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How do you get rid of climate anxiety?

In your news stream, you'll see a forest fire in northern California and a mile-long glacier separating. The regular reminders of climate change may add additional stress to your everyday responsibilities. For example, as you inspect your shopping cart full of wipes, sandwich bags, and baby food packets, you may doubt your selections, knowing that the plastic in those things will never totally degrade. You may feel guilty for driving the little distance to the shop, or you may find it difficult to stop worrying about how your actions may impact future generations.

What is Climate Anxiety?

Climate anxiety, sometimes known as eco-anxiety, is uneasiness caused by concerns about the implications of climate change. It is not a mental disorder. Rather, it is anxiety rooted in uncertainty about the future, warning us of the hazards of climate change. Climate change is a genuine problem, and it's natural to be concerned about the repercussions. Climate-related anxiety is often accompanied by feelings of sadness, anger, guilt, and shame, which can change how a person feels, acts and thinks.

How widespread is climate anxiety?

According to an American Psychological Association survey, more than two-thirds of Americans are concerned about climate change. According to a study published in The Lancet, 84 per cent of children and young adults aged 16 to 25 are at least moderately concerned about climate change, and 59 per cent are highly concerned. This is understandable, given that children and young adults would be disproportionately affected by environmental changes. According to a UNICEF projection from 2021, climate change will put one billion children in "very high danger." Children and young adults are especially vulnerable to the effects of long-term stress, and climate anxiety may make it more likely that they will have problems with depression, anxiety, or using drugs.

How does climate change affect mental health?

Climate change can affect mental health both directly (such as through natural disasters or heat) and indirectly (such as through existential concerns and anxiety about the future) (through displacement, migration, and food insecurity). Increasing temperatures have been linked to an increase in psychiatric emergency room visits and may affect cognitive development in children and adolescents. Furthermore, food insecurity has been linked to melancholy, anxiety, and behavioural issues.

How can you deal with your fear of global warming?

Climate anxiety is best treated by taking action because it is characterized by uncertainty and a lack of control. Individually, sharing your worries and fears with trustworthy friends, a therapist, or a support group can be beneficial. You can also make lifestyle modifications that are in line with your ideals. Taking fewer trips, participating in a demonstration, or raising public awareness about climate change through advocacy are all examples of this. Joining a group like The Good Grief Network can help you process your thoughts about climate change and connect with others who can help you take action.

What can you do to assist a younger person?

Children and teens are disproportionately affected by climate fear. You can demonstrate your support for a child, adolescent, or younger adult suffering from climate anxiety in the following ways:

Recognize and acknowledge their worries. "I hear you, and, understandably, you're concerned (or outraged) about this."

Assist them in directing their efforts to advocacy organizations. Spend time together looking for organizations with which they can get involved.

Educate yourselves on how you and your partner may reduce your environmental effect.
Support your loved one's decision to change their lifestyle, particularly if the improvements are visible at home.

Spend time with your family outside in nature, or try planting flowers or trees.

In the end,
Uncertainty abounds in the face of climate fear, but taking action can help you feel more in control. Talk to others, form alliances, and make lifestyle changes that are consistent with your principles.

Photo by Ron Lach:


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