Every year, Google reveals the terms that received the most searches over the 12 months. Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 has been a popular search term in past years; however, in 2022, its ranking waned.
In 2021, searches for information on vaccination or strategies to reduce infection were popular among Google users. This year, among the top health and wellness searches, COVID-19 was absent. Instead, topics at the top of the category included improving physical strength and methods to cope with mental challenges like depression and anxiety.
Common search queries included “how to stop a panic attack,” “how to cure depression,” and “how to handle stress.”
Mental health best practices for children were also popular, with people looking for breathing techniques kids could implement.
With historically high inflation, stress was perhaps a predictably high-ranking topic. While stress is a normal reaction, in some instances, it can grow into a more serious condition, like depression.
Dr. Gail Saltz, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, said that stress can worsen mental conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Mental Health Resources
Searches for books and podcasts focused on mental health were popular this year. People also looked for techniques to leverage journaling to improve mental health.
James Pennebaker, a psychologist, researcher, and professor at the University of Texas at Austin, said, “Expressive writing works for a number of reasons.”
Writing about upsetting events can help a person “find meaning or understand it,” explained Pennebaker.
In 2022 people were looking to get fit. Searches included “bodyweight workouts,” “core workouts at the gym,” and “weekly workouts,” among others. It is well known that exercise is good for fighting obesity, which is one of the largest problems in the nation, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
In Dallas, of the top 10 trending “near me” searches across every category, “pilates near me” ranked number four.
Pilates, like other body-weight workouts, require no, or minimal equipment, making them ideal for beginners looking for low barriers to entry.
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Sadly, popular among health-related searches was the triple-digit 988. This year, the dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline was changed to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline across the United States.
Like 911, it offers users a quick and memorable number. According to their website, people can call 988 to speak with “trained counselors who will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.”
In extreme cases, the “crisis counselor will connect them with a local mobile crisis team,” according to Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, the administrator of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The Christmas holidays, and especially the period immediately after, can be a difficult time for many Americans. Disputes with family, loneliness, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD) are among the challenges individuals may face.
While “psychiatric emergency services and admissions, self-harm behavior, and suicide attempts/completions” typically fall during the holidays, they inevitably rebound in January, according to the National Library of Medicine.
Ultimately, Dr. Delphin-Rittmon says the 988 crisis hotline exists “to ensure people get the help they need when they it, where they need it.”