We, as Americans, are in a time of self-diagnosis via Dr. Google. It does not surprise me that we seek relief and validity online. We've all been there with questions and concerns. We are asking the following questions in abundance:
What is this nagging pain?
How can I manage stress?
What are the signs of a heart attack?
Should I be concerned about (x,y,z)?
How can I improve my mental health?
Fortunately, we have a wealth of information at our fingertips, but it can become very confusing quickly. Going down a rabbit hole of misinformation can promptly cause our blood pressure to rise as we self-diagnosis something like a persistent rash or chronic headache. We use the internet as a convenience for instantaneous information but remember your attempts can have the opposite effects of calm when data may cause you to overthink a situation that a medical professional may better handle. I applaud a proactive approach, but one can become genuinely fearful or distressed about their medical concerns. If your symptoms are causing undue stress, suffering, or unease, check in with a trusted professional that takes the time to talk with you and ease your fears. We make the most healthful changes when faced with apprehension around our health. Times like these are the perfect opportunity to shift habits and gain awareness of what makes you feel your best. Instead, dedication to your health can start with a walk around the block, annual checkups, healthy eating habits, and practicing mindfulness to help alleviate stress. One day at a time, small changes and a positive mindset will keep you far from burrowing any further down that hole of dread. Preferably, you'll become more proactive with strategies that work best for your goals and health outcome. Therefore, next time your fingers start typing away, remind yourself that Dr. Google does not have a medical degree and can sometimes fuel unnecessary anxiety.