The 5 Well-Being Trends to Watch in 2020

by Alice Dommert
December 26, 2019
Habits, Positive Psychology, Wholebeing

Our Prasada team has been part of the evolving wellness industry over the last 10 years. Here are the top 5 trends we’re noticing as we head into 2020.

1. A shift to focus on mental and emotional well-being.

Wellness programs have primarily focused on the physical aspects of wellness. Within the last year, the focus has shifted to concerns and interest around emotional and mental health.

This is a natural and welcome evolution for two reasons. First, we’re on the right track. Empirical studies continue to verify how movement and exercise provide innumerable benefits for mental and emotional well-being.

The second reason this shift is so significant lies in the expanding field of Positive Psychology and mindset science. We now understand that our beliefs and thoughts, about stress and many other subjects, have a measurable impact on our physiology and physical health. This is a game-changer as more programs are being offered to cultivate mindset awareness and training.  

2. The evolution of more robust organizational policies and programs to foster well-being.

Susie Ellis of the Global Wellness Summit recently wrote,” We need to broaden our thinking so that we are not just talking about wellness for the people, but also wellness for our planet.”

We may still be a few years away from linking individual wellness to the wellness of the planet; however, worldwide progressive leaders now understand that the future of successful and sustainable organizations lies within the positive engagement of their workforce. Well-being is not solely the responsibility of each individual but must also be seriously fostered within the policies and culture of an organization. 

An example of this is the American Bar Association’s Wellbeing Tool-Kit, introduced in 2018 as an innovative campaign to address the profession’s troubling rates of alcohol and other substance-use disorders and mental health issues. Currently, there are 164 Signatory Pledges from law firms and law schools across the country committed to individual and organizational well-being. For the legal professions to offer this Tool-Kit is remarkable, and a precedent has now been set for other industries. 

3. Breathwork is emerging as an easily accessible and powerful practice for health and healing.

People don’t recognize the term breathwork, yet. It encompasses a whole array of ways to breathe from ocean breathing done during a yoga practice to balance the nervous system to holotropic breathwork used to work with deeper emotional healing and mindset shifts.

In a yoga practice, the integrated movement and connected breathwork are what makes yoga more than physical exercise. In a mindfulness meditation practice, the breath is the object of attention. Studies show that a mindfulness practice builds vagal tone to support the parasympathetic nervous system and build mental immunity to anxiety and stress.

What makes breathwork appealing and powerful is that no experience or equipment is required, and breathwork can be practiced by anyone. 

4. Nature is being prescribed because of the mental and physical health benefits it can provide.

In the 2019 Global Wellness Trends, Prescribing Nature was one of the trends and catching on across the globe. Jennifer Walsh and Beth McGroarty write in the report that “There is enough science about the health benefits of nature to get the attention of the medical profession,” and there is hard science to prove it. 

Some of the solutions seem too simple to be true. Getting outside even in an urban environment with some street trees can boost morale and self-esteem and a session of forest bathing (a walk in the woods) can lower cortisol levels, boost the immune systems and shift other physiologies of the body. 

Also, we know that most people spend 90% of their days indoors and how we design our buildings matters. Using biophilic design principles to allow for more sunlight light, better indoor air quality, more natural patterns, colors and textures, and guidelines like the WELL Building Standards our buildings and workspaces can have a positive impact on occupants

5. The realization that health, purpose and joy are not built from enough time or money. These are created from a focus on what matters and our daily habits.

James Clear, one of the leaders of the study of habits, writes, “We don’t rise to our goals we fall to our systems.” Clear is leading the way of showing that with awareness, our simple systems of daily habits and actions can build whatever we desire. 

At Prasada, we call these daily habits wholebeing practices—habits of awareness for mind and body. These are real, tested strategies, skills and actions that repeat daily with immediate results and benefits that also compound over time.  

When the medical fields looked at the high rate of burnout, the Institute of Healthcare Improvement created a program and White Paper, Improving Joy in Work. The program helps to align team members and entire departments and organizations around habits to support what matters and the desire to serve patients. 

This shift back to the focus on patient care with an additional alignment with an individual’s purpose and meaning at work builds positive experiences, like happiness and inspiration, positive states of gratituderesilience and compassion and fosters institutions where positive principles are applied across the entire organization.

These are the things we’ll be keeping our eyes on for 2020. Let us know what you are seeing and what you’d like more of in the year ahead. 

Alice Dommert

Alice Dommert

Founder, Wholebeing Architect

View my other posts