How to cope with feelings of climate anxiety?

How to cope with feelings of climate anxiety?
© iStock/coldsnowstorm

More and more people are feeling the pressure of climate anxiety and in this article, we discuss ways to cope with these feelings.

Mental Health UK states that climate anxiety is the sense of fear, worry or tension linked to climate change. Increasing temperatures, rising sea levels and droughts are just some of the effects of climate change and this ongoing worry has led us to ‘climate anxiety’.

In this article, Health Europa outline five ways to combat feelings of climate anxiety.

Spend less time on unreliable internet sources

You may find yourself digesting misinformation online; therefore, it is important to use reliable sources when spending time on social media and the internet.

It can be hard to distinguish verified information and to combat this, the UN created a list with some reliable sources that will provide up to date information.

Spending less time on the internet, in general, can alleviate feelings of anxiety. The constant flow of climate change information can be all-consuming and subjecting yourself to this can aggravate anxiety. One way to reduce your time spent online is to set a time limit on your mobile device1.

Take action and become a climate advocate

Taking climate action can help you turn climate anxiety into something positive. We have outlined ways you can tackle climate change anxiety by being more eco-friendly:

  • Join a climate action group,
  • Email politicians and big businesses to put pressure on them,
  • Adopt eco-friendly methods such as cutting car use down and adding energy-efficient items into your home2,
  • Sign petitions that take action on climate change,
  • Consume fewer meat products and limit food waste,
  • ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle where possible.

Practise meditation for climate anxiety

Meditating is a great way to realign yourself and be present in the moment. Climate anxiety can involve lots of worrying about the future of the Earth and meditation can be helpful to focus on the moment, recognise your feelings and bring awareness of your surroundings.

Sometimes, when feeling this anxiety, it can lead to spiralling thoughts and you can feel trapped in your mind; meditating can allow you to see the bigger picture and practise self-care3.

Spend time in nature

Nature benefits all kinds of mental health struggles and can support climate anxiety. A 2015 study found that participants who spent time in nature for 90 minutes had lower instances of rumination and showed reduced neural activity in the brain area linked to mental health and mood imbalances compared to individuals in an urban setting.

Nature has a calming effect on the brain and spending more time outdoors can help boost your mood and appreciate your surroundings.


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