The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) found that there was new happiness science to indicate where the wellness industry needed to turn. In a nutshell, to boost a person's well-being there must be more social connection and less technology connection.
The Stats on Happiness
The GWI found in Wellness Meets Happiness report that there is new research showing how a constant digital connection to smartphones, social media, etc. are creating anxiety and depression in people. Thus, the belief that disconnecting from technology could actually help boost societal happiness and wellness is growing beyond the wellness industry. Governments are also starting to work on tackling the problems of unhappy populations, so much so that the UAE appointed the world's first Minister for Happiness and the UK appointed a Minister of Loneliness.
The science of happiness is not as new as it might seem either. A Harvard study, started in 1938, has followed men from different economic and social backgrounds to measure their happiness in their lives. Robert Waldinger, study director, professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, found that strong community and close relationships led the participants in the study to a higher level of happiness more so than IQ, fame, money, class or genes.
The Spa's Role in Happiness
Starting with the most obvious of how spas have been helping turn the tides in favor of the technological disconnect to boost happiness, many spas have become digital-free zones. They don't allow for phones to be used or at the grasp of the clients in the spa, to allow for the client to fully relax without having a slew of text messages, emails and social media updates at their fingertips.
There has also been the rise of "silent spas," which again allows people to fulfill their need of shutting out the static noise that technology can create, and it allows people to return to their own thoughts and contemplation without being interrupted. Many of these spas are located in areas that are deep in nature, which allows for a more natural feeling of disconnect from technology without it seeming forced.
Spas have the ability to help people pull away from their technological device that is typically glued to their hip, and allow for some social connection and some internal connection. Clients are not alone while in the spa, but they are also given time to reflect and focus on themselves without being interrupted by a buzzing on their hip.