Discover 5 wellness trends to improve your health and calm your mind

From soil bathing to microbiome kits, here are five wellness trends tipped to shape the pursuit of a calmer, healthier life into the future.

Wellness is definitely the buzzword of our times.

For many, the focus has shifted from treating disease to preventing it, and we like to seek out ways to keep improving our physical and mental health.

Sound like you? Here are some of the hottest wellness trends to try:

1. ‘Flow’ activities

The biggest barrier to wellbeing now and into the future is our collective inability to focus, according to Wellness Coaching Australia chief executive Fiona Cosgrove.

Fiona says focus needs to be “learned from scratch” to help us avoid negative impacts on sleep, relationships and overall mental and physical health.

“Our brains haven’t evolved to deal with what’s coming at us in a FOMO-driven world characterised by information overload,” Fiona says.

“We’re addicted to screens and gadgets that provide constant stimulation and dopamine hits.”

She suggests slowing down by scheduling “flow” activities – where you are totally immersed – and tapping into creativity.

2. Soil bathing

You may have heard of forest bathing (time in nature), but what about soil bathing?

The Global Wellness Institute says this means being exposed to soil’s “bacterial and fungal richness”, which can impact everything from immune to mental health.

The institute says farm experiences will become important in the wellness field, along with soulful nature experiences such as “awe” walks and wild swimming.

3. Information curation

With our exposure to the 24/7 news cycle, it can seem like the world is full of doom and gloom.

Future Crunch chief executive Rebecca Maklad warns against tuning into “junk information”.

“Instead of making us better informed, junk information causes us to walk around with the wrong risk map in our heads, feeling bad about the world and ourselves,” Rebecca says.

She recommends “tuning our information diet to intelligent, fact-based optimism”.

To help improve your mental health and wellbeing, choose “intentional, intelligent information”, such as thoughtfully curated books, podcasts and positive news articles.

4. Microbiome testing

Future Crunch co-founder and cancer scientist Tane Hunter says advances in microbiome testing will revolutionise health and longevity.

Viome already offers at-home gut microbiome test kits to determine personalised nutrition and supplements.

However, as Tane explains, your microbiome, or trillions of “tiny critters” (such as bacteria, fungi and viruses), extends beyond your gut to skin, mouth and other areas.

He says microbiome samples can now pinpoint biologically relevant characteristics, including age, sex, “what antibiotics you’ve had during your lifetime, and cancer treatments you’ll respond to”.

5. Wearable wellness

Hi-tech wearable devices already do everything from measure our sleep patterns to monitor our heart rate.

But by 2030 you can expect even more technology, such as sensors under mattresses that share sleep data with exercise equipment, and smart fridges that helpfully suggest, “Don’t make coffee”.

Other future high-tech health trends, according to an Ipsos market research report, include smart tattoos that change colour as they monitor metabolism, blood glucose and blood pressure; wearables and trackers that “hack our biology”; and 3D food printers.

Written by Shelley Thomas.