Climate Change And Mental Health: How Can We Cope With Eco-Anxiety?

Climate change is real and so is eco-anxiety. Researchers, especially psychologists who work on climate change, its issues and how it impacts humans have also expressed time and again that it can hamper people’s mental health. One of the most common responses to climate change among people is worry. This worry does not stay limited to just that, it turns into anxiety, which experts now call eco-anxiety. A Climate Action Survey was conducted by a University and in their published reports, it stated that out of almost 5,000 respondents, 19% of students and 25% of staff said they were ‘extremely worried’ about climate change, while 36% and 33% stated they were ‘very worried’. The scale of it affecting our mental health has gone much higher as compared to the previous year, as per the study.

What Is Eco-Anxiety?

Aside from being worried, there are other emotions which are also at play like, feelings of anger, anxiety, sadness, powerlessness, guilt and helplessness. We should not be surprised by these emotions because it is the reality. This is what experts have coined as ‘eco-anxiety.’ Every country in the world is experiencing the ravages of climate change is some ways or the other. Countries are suffering and this is bound to leave the rest of us anxious because of the uncertainty. There have been massive floods, earthquakes, food shortages, extreme weather and along with it comes a huge death toll.

So, how can we cope with it?

Learn To Acknowledge Difficult Emotions

Amidst all the chaos, if a person faces anxiety triggered by climate change, he or she should remind themselves that it is not an unnatural response. It is a perfectly healthy psychological response to a very real phenomenon. If we acknowledge these emotions in ourselves and also in others, it would mean that we are not in denial and it is definitely not a defense mechanism. This might help get rid of anxiety.

Tell Ourselves That It Is Normal To Feel Overwhelmed

‘Feeling overwhelmed’ is a common emotion experienced by all. In this case, the fact that we and our loved one’s health and lives are at risk due to climate change is certain overwhelming to take in. But, it is important to acknowledge the emotion. Climate change and its impacts on nature is not under our control anymore. however, even if we are taking some steps to ensure longer chances of sustainability, it is a lit and we should give ourselves credit for it. But, we all know that the damage has been already done and nature’s reaction is not under our control.

Remind Ourselves That We Are Not Alone

Climate Change is taking place all across the world. Some countries have been ravaged in a worse way than others but we are all in the same boat and the same planet. The sooner we realize this fact, the better our mental state would be. We should remind ourselves that what we are feeling at the moment is exactly what a million others are feeling as well.

What do you think?

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