In 2018, we can expect many of us wellness devotees to be shopping and consuming adaptogens and taking measures to feel less consumed by technology. From practising sound healing to sipping on comforting superfood drinks, this year, we aim to feel better connected to the present moment and find ways to improve our wellbeing in a kinder manner.
Words: Meri Frig
These are the questions being asked now: Have you paid attention to the way you speak to yourself? Are you perhaps even too critical of yourself or do you see yourself constantly comparing yourself to others? According to Dr. Kristin Neff, self-compassion means, first, being kind, warm and understanding toward yourself, second, recognizing that suffering and personal inadequacy is part of the shared human experience, and third, observing thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them.
We are now witnessing a buzz around this concept of self-compassion. According to a recent article in the New York Times, for example, self-compassion is a more important success factor than self-confidence. Self-compassion keeps us better connected to others, enables a better understanding of our flaws and strengths, and therefore helps us learn and improve. What is more – it is argued to help us overcome negative thought patterns as well as in empathising with others.
2. Finding Bliss in a Drink
For a while now, we have already witnessed a global matcha boom: the powdered green tea has found its way not only to our precious tea moments and, oh wouldn’t we like, to tea ceremonies, but in many types of foods and drinks. Due to its natural antioxidant qualities, matcha has been called the superhero among teas and health freaks now prefer matcha to coffee as an energy boosting drink.
Kombucha is said to be the drink of the year in 2018. The beverage is claimed to have incredible health benefits for the heart, brain, and gut – gut health being another huge trend at the moment. While kombucha is becoming mainstream, craft brewers are in the business of competing for the best blend.
And there are more and more cups of (hot) bliss at offer for the purpose of finding improved mental clarity and cures for, well, nearly everything. Some prepare herbal coffee super lattes with carefully selected superfoods or adaptogens and plant-based milk. Four Sigmatic is planning a mushroom coffee revolution with mushroom coffee mixes that include functional mushrooms like Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, and Lion's Mane as ingredients.
Then others are shopping adaptogens with the aim to reach balanced energy, a calm mind, or a resilient body. Moon Juice Brain Dust promises more focus, Beauty Dust more allure, Sex Dust more desire, and Spirit Dust more bliss.
3. Meditation Craze Takes New and Different Forms
We are definitely witnessing a meditation craze. Then again, many have confessed they have tried meditation but have stopped the routine after one or a series of attempts. As a consequence there are now plenty of different options that claim to provide calming effects and meditative experiences.
An increasing number of people are trying a kinder approach to meditation: not expecting to reach the Zen-ness of a Buddhist monk in a week, but trying to find a slightly calmer and clearer state of mind - at least for a moment. The goal may rather be to find a practice that could seamlessly infuse the benefits of meditation into the current lifestyle and would become a welcomed routine, rather than immediately reaching the perfect state of being.
Breathwork, for instance, is increasing in popularity. Breathwork practitioners guide into a higher state of consciousness using a circular breath, thus allowing for any trapped emotions or traumas to rise to the surface. Telling us that we are our own shamans, breath ceremonies aim to leave their participants feeling more whole and integrated. Breathwork is increasingly popular since it is believed to be better available in moments of stress, or even a "shortcut to a meditative state".
According to recent research, sound meditation aids in reducing feelings of tension, anxiety, and depression, especially among those who have not previously practiced this form of meditation. Tibetan singing bowls are common not only in yoga classes but in vibrational sound massage, group therapy, or practically anywhere from homes to the launch of a new natural cosmetics line with the aim to reach deep relaxation. Typically used to signify the start or end of meditation or a yoga practice, hitting the singing bowl only once is said to soothe the mind and body. The sounds aid in staying present in the moment and in focusing on breathing and clearing the mind.
Mariela Sarkima found help from sound relaxation five years ago when she was dealing with a lot of stress at the time of her book launch. It was the most relaxing experience of her life, she says, and as she found it very helpful, she decided to study the healing modality and help others. "As people are under a lot of stress, we are now more open to different forms of relaxation techniques," Mariela argues. Sound relaxation with singing bowls has been found to be very helpful for those that have not practiced with meditation.
4. Digital Detox
While the benefits of turning your attention away from your smartphone to your physical surroundings do not really come as news anymore, technology is now referred to as the ‘next tobacco’. People are increasingly aware of smartphone addiction and its harmful effects on our wellbeing. We are told that the more platforms we are on, the more stressed we tend to feel. Many feel that they have been overly concerned about, and consumed by, their social media presence and consciously decide to take a break to feel more connected to the present moment.
While an increasing number of us make the decision to just disconnect and stay away from social media platforms for a given amount of time, some even look for more help and turn to eco-resorts or other spaces and places where they can find peer support and concentrate on, say, surfing, yoga, and whatnot – the options for digital detox retreats are now countless and available almost everywhere, from cities to the most remote destinations.