Cultivating Happiness

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As our lives are increasingly busier and more stressful, the need for a broader sense of self is becoming a hot button topic. How can we juggle work and personal interests/hobbies while maintaining the right level of self-care? With the constant streaming of information and imagery, it’s up to each person to interpret the messages and meaning of what’s being conveyed—but there is a growing demand for creating more positivity and wellbeing through lifestyle and technology.

From the second we rise to the last few minutes before sleep, the amount of stimulus we are exposed to from devices can be overwhelming even for those well-equipped for multi-tasking. This is case-in-point why forms of stress release such as meditation are on the rise, even in the workplace. Apps that can help guide us through relaxation exercises and promote happiness and positive thinking have become their own category. Future lunch breaks could include a meditation pod, where the user sits inside a cozy space, surrounded by ambient LED lighting with optional sounds and pre-programed music. Designed by Open Vessel, these egg-shaped rooms are mean to help renew focus, relax busy minds and even energize the user, making employees more efficient over time.

When it comes to happiness as a lifestyle, another approach is the act of decluttering living spaces. Marie Condo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up introduced many consumers to this concept. Though this is considered a form of minimalism to some, there are other cultural influences that lean towards a more relaxed atmosphere by design. Take the Swedish terms hygge and lagom for instance both of which have multiple translations, but can be interpreted as bringing “balance” and “cozy, or relaxed” themes into home interiors. Being surrounded by items that provide a safe and warm feeling to those who live among them, or are simply there for a visit, houseware companies have created collections that adhere to this concept. A detail worth pointing out here is that hygge and lagom both encompass all areas of life, including work, family, diet and exercise, not just fluffy blankets and fancy hot cocoa mugs from IKEA.

In the digital age where even the Dali Lama has his own smartphone app to encourage spiritual and positive messaging, other markets are being affected by this need for self-care. One that is being positioned as a top trend for 2018 is the Green Beauty boom. This movement is taking the concept of holistic health a step further by overhauling the personal care products we use.
Companies like Target are heeding the call from consumers looking for cleaner options by making brands like Burt’s Bees and S. W. Basics a focus within their cosmetic sections. The shift doesn’t solely focus on women, either as many of these lines include products made for everyone in the family looking for a more natural alternative to soothe their bodies.

Whether it’s the need for a more positive outlook, more natural body care, better nutrition, or simply a minute out of a bustling lifestyle spent playing a brain-boosting game, the business of self-preservation now has a brighter, happier modus operandi.

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