It wasn’t so long ago that the expansive, holistic wellness industry was a more basic space. “Health and Fitness” had a strong focus on the physical - fitness and nutrition, with a generous scattering of fad workouts, diets and saw the rise of the early “fitspo” influencers and celebrity trainers.
It was where this new movement was born and as a result the world is definitely a fitter and more health-conscious place, and trending up. But today we're exploring what we think is the biggest shift in the health sphere in the last decade...
Around twenty years ago, yoga was treading on the edge and concepts like meditation and mindfulness were about as radical as it came… certainly not something the average person considered implementing, let alone practicing daily.
Yet as the world has raced ahead in technology and science, the fitness industry has exploded and there’s been enormous growth on the other side of health, that which focuses on the mind. The busier we get and the more we try and handle, the more we’ve needed, as a society, to dive into practices that help us create balance and a more holistic wellness focus in our lives.
We’ve realised that a focus on personal development and mindfulness can bridge the gap between all the other stuff we’re trying to get a handle on. The more we dive in, the more benefits we find - improved mental health and happiness, better stress management, greater self awareness, a sense of empowerment and balance, improved physical health.
We’ve become aware that what goes on in our minds can directly influence our external circumstances, so it’s probably worth investing some time and energy into getting our headspace right.
Where’s it come from? Well it’s not a new concept at all… with origins in yoga, buddhism and other spiritual systems, mindfulness, meditation and their associated practices date back millennia. But the way we access it now is where the new and exciting stuff is happening!
The fusion of ancient spiritual principles and powerful mental practices with modern technology has resulted in some pretty fantastic ways to get stuck into the mindfulness movement, bring it into our everyday and reap the benefits.
From meditation apps to mindfulness journals, clubhouse conversations, mindset classes at health clubs and online workshops. There’s ebooks and courses and every tool you can imagine… there’s somewhere for every personality to start, and the best thing is: with mindfulness, there’s no right or wrong way to do it.
But as with any new thing with a whole lot of options, it can be overwhelming to know where to dive in, so here are a few of our favourite methods that we think would be a great starting point for developing your own mindfulness practice.
1 Join a yoga class
Whether it’s in a gym, a specialised studio, an online class or a free youtube video, yoga is a perfect gateway to mindful exploration. By combining physical movement with mindful exploration it can be easier to escape from everything else that’s going on in your life and create some space to focus on building your new habit.
2 Create a journaling habit
This too can take many forms… whether it’s the old fashioned ‘dear diary’ approach, recounting your experiences to create some mental space, a single page exploration of something your working through, a sentence a day reflection or an expressive consciousness stream, putting pen to paper is a great way to connect with your thoughts and create clarity.
3 Try meditation
This one can be daunting at first, but don’t worry - we all sucked when we started. One of the easiest ways to get into meditation is with an app (there’s plenty of free ones) or on youtube. Find one with a voice you like and a method that resonates. Whether it’s a body scan relaxation, a visualisation or a breathing exercise, there’s many approaches. Even a couple of minutes a day can start to build a powerful and life-changing habit.
4 Let someone guide you in
If 1-3 feel a bit too intimidating, a book/audiobook or podcast could be a great introduction. Learning about someone else’s ideas and experiences on mindset and mindfulness can be helpful in starting to navigate your own. Some of our favourite authors include Jen Sincero, Eckhart Tolle, Esther/Abraham Hicks, Jay Shetty and Carol Dweck.
These are some great ways we’ve used, but as we said before - there’s no right way to do mindfulness. It can be as simple as paying a bit more attention to your thoughts and focusing on being more present.
We’d love to hear your ideas about the expansion of the wellness industry and your favourite ways to implement mindfulness.
Drop a comment below with your ideas, recommendations and experiences.