that I maintain this habit.
This is not a wish for you to have six-pack abs or zero fat. I want you to be pain-free. I want you to feel comfortable in your body and peaceful in your mind — whatever size or shape you may be. I stay healthy by getting good sleep, avoiding toxic things like alcohol and drugs and doing work that I love. You can find your own personal health recipe by quieting your mind, reflecting on your life and reminding yourself of the things that make you feel your best.
There is nothing that nourishes my wellness like positive people. I mean the really genuinely, honest-to-goodness, optimistic people who listen deeply when I talk; who care about my well-being; who live a healthy lifestyle that inspires and motivates me to do the same. If you don’t know anyone like this, this year is definitely your time to seek them out. Look for them in yoga studios, healthy cafes, bookstores — you’d be surprised how much they can change your life.
Stop listening to Adele. I know she is amazing and her music makes you cry, but if you want to be well, limit yourself to one Adele song a year. Seriously, listen to music that uplifts you. Find music that makes you want to smile and makes you want to move. For me, I love '70s dance music, reggae music and Indian Bhangra music. What song makes you want to do a happy dance? Put that one on repeat.
One of the best-selling books last year was an adult coloring book. Who would have thought coloring could improve our wellness? Or how about Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic? That was flying off the shelves and hit No. 1 about five minutes after it was published. We need to be creative — our wellness depends on it. Dust off your old guitar. Dig out your watercolor set. Listen to the muse whispering in your ear and let her guide you back to your creativity.
Even as I sit on my MacBook typing this article, I am wishing that I were outside enjoying the Florida sunshine. Nothing makes me feel more alive, more energized, more well than being in nature. When was the last time you went on a hike, swam in the ocean or saw a wild animal? Reconnect with Mother Nature for some good, old-fashioned wellness.
Rollerblading and jamming out to my '70s tunes is about as good as it gets for me. I also love yoga, dance, hiking, sailing and cycling. Activity strengthens the body, clears our heads and gives us a hit of yummy hormones that make wellness seem effortless. I want you to move — even if it's only 15 minutes a day — I want you too feel the high you can only get from moving your body.
I stay playful by watching stupid cat videos, texting funny memes to my sister and acting silly with my boyfriend — and playfulness keeps me well. When we were kids, we knew how to be playful. It was natural and joyful. The older we got, the more serious we became. I want you to infuse your life and work with play. If it’s not fun, make it fun. If you can’t make it fun, stop doing it. Life is too short to be a grinch.
The kind of beauty that I wish for you cannot be found in a bottle, cannot be bought at Sephora and can never ever fade, even with age. The kind of beauty I want you to see is the eternal, timeless beauty of your own existence and everything around you. I find beauty in a sunset, in my cat’s purr, in a kiss and in a melody. Beauty is all around us and especially inside of us. Learn to see it everywhere and you will never be alone.
Money. Cars. Clothes. Jewelry. None of these things will make you feel abundant unless you cultivate wholeness. The definition of healing is to make whole. I bring healing into my life with massage, acupuncture, mediation, yoga and all the ancient practices that have helped people stay in balance for thousands of years. When we stop feeling scared and separate from life, wellness becomes abundant.
And you know what’s cool about all of my trends? They are free! You don’t need to be rich or famous to have this kind of wellness in your life. You can do them anytime, anywhere, and you don’t need expensive yoga pants or a $10 smoothie to make them work. You already have everything you need.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2016!
Dr. Gabby is TV host at the Health & Wellness Channel + Professor of Holistic Health + Founder of Women in Wellness Career Training. Learn more at Dr. Gabby.
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