Anxiety and the Environment: Eco-Anxiety

Climate change is a real threat to the environment and ourselves. Among climate change deniers, many are probably merely denying climate change because they are afraid of something else, such as feelings of loss of control in their daily lives. Inconvenient explanations also often lead to denial.

Eco-anxiety does not affect everyone equally. It tends to be more prevalent among people who are more aware of the protection of the environment. The symptoms can range from slight cases of anxiety, stress, and nervousness to sleep disturbance, helplessness, and outright symptoms of depression. Feelings of powerlessness, helplessness, and even guilt, which are usually associated with a depressed mood, can lead to a vicious cycle.

Eco-anxiety can be treated like anxiety. Doing something practical, such as caring for the environment, can give one a greater sense of control and lower feelings of helplessness and despair. Helpful can also be to acknowledge that the negative news about the environment cause discomfort in many people, which can lead to actual change, i.e. taking comfort in the fact that you are not the only one experiencing anxiety about the future of our planet.

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