Eco-anxiety is the fear about the state of the environment and the harm caused to it by human activity and climate change.
With the increasing impact of climate change, eco-anxiety affects all people equally. More than 45 per cent of young people said that climate change affects their daily lives. The changes in weather patterns, shifts in temperature, rising sea levels and loss of ecosystems can result in severe stress, anxiety and depression for some people.
Many people and small businesses rely on natural resources to make a living. So, they may fear losing their livelihood, housing and even their community. The consumption of news regarding climate change and increasing evidence of harmful human activity can leave people feeling helpless and anxious.
In today’s world, eco-anxiety is not uncommon and therefore, learning to manage it is crucial. Here are a few ways you can manage your eco-anxiety:
As climate change is a huge issue, there can be a lot of false information circulating in the news. Therefore, look for sources with credible information and educate yourself about climate change, its root causes and what we can do to minimize it. Educating can empower you to be better prepared and take action.
Be a part of the change
Always remember that your actions matter. No matter how small an action seems, in the bigger scheme of things, every action in the right direction matters.
Incorporate small changes into your house and in your routine that can help fight climate change. This includes saving energy at home, choosing to walk, cycle or take public transit instead of driving as well as composting, eating more vegetables and reducing meat intake.
Foster your relationship with nature
When suffering from eco-anxiety, spending time in nature can help with stress. Try to bring nature closer to you by getting some plants and flowers for your home. Having nature indoors can have the same peaceful and calming effect as spending time outside.
Also try going on walks in outdoor spaces and spend some time in the company of your leafy friends when you get the chance.
Try to stay positive
Staying positive is important in recovering from the stress of climate change and it help with handling anxiety. Know that all is not lost yet. Making small changes in your daily habits and encouraging your friends do to the same is already a step in the right direction. With the technological advancements we’re making towards having clean energy, there is still hope for a bright future.
Know when to unplug
Although it is good to educate yourself about climate change, being overly exposed to the news all the time can have the opposite effect.
Without realizing it, you may be constantly consuming content regarding climate change and global warming through social media or other sources. A challenge with dealing with this type of exposure is that you never know what amount of that information is true and to be honest, it can also be quite depressing.
If you’re experiencing overwhelming amounts of anxiety, unplug from news media outlets and take a break from social media.
Learning about climate change can be hard and may be a source of stress and anxiety. But only by educating ourselves and taking action can we minimize its effect.
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