Five weird wellness trends, and the science behind why they work

It seems like there’s a new mindfulness or wellness trend to try every week, all claiming various mental and physical benefits. But do they actually benefit you?

The experts at Poem Analysis reveal the science behind five of the most popular wellness and mindfulness practices and trends, so you’ll know which ones are worth a try. 

1) Poetic meditation

Why it works

For people that struggle with traditional meditation, poetic meditation might be for you. By immersing yourself in poetry, either reading or writing, you can practice mindfulness by training your attention to remain fully present and aware.

Studies have shown that expressive writing, including poetry, has been linked to emotional healing and improved psychological outcomes, and can improve wellbeing, reduce stress, and even enhance immune system and organ function.

How to do it

Choose a poem that resonates with you and find a quiet and peaceful environment where you can focus without interruption. Get comfortable, and allow your mind and body to relax. Read the poem aloud, paying attention to the rhythm, cadence, and imagery.

As you engage with the poem, observe the thoughts and feelings that arise; embrace the present moment. Another approach is to write the poetry yourself, rather than reading it, letting the words flow in a steam of consciousness. 

2) Grumpy girl stomp

Why it works

The grumpy girl stomp is the opposite of the hot girl walk and is a lower maintenance way improve your mood. Where the hot girl walk involves concentrating on things that make you happy, and encouraging a positive attitude, the stomp allows you embrace being angry for a while. 

Studies have shown that exercise boosts your mood and helps improve mental health as well as physical health, and a grumpy girl stomp means you can walk off the bad mood you’re in (even if you’re annoyed by the idea). Expressing anger in a healthy way can be a positive thing, that can even improve muscular performance when exercising. 

How to do it 

It doesn’t matter what you look like – put your hood up and throw on some sunglasses and headphones, and block everyone out. Think about the results you want to achieve, like releasing anger and frustration, and choose where you’re going to walk – try somewhere new, if possible, rather than seeing the same things you see every day.

If you can stomp around in nature, like by the sea or in the woods, even better. Pay attention to your surroundings, the things you can see and smell, and you’ll begin to focus on those, rather than the bad mood.

3) Cyclic sighing 

Why it works 

Cyclic sighing balances the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in our bloodstream, which helps to regulate neurotransmitters and hormonal responses linked to anxiety.

It encourages the release of endorphins and reduces the production of stress hormones like cortisol; this harmonizing effect on our body and mind provides relief from stress by being the opposite to the shallow, rapid breaths associated with anxiety.

How to do it 

Breathe in through your nose, and before exhaling, take another deep breath in, expanding your lungs as much as you can. Exhale through your mouth, very slowly, and repeat this cycle for five minutes, focusing on the rhythm and allowing each breath to be deliberate and soothing.

4) Solo wellness travel 

Why it works 

One of the significant benefits of solo wellness travel is the freedom it provides; you have the freedom to choose your own itinerary, indulge in activities that truly resonate with you, and savour moments of solitude to recharge. It enables you to fully immerse yourself in the present moment, whether it’s through meditation, yoga, or just sightseeing and exploring natural landscapes.

This mindful awareness cultivates inner peace, reduces stress, and promotes mental clarity, and studies have shown that it can also build confidence. 

How to do it 

Research your destination thoroughly – it can help to go somewhere you’re familiar with if it’s your first solo trip. Make sure friends and family know where you are and be vigilant while out exploring. Have a rough itinerary, but don’t plan everything to the minute, as that will make you focus on your schedule rather than enjoying the moment.

Remember to schedule in time to do nothing, rather than filling every hour with activities, to allow yourself to truly rest and recharge. 

5) Rage journalling 

Why it works

This works in a similar way to the grumpy girl stomp, by allowing yourself to get out the rage you’re feeling in a healthy way, rather than taking it out on yourself and people around you.

Unlike the grumpy girl stomp, however, rage journalling is private, and allows you to create your own safe space to vent and explore anger in a constructive and healing manner, and harness the energy to transform it into self-awareness, growth, creativity. 

How to do it 

A notebook is best for rage journalling so you can rip out and destroy pages as you go, but you might prefer furious typing. Whichever medium you prefer, write down your thoughts and feelings, and be as brutally honest as you can.

Write down everything that angered or upset you that day, how it made you feel, both mentally and physically, how you reacted, and how you made yourself feel better. By consistently journalling, you might start to see patterns in what triggers you, so you can take steps to overcome them.