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Climate anxiety is incredibly popular, especially with younger generations who have been raised learning about how important recycling and reducing their carbon footprint is while watching large corporations consume fuel and produce plastic fervently. The news is full of bad news about the environment, but luckily, there are still a few ways to feel better about the earth we live in.
Accept the Things You Cannot Change
As individuals, we don’t have the power to shut down massive conglomerates or stop companies from tearing down the Amazon rainforest for animal agriculture. There are certain things we can do to contribute to these actions, but feeling guilty and anxious about being unable to fix every environmental issue is counter-productive to your mental health.
Accepting the things you cannot change is the first step to feeling better and focusing on the things you can change in your home, working environment, and community. You also can’t control how other people treat the environment (although I’m sure many of us wish we could). We can certainly encourage others to make better decisions, but we cannot change other people.
Find Positive Research
There’s a lot of bad in the world, but there’s also a lot of good in it. Scientists and organizations are busy at work to make the world a better place with innovative products and systems. It’s easy to get sucked into the negative, but indulging in the purely positive is far more emotionally rewarding. Happy Eco News is a great website that regularly posts inspiring and optimistic news happening.
Scientists have said that one of the most important things right now is hope. If we lose that, we lose everything. So staying updated with happy information is a proactive way to stay hopeful and feeling good.
Know You’re Making a Difference
In many ways, we are just a dot in an infinite universe, but t1hat doesn’t mean our actions have no consequences. Yes, using a reusable coffee cup or cutting out meat may be small actions, but they all add up. Don’t be discouraged by the lack of immediate results, change comes with time.
All these small actions also inspire others to treat the environment better and make small but equally important changes in their life. While we can’t tell people how to live their lives, we can lead by example.
Surround Yourself with Like-Minded People
When you keep environmentally-conscious people around, you stop feeling like it’s you against the world. There are also a plethora of eco-conscious forums online if you’re unable to socialize in person. Talking to like-minded people helps remind you that you’re not alone and that other people genuinely care and are trying their best.
These relationships may help you feel less anxious and lonely. Community is everything, and it may end up saving your mental health as the state of the world declines.
Putting Your Mental Health First
Without our mental health, we have nothing. The future of the environment is undeniably important, but we can’t help if we don’t help ourselves first. Climate anxiety is crushing and devastating. If you find yourself wrapped up in feelings of anxiety and depression, speak to a medical health professional and remember that these feelings are valid and deserve to be addressed.
Good luck on your journey of finding inner peace and helping preserve the world.
- Eco-Anxiety and Climate Grief: How Some People are Coping with the Mental Health Effects of Climate Change
- How to Combat Activism Fatigue
- What Is Compassion Fatigue and What You Can Do to Avoid Burn Out
- New Zealand to Include Climate Change, Activism, and “Eco-Anxiety” Curriculum in Schools
- Gen Z and Climate Grief: What It’s Like to Grow Up in a Dying World
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