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The overstimulation with technology and always being reachable is affecting our overall well-being
As originally published in Entrepreneur on January 3, 2019. https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/325597
Eating well and exercising are no longer enough to optimize health and performance as our lifestyles have taken a spin over the years. We work for longer hours, sit too long glued to our computer screens and stress over things endlessly. The overstimulation with technology and always being reachable is affecting our overall well-being. Small wonder then, burnout, stress and depression have become common among leaders, entrepreneurs, and the workplace, in general. They don’t measure time in weeks or months but from deadline to deadline, launch to launch, and failure to failure. So, it’s not easy to avoid stress.
Studies show that stress and burnout lead to work-related issues such as job dissatisfaction, absenteeism, inefficient decision-making, and turnover, as well as health-related issues such as depression, heart disease, and even death. People are realizing their bad effects and looking for a solution. And the answer will come from within our body.
If the 1980s and 1990s were about aerobic exercises, the 2000s brought in more resistance training and the 2010s were geared toward nutrition. We can even notice the result of this shift in the fitness levels of professional players in different sports — they are getting fitter and snappier. As we get closer to 2020s, we are going to see yet another shift for better health and fitness. In the new year, we will shift more toward the pursuit of internal well-being for the sake of higher productivity and general health.
Here’s what to expect in 2019 and beyond in terms of health and fitness:
Growing evidence shows the direct link between the digestive system, stress and mental health issues. We will see streamlined tests becoming widespread, which would identify strategies on correcting the digestion and balancing out the gut microbiota. People are going to pay much closer attention to inflammation and checking if they have increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut).
Managing stress will continue to dominate the internal health conversation with more boutique businesses popping up to help people use varied techniques to recover their body and mind from daily stresses. Meditation apps are a great investment.
Over the past few years, scientific evidence has shown that practicing mindfulness, even taking short breaks and going for treks or simply walking in the park, affects the body and the brain in several positive ways. It thickens the gray matter in the brain, which is centered around the hippocampus, promotes learning and memory skills, and also strengthens the ability to empathize. It is also known to improve focus, reduce anxiety, depression, and activity in the default mode network in the brain, which is responsible for the self-conscious thoughts. What’s more, the general population is going to look to expand their knowledge of how brain chemistry works.
Sleep tracking and optimization will be another booming market as more and more people are becoming insomniacs due to stressful lifestyles and habits. It is imperative to sleep for good 7-8 hours every day, and we should ensure that we get it every single day.
Interestingly, the points mentioned above are not unbeknown to health-conscious folks. The new year and beyond is going to be the start of us realizing that our bodies cannot, and should not be allowed to take toll of daily stresses of our lives. The future is not only about treating our planet better, but also about how we are going to focus more on treating our internal bodies much better to prolong our thriving existence.