Health buzzwords. Vegan, pescatarian, paleo, minimalism, mindfulness, yoga, and meditation… It’s amazing how these words were once seen as obscure and foreign concepts.
Images conjured up of hippies out in flower fields eating kale, listening to acoustic music, braiding daisies into each other’s hair and talking about the rolling power of peace and love.
These were once the ‘oddballs’ of society.
But what’s fascinating is how over recent years these health ‘buzzwords’ have become normalised and accepted as part of our societal norms. No longer if you’re Vegan or practise Yoga during your lunch breaks are you seen as unique or an ‘oddball’.
It’s become normal.
And it’s not just people like you or I who have caught onto these buzzwords, companies have latched on too.
In my job where I work with big FMCG companies to help design and market their brands i’m seeing more and more briefs come in that focus on branding products as ‘Vegan’, ‘Natural’, or ‘Raw’. I even once sat in a client meeting and was asked the question “So, what’s the next Avocado?”.
And this got me thinking, what is the next health ‘buzzword’? What’s driving these buzzwords to become normalised? And is this ‘goodness’ actually doing us good?
Well, it depends on how you absorb it.
These health ‘buzzwords’ in themselves are intended for good. They’re often derived from ancient and sacred practises. And when applied properly they can make us happier, healthier and more connected with ourselves, with others and our planet.
But what’s happened over time is these words have got caught up in a storm – Whirling through social media, through companies, products, and advertising, and what was once originally intended for good has transformed into a means to sell, to become famous and to make a lot of money.
They’ve lost their meaning.
When these buzzwords are powered by celebritism and money-making over anything else, what we’re reading, watching and consuming is not necessarily going to be true or ‘good for us’.
Don’t be influenced.
Is a product Vegan because the brand cares for the environment and animals? Or is it using the word ‘Vegan’ as a way to make money and as a marketing ploy?…The company could actually being doing really harmful things to the environment or animals through its manufacturing processes.
Is that influencer really practising ‘mindfulness’ when they’re posting a picture of themselves doing Yoga with perfect makeup and a sunset in the background?… Isn’t the act of taking a photo of yourself doing Yoga looking perfect the complete opposite of what mindfulness is all about?
I’ve been there.
I’ve bought products because I saw on Instagram how this pill can make your hair super long, or how much weight you can lose from drinking this tea. I’ve been to a Yoga class and made sure I had perfect makeup and the newest gym gear to ‘look the part’.
This is not ‘goodness’, this is not helping us with our health, our relationships or our happiness.
Mindfulness shouldn’t be about how you look, but about how you feel. And Veganism shouldn’t be a benefit label on a product, but a practise for good health and an expression of our own personal beliefs.
We need to get back to the source.
We need to be careful, to digest information with a level of skepticism, and find sources that we can trust.
We need to unfollow, unlike, and to turn away from sources that are feeding us the wrong outputs of these ‘buzzwords’.
We need to choose sources from real people – people that show vulnerability, passion and are not concerned with how the world perceives them.
Develop a personal source library.
Developing a personal source library will help to ensure you get information that is reputable, trustworthy, and aligns to your own personal values and beliefs.
Within your own source library I recommend you create a suite of ‘channels’ where you get your information from. For me I have 3 channels, and these are:
1. Personal relationships
- Family and friends.
- These are the people that know me best, whom I share similar values and beliefs with.
- I’ve learnt a lot from my family and friends on an array of health and wellness matters by listening to their own experiences, advice, and stories.
2. Digital aids
- These are everyday people who host Youtube channels, Podcasts or Blogs.
- I call this group of people ‘digital aids’ as they are exactly that, people I resonate with from the online world and who aid me in life to learn, make decisions and to grow.
- What makes these people special is they often have a profound passion for something, and they use their platforms to share their voice, knowledge, and stories to help others.
- I’ve learnt a lot through my own digital aids, from everyday life hacks, through to diet and mental health advice.
3. Masters of fields
- These are real-life masters – Practitioners, nutritionists, scientists, lecturers, spiritualists, and naturopaths.
- This group is particularly important if you’re wanting to understand more about your own health and what’s right for you, your spirituality, and/or learn about a specific subject matter to do with health and wellness.
- You could access these people either in person, through lectures and classes or elsewhere through books, online, and papers.
It is by building these parameters, being a little bit skeptical and knowing where to get your information from that you will harness the good in these ‘buzzwords’, and in fact they’ll never be ‘buzzwords’ to you, but healthy practises to help you live a more fulfilling and happy life.
So go on, harness your own personal source library, talk to your friends and family, listen to Podcasts, go to classes, and never stop questioning or asking why?
THE LADDER GIRL