Are we on the way to becoming a feel-good society? From the point of view of the Global Wellness Institute and according to future researchers, our society is developing in this direction. "Well-Being" and "Wellness": These two terms are synonymous with this new trend - at least when it comes to actively opting for a lifestyle that leads to more holistic health.
For futurologist Matthias Horx and his team, the "well-being society" is associated with a shift in values that is changing working and living cultures (Trend Report 2014). This change in values is noticeable when, for example, generation Y, which is moving into the working world, no longer puts career aspirations or a full-time job first in life. When companies rate team performance higher than individual performance. When home office, family breaks, mindful business and sabbaticals become a natural part of the work culture. Or when new forms of cooperation and leadership are discussed and lived in the business world.
The trend towards more "well-being" should also be understood as a counter-trend to the strict work ethic in a tightly organised industrial society and in view of the changing significance of human work in the digital economy.
Live and work holistically: What exactly does that mean? Women and men are searching new ways to gain more quality of life encompassing body, mind and soul. They have learned that health resources and well-being are determined by their own personal behaviour. Everyone can take care of their own health and learn to make sure that the fragile balance between body, mind and soul remains in balance. In the business world, this trend towards a better quality of life is reflected, for example, in the fact that more and more people in companies go jogging together during lunch breaks. Research shows that the connection with nature can reduce anxiety, stress and depression.
Harry Gatterer, Managing Director of the Zukunftsinstitut (www.zukunftinstitut.de), says on the subject of quality of life: "Especially in a digital world it is the human encounter, it is emotional experiences that become important again and make the difference. It's about improving the quality of life ... and thus satisfying a deeply rooted human need - I'm talking about relaxation, inspiration, the need to meet friends and spend a good time with them."
According to the Future Report 2017 of the Future Institute, it is the "Global Generation", a group of younger people born into a highly networked world, who pay great attention to doing "the right thing", to working and living in a meaningful way, also with regard to their own health.
In its current report, the Global Wellness Institute also describes the trend towards optimising well-being. Wellness and Well-Being win thereby a holistic dimension: Not only body, spirit and soul are addressed, but also the ecological, social and economic surrounding field. Those who give priority to Well-Being are also reorienting their lifestyle accordingly: Living and living should take place close to nature, in buildings made of natural building materials and built to high ecological standards and offering protection from too much noise. Technology is there to support people in their well-being.
Active instead of passive: This inner attitude also contributes to greater well-being. According to the Global Wellness Institute, in the civil society of the future the tendency towards more individuality will be extended to the "community" - researchers describe this trend as "From Me to We". It also implies "wellness communities" that actively advocate behaviors that promote holistic health, for example through regular physical activity and exercise that keeps people young and fit, through conviviality and active engagement in a civil society in which people support each other in solidarity.
The desire for a value-oriented, strong and genuine human community ultimately breaks down the "I" perspective - towards a larger "we". The Global Wellness Institute's Trend Report states: "In a true community, people are aware of their connections to others; that their choices and lifestyles have a greater impact on the environment around them and that their behaviour can contribute to the well-being of others”.
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