Bryter Insight Director Isabel Wood explores our global survey results showing consumer behaviors in relation to mental health and wellbeing
In recent years, there has been a significant increase in awareness and discussion surrounding mental health. This shift towards acknowledging and prioritising mental wellbeing is evident in both personal conversations and public discourse. As a result, more individuals are now recognising the importance of addressing their mental health, both through practising self-care and seeking professional support when needed.
The ever-growing mental wellness industry offers a myriad of options relating to mental health management and self-care, from counselling sessions to meditation classes and online courses. But for individuals around the world, practising self-care can mean many different things.
A survey conducted by Bryter among 11,075 consumers across six global markets (US, Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, and Italy) sheds a light on what activities people tend to do to help with their mental wellbeing. And in many cases, these activities do not necessarily involve practising mindfulness and meditation…
Basic wellbeing functions
Across all the markets, basic wellbeing functions come on top. At a global level, 64% say that they (always / sometimes) go for a walk, in order to help with their mental health. The importance of rest and relaxation is also paramount, with 61% saying that they sleep.
Perhaps as no surprise considering recent events that forced restrictions on that front, 55% of respondents globally say that socialising with friends is their way of practicing self-care. These activities – walking, sleeping, socialising with friends – round up the top 3 across all countries surveyed.
Exercising the body and the mind
Physical activities are pivotal for mental health. Our data shows that 44% on a global level take part in cardio exercise, such as running, cycling, and swimming, 29% think that the secret to mental wellness is being buff (they lift weights or go to the gym), and 25% play team sports.
Meanwhile, mindful practices like meditation (36%) and yoga (25%) are also gaining traction. This growing affinity has spurred the purchase of related products and seen a surge in wellness retreats and workshops, highlighting the expansive potential of the industry to meet burgeoning mental health needs.
On the global level, just below cardio exercise, having sexual intercourse is a way to help with mental wellbeing for 39% of respondents. In this area, the country most committed to improving its mental health is Brazil (57%) followed by Italy (46%). The country least likely to engage in sexual intercourse for mental health reasons is the UK (25%).
Medical assistance (and self-medication)
Medical assistance remains an integral part of mental well-being strategies, with 38% of consumers relying on doctor-prescribed medication to aid their mental health. The country where this is most likely to be the case is the US (52%).
Finally, 20% globally turn to a well-established, yet not necessarily effective, strategy to assist with their mental health: drinking alcohol. The US leads the way here, too with 29%.
The shift in consumer sentiment towards prioritising mental health is undeniable. Consumers are deliberately aligning their purchasing decisions with their mental health needs, marking a shift towards a more holistic approach to well-being. Bryter’s findings not only indicate evolving consumer preferences but also spotlight potential avenues for industries to innovate and thrive in the mental wellness ecosystem.
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