Is social media a driver of the $4.2 Trillion “wellness” industry?
Per a 2019 Global Wellness Institute Study, the wellness industry is worth $4.2 trillion internationally. The cottage industries capitalizing on wellness include beauty, cannabis, nature prescriptions, apparel, meditation, fragrance (e.g. oils, candles, incense, body products), food, music, among others.
The term wellness is trending everywhere, and business is booming for entrepreneurs and executives world round who are peddling its benefits. One I find most fascinating is doctors who are now prescribing nature walks and yoga instead of pharmaceutical products.
What is health vs wellness?
One of my main questions for years has been what exactly is wellness, and how is it different from health?
The word health often conjures physical or mental well-being. After digesting a number of different definitions for wellness, I’m going with it as a holistic (body, mind & spirit), conscious, self-directed, and ever-evolving state that people pursue in the interest of living their best lives imaginable.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) identified the 8 Dimensions of Wellness, outlined below. Visit “What Is Wellness” by Ryan Corte, O.D. for expansion on the dimensions.
Ok. Got what it is. But why has wellness become so popular? It’s being marketed to populations globally — and we’re all buying it BIG time. My take is that in a technologically advanced society complete with international access at our fingertips to people, places and things, we are overwhelmed and as a society are not well.
Studies have shown that there is a connection between depression and lowered self esteem and social media consumption. As such, modern society fuels wellness, and will continue to if we continue the patterns of today dominated by social comparisons.
Think about it, if we continue to wake up and go to sleep looking at curated images of our loved ones having the time of their lives, having babies, getting married, finishing college, buying a new car, going on a date…or anything else celebrated in society, then unsatisfied, insatiable desires within make you want to escape, be thinner, be more voluptuous, have more, be different — anything other than just “be” who you are. And wellness to the rescue to help you normalize the situation.
What does buying “wellness” get us?
Here are some product categories that address the 8 wellness dimensions:
How to avoid overspending on wellness?
Simple. Avoid social comparisons. Journey inward. Set a daily dose of social media, and even change who you follow if who you follow makes you uncomfortable with your God-given self.
Social media is here to stay. So, punditing erasure or complete avoidance is silly. However, I do advocate for total wellness to minimize social comparison and also use it in a more constructive, life-beneficial way.
My prayer is for accessibility and affordability of wellness products and services to all so people have the transformative tools needed to enhance their lives. Also, I hope that wellness leaders & manufacturers will be genuine in their efforts and not race to oversaturate subpar products per market demand and overcapitalize a market that adds value to many people.