With the growing number of environmental problems happening in the world, more and more people have been suffering from eco-anxiety, and the thing is, it is difficult to deal with it!
Eco-anxiety corresponds to the feelings of stress, fear, sadness, and anxiety that people experience because of environmental issues.
Simply put, eco-anxious people are worried about the future of the Earth and the uncertainty of what is going to happen. And sometimes, they struggle because they don’t know how to deal with eco-anxiety.
Eco-anxious people are aware of the fact that the planet is threatened by many issues like climate change or global pollution.
They are worried about the increase of greenhouse gas emissions, the rise of sea levels, and many other threats.
I am a fairly positive person. But when it comes to environmental issues, I often find myself feeling overwhelmed with what is happening to the environment. And I want to take action to change the trend.
Do you recognize yourself here? Are you dealing with eco-anxiety as well?
I wrote this article for you! You’ll learn how to deal with eco-anxiety in 5 practical ways.
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1 – Don’t push away your feelings, but know that there is hope
It might sound counterintuitive but I think that accepting how you’re feeling plays a big role in reducing eco-anxiety.
The environment is endangered, and we cannot change what has already been done. Being anxious for that reason is legitimate and reasonable.
There is nothing we can do to change the past. BUT, we can take action now, we can still change the outcome of the planet.
Recognize and accept the fact that you are anxious about the uncertain future of the Earth. And this is normal.
Knowing that your feelings are legitimate can help you deal with eco-anxiety more easily.
But also be aware of the fact that we can do something to save the planet. It’s reassuring! It means that the planet isn’t lost, and we can make more positive changes in the future, as a society.
However, know that the faith of the planet isn’t only on your shoulders, you aren’t alone.
Humans are more and more aware of environmental issues and they act to protect it. We, as humans, as an entire society, will take action to save the planet.
2 – Try to focus on positive environmental news
When we hear about environmental news, we almost always learn about a new issue that is threatening the environment and the planet.
Environmental news often shows tragic events that are happening somewhere on the Earth. Whether these are huge fires, droughts, floods, water pollution, plastic waste in the ocean, or climate change.
We rarely hear about the positive events, but there are so many!
Scientists discover new species every year. Humans regularly plant new forests in every part of the world. Citizens and NGOs organize beach cleanups more often than ever before.
Mostly hearing about negative and bad news can be overwhelming and frustrating for someone who aims to be more eco-friendly. For someone who loves the planet.
We can think about so many amazing initiatives taking place throughout the world, and they help better and improve the state of our environment. These are significant achievements!
Of course, we need to be aware of the dangers that are threatening the environment, so that we can take action.
However, we should also inform ourselves about all the positive things that are helping the environment.
Try to look for them online and you will immediately feel better. Your eco-anxiety won’t be as high knowing that good things are happening to the planet as well.
3 – Be aware of all the good things you are doing for the environment
Eco-anxiety can make us feel overwhelmed and we might lose our motivation because of it. Sometimes, it might feel as if your efforts aren’t contributing enough to make a positive change.
You may feel that reducing your waste or your carbon footprint doesn’t have a big impact in the grand scheme of things.
Because yes, we need more people acting towards zero waste and a more sustainable lifestyle.
But believe me, your daily actions towards a better environment do have a positive impact! You shouldn’t feel as if you aren’t doing enough because you are.
Also, know that you aren’t the only one working towards sustainability. Millions, if not tens of millions of people, are making positive changes each day.
I think that we need to give ourselves credit. If you’re reading this article, it means that you care about the future of our planet. It means that you are willing to make it better and greener.
That’s already a lot! And I’m sure you are taking daily actions to help protect the environment. Even if you think they are tiny, that’s still progress.
I love the quote from Anne Marie Bonneau: “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” It couldn’t be more true!
To give yourself credit, I recommend that you make a list of all the actions you are doing to help the environment.
Seeing everything you are doing, you will realize that you are doing your part and contributing positively. It should reduce your eco-anxiety a lot, so give yourself some credit today!
4 – Connect with like-minded people
When feeling stressed and overwhelmed with the state of the planet, it is important for us not to feel alone in our eco-anxiety.
Many people are in the same situation and share the same passion as you do for the Earth. These people are taking daily actions to save and help the environment.
Find ways to connect with these people! With the Internet, it has never been so easy to communicate with other environmentalists and like-minded people from all over the world.
You can enter Facebook groups about sustainability where many people share tips and tricks about how to reduce your footprint on the planet.
Attend events and conferences about eco-friendly living in your area.
Join local clubs and groups of people that are taking concrete actions to clean your local environment.
If you live near a lake or the ocean, you could participate in a beach cleanup!
Attending events and connecting online with like-minded people shows you that a lot of people care about the environment. And that they are taking action to improve the situation.
You could even make friends and share your fears with them. Knowing that you aren’t alone in the same boat and that you aren’t the only one creating change will highly reduce your eco-anxiety.
And be aware of the fact that you’re not the only person feeling eco-anxiety. Many people interested in sustainable living feel this way at times.
Connecting with other like-minded people is an opportunity for you to share your worries and your fears. Doing this will make you feel less alone.
It helps a lot to open up about how we feel to other people who are dealing with the same issue, and you will probably learn new things from them along the way.
5 – Keep learning about sustainability
Last but not least, one of the best things you can do to deal with eco-anxiety is to keep learning about eco-friendly living.
Learn about what you can improve in your way of living so that you reduce your footprint on the planet.
Take action, every single day to get better. Even if you think this is a tiny action and that it doesn’t matter if you do it. Do it because if everyone did it, the impact would be huge!
Read books about zero waste and green living, like Zero Waste Home written by Bea Johnson. Watch documentaries, and read magazines about the environment.
Discover new places that remind you of the fact that our Earth is beautiful and that it needs protection.
This will keep you motivated and will reduce your stress because you’ll see that not every corner of the planet is polluted, nor destroyed.
On the contrary, there are so many places where nature is left untouched by humans.
Watch YouTube videos about sustainable living and read articles about how to have a positive impact on the Earth.
I wrote many other posts about eco-friendly living on this blog, so check them out as well.
Increasing your knowledge and learning about new ways to improve on your sustainable journey is a great way to reduce your eco-anxiety.
Because you know you are contributing even more to the planet’s protection and that it can only be good for its future.
With these 5 practical tips, you should now know how to deal with eco-anxiety! I hope that they helped you because suffering from eco-anxiety isn’t a pleasant place to be!
I find it important to be aware of ways to help you minimize your stress and overwhelm regarding environmental issues.
Please, tell me in the comments if some of these tips helped you feel better. Also, what are any other tips that you have that help overcome and deal with eco-anxiety?