How to Cope with Climate Anxiety
Climate change is a hot topic these days. The extreme weather conditions and phenomena make us think that truly there is a drastic shift in the world we live in. Some people do not believe that climate change is real but for many who do, it causes fear and anxiety.
According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, 72% of Americans believe that global warming is happening and 65% are worried about it. The survey also showed that the majority of Americans blame human activities as the number one cause of climate change.
Climate anxiety or some refer to it as eco-anxiety, solastalgia, or ecological grief is felt by people who are starting to get worried and frustrated about the future of planet Earth. They are overwhelmed with the constant news of ecological crises happening all over the world.
Tens of thousands of Americans are already experiencing a crisis brought about by climate change. Heat waves, intense storms, and drought, and melting glaciers are just some of the detrimental effects that directly harm people, animals, and plants.
Find ways to save the environment. No matter how small it is, it will make a huge difference in the long run. Start at home and with your family. Educate your children about how to conserve water or electricity. Discuss the importance of reduce, reuse and recycle in cutting down the amount of waste used every day. Learn together how you can live an environmentally-friendly life.
Every action you do to save the environment will lessen your anxiety. It makes you feel good for doing something worthy and important. Find better solutions to problems of garbage disposal in your neighborhood. Write to politicians about creating more clean and green projects for public spaces. The thought of taking steps in creating a better and cleaner place for you and your family will benefit your physical, mental, and emotional health.
“Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.” Not many are aware that practicing mindfulness and meditation helps you cope with stress and anxiety. This is one way in calming yourself when you are in triggering situations.
When you are anxious your breathing becomes shallow and fast that leads to tense muscles and rapid heartbeats. Learn how to properly do breathwork techniques. Mindfulness keeps your thoughts to what is in the present and not be bothered by what was in the past and what will the future like.
Connect with other People
Climate anxiety affects many individuals because they feel that they cannot control what will happen in the next few years. They are not just worried about themselves but they also fear for their children’s future. It becomes unbearable to think that their children and children’s children will live on a chaotic and harmful planet.
One way to effectively minimize your worries and anxiety is to connect with other people who feel the same way. Remember that what you are feeling now is common and is also experienced by other people. Join peer support groups in your workplace or your community. Visit Good Grief Network which offers programs to combat climate distress. Remember that you are not alone. There are so many people who share the same sentiments as you.
Create an Emergency Plan
To ease out your fear and anxiety caused by climate change, create an emergency plan. You will have peace of mind knowing that whatever catastrophe, you are prepared. Make a household emergency plan that your family is aware of and has practiced several times.
Put together comprehensive survival supplies like first aid kits, non-perishable and easy-to-prepare food, personal hygiene items, copies of important documents, extra cash, and more. Refer to the Red Cross website for a complete list.
Talk to Someone
Confiding someone about your worries, fears, frustrations and anger helps you release negative feelings and thoughts. Dealing with climate anxiety can be draining and unbearable especially if you have children. It is good if you can openly share your emotions with your spouse or with a close friend. However, if you want the point of view of a professional you may contact a mental health professional near you.
Mindshift Psychological Services has an excellent team of medical professionals who will help you navigate and understand the difficult emotions caused by climate distress. Feeling down and helpless about a worldwide crisis is understandable. Climate anxiety upsets many people and the last thing you need is to be negatively influenced by it.
You do not have to feel ashamed of having these emotions and thoughts. All you need is some guidance, aid and support in ensuring that you are healthy and well in body and mind. Visit our website to know more about our therapy and counseling sessions. You may schedule an appointment through this number (714)584-9700.