Emerging Global Trends related to Mental Health & Wellness

Trends in Mental Health & Wellness

Although mental health and wellness have been important aspects of one’s life, the required action has not been coming forth. Over the years, at a global level, much work has been done in this regard. However, in India people do not consider it as important and tend to shy away from the topic.

The recent pandemic has been a wake-up call to almost everyone and now we have begun to realise its meaning and importance. A slight shift in our attitude and perspective will help us go a long way! For that it is imperative to understand the current trends in Mental Health & Wellness.

Emerging Trends

It is because of the changing views and perspectives about mental health and holistic wellness, one sees a lot of scope in the Wellness industry. As per the current estimate of renowned economists, medical professionals, academia, and leaders across all sectors of the wellness industry, it is proposed to be at $3.2 BILLION. We will share some global trends pertaining to Mental Health and Holistic Wellness.

Global Trends

A special initiative and vision of the World Health Organisation (WHO) are to enable all people to achieve the highest levels of mental health and well-being. They also started a campaign, which deals with making mental health and well-being for all a global priority. Over a decade ago, Global Wellness Day started as a social project to highlight the importance of holistic well-being. Across the world, one celebrates it on the second Saturday of June every year.

The basic premise of this day was that each one of us should ask ourselves a question as to how we can lead a healthier and better life. The objective of this day was also to build and spread awareness of why and how to live well. Many organisations have taken up this concept seriously, celebrate it with a meaningful purpose, and encourage wellness activities to promote healthy habits. One should treat every day as a Wellness day for sustained and long-term positive results.

Likewise, World Mental Health Day is celebrated every year on 10th October to spread awareness of mental health issues and mental illness and their impact on one’s life. The purpose is also to educate people against the social stigma attached to them. This day was first celebrated 3 decades ago in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, which is a global mental health organisation with members in over 150 countries.

The global self-care medical devices market size reached US$ 21.0 Billion in 2021. The forecast is that the market may reach US$ 32.2 Billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.38% during 2021-2027.

Colours for mental health

The green ribbon is the international symbol of mental health awareness and by wearing it; you show those around you that you care about their mental health.

Various studies and research show that the colour red is believed to increase appetite and angry feelings and reduce depression, purple with enhancing creativity and developing problem-solving skills, orange promotes optimism, blue increases a feeling of security and productivity, and green is associated with a sense of harmony and effectiveness. While yellow is considered the colour of happiness and brightness, grey and black are often viewed as depressing colours that may lead to one feeling low or in a dull mood.

Global actions on Wellness

A few global actions on Wellness will help us understand the rising importance of Wellness.

The Prime Minister of New Zealand started the first-ever wellness budget in 2019, to promote citizen happiness over capitalist gain. Singapore is joining hands with a tech giant to build a healthier society. The world is adopting new technologies to engage better and affect the mental health and wellness of more and more people.

Social media, television, various health-related applications, medical devices, etc. have helped people in bringing about awareness to take care of themselves. Digital wellness has seen a massive explosion. Currently, there is a worldwide culture of self-care. Finding peace within is self-care. It does not mean that one has to shy away from one’s responsibilities or actions, but one find ways to remain balanced and composed during challenging times. Individuals have begun to look after their own health based on the knowledge they have based on various factors. It helps boost self-confidence, build resilience, engage oneself positively, reduce and manage stress and anxiety, improve focus and concentration, alleviate frustration and anger, etc. However, it requires some level of commitment and investment of time to take care of one’s well-being.

Shifting focus on Wellness

It is not only a central focus in consumers’ minds but also on business and government strategies around the globe. The need to strengthen community-based care and individual care is gaining importance and various governments are actively working on them. Although they are falling short of the countries’ requirements, things appear to be positive as they are gaining momentum.

One also sees that the number of TV channels dedicated to health, meditation; wellness, etc. has increased over the years. The travel trade also tries to blend vacation travel with elements of Wellness within and has named it ‘Wellness Travel.’ Although everyone has been aware of the benefits of meditation, very few people used to practise it. Now it is gaining popularity and one directly links it with Wellness. In times of anxiety, meditation instead of medication seems to be the current focus. The Entertainment industries including cinema and music have seen vast shifts over the past few years where Wellness has become an integral part. Celebrities have started promoting Wellness in a big way to enable influence the audience in a positive manner. They have also become investors and founded wellness brands. At music sites, wellness has become a genre.

Earlier, buildings were erected primarily from a commercial angle; however, the new wave in architecture is to infuse a spiritual touch that affects our wellness in a positive and productive way. People used to pop in pills to boost their immunity. Now, the focus is on building immunity through methods suitable to an individual. There is no ‘one-fix for all.’ It is not standardisation, but personalisation. This requires one to build and maintain a balance suitable to their body. Therefore, it is not immunity boosting, but immunity balancing.

Trends in India

The Indian Prime Minister has positioned yoga as a universal exercise through the campaign of ‘hum fit to India fit’.  This is one of the many initiatives to promote Wellness.

People are now consciously taking steps to slow down and manage life efficiently. They are embracing quality over quantity, enjoying a slower, simpler and happier life through mental and physical de-clutter. Gyms have now shifted their focus to holistic fitness routines, which address both physical and mental needs instead of just physical needs.

One also sees spas and detox centres even in small towns in India with an aim to enable people to relax and improve mental well-being. There is also an emergence of luxury high-end spas to promote the combination of ancient practices with modern medicine. It is also heartening to note a positive converging of healthcare with wellness – where age-old healing practices and modern medicine come together for overall human optimization.

Future of the Indian Wellness industry

One of the upcoming sectors in the Indian context is wellness. Growing consumer awareness, increasing disposable incomes and a desire among the millennial population to transform their lifestyles for the better have given the wellness sector across the world an unprecedented boom. India is soon to become a wellness hub in the global community following a 12 per cent growth per annum. The ‘Make in India’ initiative has brought in and is expected to bring in more investments and opportunities in this sector.

Out of the $5 trillion wellness market, India will contribute around 3-4 per cent by 2025. This is a huge jump from the total contribution of less than 0.25 per cent of the total global market. An average Indian millennial now spends INR 4,000 per month on fitness and wellness.

Owing to the pandemic, the loss of loved ones and livelihoods has had a great impact on the mental and physical health of people. Therefore, holistic health and wellness are now the points of focus. With people taking interest in keeping themselves physically active, they are opting for a wellness-oriented, holistic lifestyle. They are growing more aware of the concept of ‘Mindfulness’, which is mainly used to ease the mind and the body in a way that has the same effects as exercising.

Jiriki Yoga is another great health and wellness trend in India; its design allows chi to flow freely through the body to find imbalances in the body to assist in self-healing. Preventive wellness is another concept, which is gaining focus.

Today, there are many other wellness concepts which people are willing to explore to gain Mental Health and Holistic Wellness. It all boils down to individual priorities.

Ajay Mahajan & Sadhana Rao

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