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You can learn a lot from your search history.
This month, Google released its annual “Search of the Year” list to show which terms saw the highest spikes over the past year. This overview provides some insights into what Internet users around the world care, wonder and care about in 2022.
One important topic was conspicuously absent this year: Covid-19. Vaccinations and preventing infection generated a lot of interest last year, but this year there was no mention of coronavirus in the top health and wellness searches.
Instead, this year’s searches focus on physical and mental recovery — how to get physically stronger and deal with issues like anxiety, depression, ADHD and OCD.
Here’s a breakdown of Google Search in 2022, and some ways to address those themes in 2023.
Exercise was a big talking point this year: “bodyweight workouts,” “weekly workouts,” “mental health workouts,” and “core workouts at the gym” were all top health searches.
Bodyweight training is a great entry point into a workout because you don’t need expensive equipment, and you can build the foundation for the ultimate bodyweight workout, says Dana Santas, CNN fitness expert and professional sports mind-body coach, in a previous story.
She schedules a 10-minute workout to get started.
Try This 10-Minute Bodyweight Workout
– Source: CNN
If you want to take it a step further and develop a regular exercise routine, a major 2021 study found that the key is to have a plan, create reminders, and reward yourself for sticking.
Google users asked “how to deal with stress,” “how to stop panic attacks,” “how to cure depression,” and “focus on ADHD.” They also search for good mental health habits for young children, searching for breathing exercises for kids.
It may come as no surprise that many focus on coping and stress, especially given the ongoing global pandemic, economic concerns, and adjustments associated with returning to school and the workplace.
While stress is a normal physiological response that all people experience, if left unchecked, it can lead to serious states like anxiety or depression. One thing to watch for is whether the feeling goes away after the stressful event is over, says Dr. Gail Saltz, Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York City.
Stress can also exacerbate mental conditions such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Saltz said in a 2021 interview with CNN.
If you suspect you may be suffering from chronic stress or another mental health disorder, you should talk to a trusted friend or family member to see if they notice a difference and contact a mental health professional, says Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, psychologist and founder of the youth mental health nonprofit AAKOMA Project, is featured in the 2021 story.
The quest for better physical and mental health doesn’t stop at a quick internet search, data shows.
Popular terms include searches for more resources on mental health, such as books, podcasts and journaling techniques designed to improve your health.
“Expressive writing works for many reasons,” says James Pennebaker, a psychologist, researcher and professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He added in a previous CNN report that there is value in acknowledging the frustrating events. “Writing it down also helps people find meaning or understand it.”
There are also guides and formatted journals to help you keep going.
A big change this year is the addition of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for Mental Health Crisis. The number is simple, just three numbers: 988.
Those numbers are part of a surge in health-related searches this year.
The dial code, available across the U.S., is designed to make it easier for people in mental health crises to call, similar to 911.
“One of the goals of 988 is to ensure that people get the help they need, when and where they need it. So when a person calls 988, they can expect a conversation with a trained, compassionate crisis counselor, They’re going to talk to them about what they’re going through,” Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, told CNN in July.
“If they do need further intervention, then a crisis advisor may connect them with a local mobile crisis team,” she added.