Tips how to cope with eco anxiety
Over time reading so many articles and watching so many videos about climate change and plastic pollution made me feel sad, crying on regular basis, frustrated, hopeless, stressed and I have realised that I suffer from eco anxiety. Knowing the reason I said to myself I need to give myself a break from reading about these topics. So I gave myself a week or so of a complete rest. And I started to concentrate on posts from people in our planet our home community who share positive posts about their daily actions. This filled me with hope that people care about our beautiful planet and we can make a positive difference.
Gratitude filled my heart because I realised that I am aware about this issues and if I am aware it is my responsibility to share the awareness.
And from there I turned my eco anxiety to a passion.
Sharing what I know. Because I believe that awareness and education are the keys to a positive change. And if people become aware they might be inspired to make changes. Also reminding people that every action counts, doesn't matter how small or big it is. That is why I share on my social medias things, which you can learn from.
What is eco anxiety
(I found these words from psychotherapist and lecturer Caroline Hickman very inspiring)
"Eco anxiety is not a mental health problem that needs to be fixed or cured, rather it is a healthy response to the situation we are facing. Anxiety, whilst uncomfortable, is at least an awareness of the reality of the situation that we face. And the good news (if I can call it that), is that once aware you can then at least do something about it. Or start to face the difficult, uncomfortable truths of what the future looks like.
When you look at it like this, eco anxiety can also be seen as being "eco empathetic", or "eco compassionate". Because in feeling this, it also connects you to others, to vulnerable people, to the suffering of animal life and to people who are already struggling in the global south.
Actually feeling this anxiety is an emotionally mature state to be in, which shows that you are aware of the crisis that we are all facing. So, whilst it can be unpleasant, I would firstly say that this is a sign of willingness to face painful truths and facts, and that should be acknowledged and almost (though not quite as simple as this) be celebrated. But how?
First of all, try to recognise your feelings as completely reasonable and necessary, rather than push them away. Taking time to acknowledge my feelings helps me maintain a healthy relationship with them, and often motivates my work and activism."
Give yourself a break
If you are reading articles or watching videos about climate change and plastic pollution or many other topics which makes you anxious please stop it for a while or for as long as you need to.
Connect with nature
It is important to remember that if you are worrying about the environment, it means you care about nature. Go for a walk to the nature, park, forest or whatever is available for you. And keep noticing as many things around you. Trees, plants, flowers, notice their colours, shape, smell. Notice the birds or any animals around you. Really look at them what they do how they look. Notice the sky, clouds, sun and immerse yourself in this beauty. You are part of nature. Subconsciously or even physically smile and notice your breath. Breathe and be grateful for all you have. Think of everything what you are grateful for in this moment. Because all you have is, this moment here and now.
Be grateful for the simple things in your life because gratitude is the best way to promote a positive mindset and, in turn, a feeling of calmness.
A key symptom of anxiety is worrying about the future – but the only moment where we have any control is the here and now. Practising mindfulness meditation can help to train your brain to stay present. In your day-to-day life, bring your attention back to what you can see, hear, feel, smell and taste to distract you away from the future and come back to the now.
Concentrate on posts from people who share positive posts about their daily actions and their optimistic outlook to inspire you rather then make you feel defeated. (This is exactly what I did)
Banish all or nothing thinking
Being 100% sustainable or achieving zero waste is just not possible in our society. (please read the this article with thoughts from people in our community)
Always remember every action counts, doesn't matter how small or big it is.
And everyone has different opportunities and lives under different circumstances therefore please never compare yourself to anyone. Because you are unique. No-one like you is on this planet.
Change your anxiety into something good
Live by example. If we live by example people will notice it and they might become interested in what you do. If they approach you, share with them what you do and why. This way you can inspire people to a positive action.
And also share your passion through social media to reach more people, if you want to.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead, anthropologist
Connect with like minded people
None of us can fight climate change alone – it’s vital to join a community so you can battle the feelings of anxiety and overwhelm and instead feel united on embracing the solutions. (that is why I create a community here on my website with like minded people where we can connect, support, motivate and inspire each other)
If you have an opportunity to connect with like minded people in your area please join them.
PLEASE NEVER GIVE UP IN SPREADING AWARENESS BECAUSE OUR PLANET NEEDS YOU.
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE FOR OUR BEAUTIFUL PLANET OUR HOME.
Please email me your thoughts or any experience you had with eco anxiety and how you coped with it. I can add it to the article if you will agree with it.
If you found this article motivating or supporting or it helped you with anything please share it.
Sharing is caring and you never know who might need support.
Thank you very much
Inspiring toughts about eco anxiety from people in our community
Thank you for this article. Brought tears to my eyes
I personally have eco anxiety and have had it since starting my journey. I would be hit left, right, and center with so many facts about the fate of our future and it was definitely hard to cope with. In my experience talking about it with like-minded people and getting more involved by donating my time to an environmental group, doing clean ups, and making those small changes in my life really helped me manage how I felt. I also think connecting with nature really helped motivate me to change my habits and cope.
I know that there is nothing I can do about the overall outcomes of the world. I can only take care of me and my patch of the world. I also stop reading and watching things that make me feel upset about it. I just try to focus on the positive
Very interesting article. My motto is - Be positive. Of course it can be stressful to see what is wrong around us. However we need to remember that we are making progresses. When I looked back, I saw all improvements that my family and friends are doing - still a long way to go...but we are getting there step by step.
I experienced it and still do. As you recommend to that woman "be the example and others will notice", I have changed the sentence I was using for a long time "be the change you want to see in the world" for "I am the change I want to see in the world". So instead of telling others how to live or telling myself "be the change..."I am trying to be the change now, in the present. Using present tense in a sentence helps more than future tense. It evokes an action "now" rather than later. It is more self-reflective.
Great article with some great tips. The overall consensus in the comments seems to be limiting watching and reading about these things and focusing on what changes we can make and I agree. We know what is happening to our planet and being babarded by it all the time isn't going to necessarily make things better. That said, being informed of what is happening followed by what can be done to make a difference, that is different. We need to be educated. I came across a news story a few days ago that infuriated me; masks and gloves being littered across towns and beaches. I can't fathom why anyone would think it is okay to do that, but I just decided getting angry about it won't change anything. I"ll just do what I do with regular rubbish when I see it and pick it up and dispose of it properly. Sometimes it can feeel like we are fighting a losing battle but I don't think things like this are ever won overnight. My 2 pence anyway.
I definitely experience eco anxiety and sometimes it is difficult to express to the people around me as they don't really "understand" it or haven't experienced it themselves. I try and read about it and gain as many tips and resources as I can about it. Engaging with other people who may feel similarly so you know you are not alone and can help one another. Most importantly I think remain as positive as you can be. Some days might be better than others but know that the changes you are making, no matter how big or small are doing something to help. There is definitely more than just you feeling this way and therefore there is hope that people are making what changes they can and are raising awareness. We are in this together and we can make change together.
Brilliant post. I am learning so much thanks to you, every action does count and we have to do our best to reduce our waste. It is a hard journey but like you say we have to support each other and never give up. I have days when I could easily give up but then I decide to follow your tips: go out and connect with nature, understand that you can't compare yourself but you can live by example. I live in a place where the majority of people don't even recycle and it is really frustrating but I just keep reducing my waste and trying to set example by inspiring and being positive, never by forcing. I feel better since I joined this community. Thank you so much. I am quite new here but I will keep learning and fighting.
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