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Eco Anxiety & Mental Health Awareness.

Eco Anxiety & Mental Health Awareness.
Eco Anxiety & Mental Health Awareness.
“Courage faces fear and thereby masters it.”
Martin Luther King.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. It helps us focus on improving all aspects of our mental health. Eco-anxiety is a serious and growing problem which requires more attention during the week; figures show that three-quarters of adults in Great Britain worry about climate change. Eco-anxiety refers to the feelings of fear, stress, or worry related to environmental issues, climate breakdown, and the future of the planet. It can manifest in various ways, such as feeling powerless, guilty, or hopeless about the state of the environment and human impact.

When the  media does portray the emergency accurately, the facts can be triggering, for example, catastrophe, biodiversity loss, pollution, and resource depletion. With governments and huge corporations not doing nearly enough  to improve the situation,  it has a huge impact on individuals who try to bring about change or those who are most aware. The negative coverage makes  activists feel like there's no hope for a better future. Research has indicated the problem is particularly acute in younger people, possibly due to higher awareness or the feeling that their future will be irrevocably changed in the case of more dire breakdown scenarios. 

“If you lose hope, somehow you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all.”

We as individuals need to have courage, and that in itself can be used to spread awareness rather than despair. It's important for individuals experiencing eco-anxiety to seek support and take action, whether through personal lifestyle changes or advocacy efforts, to cope with their feelings and contribute to positive change.

“If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl; but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”

Adults who reported some level of worry about the impacts of climate change are three times more likely than those who are relatively unworried to have made many lifestyle changes to help tackle the issue.

Ideas to ease eco-anxiety include: 

  1. Focus on what you can control: Identify specific actions you can take in your personal life to reduce your environmental footprint, such as conserving energy, reducing waste,  making sustainable consumer choices, and exploring nature-based solutions. Trying to focus on local problems, spreading information to friends and family and others that could benefit from your findings. 

  1. Maintain perspective: Remember that individual actions, while important, are part of a broader collective effort. You’re not on your own! Celebrate progress and focus on the positive changes being made, even if they're small. You could do something in your local community to help improve the environment and create awareness among others about the climate emergency.

  • Join a community group: a community group or volunteering is a great way to share your feelings about your eco-anxiety. You can also share ideas and ways to impact the issues in your local community.

  • Take a break: you can't be fully immersed in something constantly, give yourself a break knowing that you are doing all you can to help the planet.

  • Do you have other ideas? Why not share them?

    Eco Love,

    Nicola x

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