Group of diverse people meditating together visualizing during yoga morning session, seated cross-legged in a row

The last few years have been tough on us all. And the worldwide impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected each of us in different ways. 

One of the most recognized effects of the pandemic is an overall increase in attention to wellness. We’re talking about our health more. We’re paying attention to what helps us stay healthy, and what we can do to avoid getting sick.

Over the last couple years, many of us have looked to improve our overall wellness in some way. This is especially apparent when we look at what people are searching for on the internet.

Every January, Google lists the top search trends of the previous year. In 2021, wellness topics were very popular.

So, we took a look at the most popular search terms for health and wellness in 2021, and we found a wide range of topics.

From affirmations to where can I get a covid booster, we’ve compiled a list of the most searched health and wellness topics and top wellness trends of 2021.

2021 wellness trends

1. Affirmations

If you’re unfamiliar with affirmations - they’re a form of positive self-talk. They’re used to encourage yourself and bring about positive feelings.

An example of an affirmation might be: “I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to” 

or “I am strong, healthy, and confident.”

The idea is to talk to yourself using these affirmations on a daily basis. And, in doing so improve your emotional and mental well-being.

But, does it work? 

Do affirmations actually make an impact?

Many believe they do. In fact, affirmations are a part of several cultural and religious practices world-wide. Professional athletes and entrepreneurs often use them regularly. And we’ve all heard the adage about the power of positive thinking.

But what about the science?

Studies show affirmations may cause a physical response in the brain.

 This study in particular looked at brain scans of individuals who practiced self-affirmation and those who didn’t. 

Those who practiced self-affirmation had more activity in the brain associated with valuation and reward compared to those who didn’t practice self-affirmations. They also demonstrated behavioral changes related to their goals. In other words, they were more likely to take steps in their daily lives to realize their affirmations.

But, what does this mean?

It means affirmations might actually change the way people value certain states they’re in or actions they take. In the same way we value food more when we're hungry - affirmations might be able to change how much we value certain things in our lives.

Affirmations are an easy way to possibly improve emotional and mental well-being. It requires minimal effort and no risk.

2. SoulMate

The idea of a soulmate has been around for centuries.

And, as one of the top searches in 2021, it’s evident that people are either curious to learn more about what a soulmate is, or even how to find theirs.

Although marriage rates are on the decline - it seems people are yearning for a strong connection with someone significant in their lives.

And, healthy relationships might even have a positive impact on our wellness. 

Research suggests that healthy relationships and social ties can help us live longer, healthier lives. And, according to the NIH, relationships can affect our physical health, health behavior, and mental health.

Experts even suggest with a healthy loving relationship we can: 

Heal quicker

  • Lower our blood pressure
  • Experience less pain 
  • Improve heart health
  • Strengthen our immune system
  • Become more physically fit

There are different ideas of what a soul mate could be. Some might say a soul mate is a romantic life partner. For some, it could be a friend.

Regardless, based on what researchers suggest, healthy relationships have a positive impact on our wellbeing.

3. Where can I get my covid booster

It’s no surprise that this was such a sought-after topic on the internet in 2021.

As vaccines rolled out, the world began to open up and become somewhat normal again. 

Vaccines work by imitating an infection and helping the body develop immunity against it. This is especially important for those at risk. This includes people with underlying health conditions or people with weakened immune systems. 

An increase in searches around where to get a covid booster suggests that more people were looking to make sure they’re fully protected.

Afterall, arming yourself the best you can against COVID is something we can all do to help keep ourselves and our communities safe. 

And seeing this was one of the top searches of 2021 tells us that many of us were ready and eager to do our part. 

4. How to maintain mental health

According to Google,

“How to maintain mental health was searched more this year globally than ever before.”

There’s no doubt mental health has suffered worldwide in recent years. And learning how to maintain good mental health is something that can benefit everyone regardless of what’s happening in the world.

Some great ways you can maintain your mental health include:

Getting enough sleep

  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Spending time on your passions and hobbies
  • Exercising regularly 
  • Taking part in relaxing activities (meditation, yoga, etc.)
  • Eating healthy and staying hydrated
  • Practicing gratitude

Meditation can directly affect regions of the brain associated with depression. And exercise can lower feelings of stress, poor self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.

Our body is directly connected with our mind. The activities we take part in can help both our physical and mental well-being.

So find what works for you and know that maintaining good mental health is an important part of our overall well being. 

5. Women's health and mammography

In the trending searches for wellness in 2021 - women's health and mammography were amongst the top.

With breast cancer affecting 1 in 8 women in the United States - it's become an epidemic of sorts. 

It's unclear exactly why these topics were searched so much, it could be an increase in awareness or education around women’s health.

It could also have something to do with the general move toward improved health that we’ve experienced across the board during the last two years.

Regardless, increased knowledge and awareness of women’s health and the importance of mammography can only lead to better outcomes.

Better awareness means earlier detection of signs or symptoms and better adherence to preventative screenings. Both of which save lives. 

Conclusion

There you have it. The top five health and wellness trends of 2021. 

And while they appear at first glance to seem somewhat unrelated, the one thing they have in common is this…

They show us that we are more connected to and more concerned with our overall health and wellbeing than ever before. And they tell us that we recognize the importance of not only physical health, but emotional and mental health as well. 

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