Climate Change And Mental Health: Fight Eco-Anxiety

Eco-anxiety is nothing new. However, not everyone is open to discussing it in detail. Some of them are still trying to figure out whether it is relevant or not, especially now that people worldwide are pretty much adapting to environmental changes. However, those who are far more concerned about what is happening on the planet are dealing with eco-anxiety. They quite have a different level of stress, panic, and sadness that often gets uncontrolled. Some may say that their deliberating fear is overacting because they only talk about the planet’s future. And even if they entirely have a point, the majority of people just do not care about how they feel.

With a lot of stuff going on about the world, such as politics, entertainment, health issues, etc., people feel overwhelmed. There is not enough time to think about future problems such as climate change because everyone focuses on everybody’s present needs. But for the ones who are consumed with feelings about the environment’s future, they often question the uncertainty of everything. They usually think of what would happen if humans don’t exert any effort to save the planet.

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But most of the time, these people’s eco-anxiety does not just pop out instantly. Usually, it gets triggered by devastating information they dig up from social media and hyped news headlines. Some of it causes catastrophic mental and emotional breakdown to those who are genuinely trying their best to make a difference. Some news information is entirely upsetting that it can make concern individuals question their roles and responsibility to the environment. In some unfortunate instances, it flares up so many negative emotions. Fortunately, there are better ways to manage people’s eco-anxiety. Here are a few.

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Acceptance – For individuals who are too concerned about the planet, they somehow feel it is impossible to deal with environmental change. Others just feel upset and angry because not everyone is working on the same page in saving the ecosystem. Well, it is an exhausting battle because no one can force someone to do things they are not concerned about. Thus, people must accept that others will never care for the planet the way they do. They need to realize that some individuals are not caring enough to understand the planet’s needs. They should not feel sad and angry just because others do not share the same sentiments, such as committing to helping and saving the planet. Thus, instead of forcing other people to follow them or contribute something to their advocacy, they must accept that individuals think and react differently.

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Face Reality – Despite some people’s will to save the planet, the reality stays as is that a small percentage of individuals cannot instantly change anything. It is entirely essential to set the appropriate distinction of what the minority can do and what the majority should do. There is a significant distinction between trying to save the planet and trying to make it livable. They should understand that not everything is in their control. The entire assurance of the planet’s health does not rest on their shoulders. They should not feel sorry for themselves just because they can’t seem to change a more significant part of the world. People need to face the reality that something terrible might soon happen, and they have to be okay with it. But it does not mean they shouldn’t try and give their best to change it.

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Change Perception – The problem with people’s eco-anxiety is its reliance on post-apocalyptic imagery of the world. The fear of these individuals comes from the idea of the “end of the world” phrase. However, we can’t blame them. As mentioned above, there are triggering factors involved in this. There is the unflattering depiction of climate change in the media, the anxiety-induced representation in books and films, as well as the unnerving stories from people who assume they know what could happen in the future. Thus, when these people try and think about the planet after picturing out the possibility of a dystopian outlook, their emotional and mental health deteriorates. To avoid that from happening, why not consider looking at things the other way around? What if people start using renewable energy? What if people begin to plant more trees as much as they build roads and houses? That particular change in point of view makes a huge difference.

When people think about the chaos and suffering that the planet is experiencing right now, they only consider two things. First is the best way to contribute to the world’s betterment by advocating zero waste materials, and second, just trying to live and use what is left of the environment. If you were to choose between these two options, where do you think you belong?