Are you feeling anxious or overwhelmed about the state of nature. If so, you’re not alone. Climate anxiety is a mental health condition that’s increasingly prevalent in society, especially among younger people. The good news is there are plenty of ways to combat it, and we’ve picked the 10 best steps to find clarity and calm your mind during these tumultuous times.
- Recognize your anxiety.
It’s important to acknowledge that you are feeling nervous about the state of the world. Given ongoing environmental uncertainties, it’s understandable that to feel a lack of control over the future. Awareness though, is a crucial first step in getting on the path to treating your anxieties.
- Reset your nerves with mindfulness exercises.
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware, present in the moment, and addressing existential issues in a calm and mannered fashion. It can incorporate meditation to calm nerves and allows a person to ground themselves. Mindfulness teaches you to appreciate the world you have around you rather than worrying about the world as a whole. Meditation will soothe those voices in your mind feeding you doomsday scenarios.
- Be Open to Climate-Aware Therapy.
If you’re struggling to cope with these anxieties on your own, you may want to consider seeking professional help. Luckily, a network of licensed therapists specializes in treating climate-related stress and depression. Climate therapists will work harder to validate your concerns about the state of the environment and give you methods to reduce your stress. You can use the climate therapist directory to find one.
- Join a group or forum with people feeling similar ways.
From the advice of Stanford climate psychologist Dr. Britt Wray, finding like-minded individuals who are worried about climate conditions and their existence on Earth is a tremendous way to ease your mind. Joining a group validates the notion you are not alone, and many people have this mindset. Dr. Wray suggests signing up for All We Can Save circles, which are free to join.
- Subscribe to the “Gen Dread” newsletter.
Though the title sounds misleading, this is a very proactive and uplifting newsletter. Written by Dr. Wray, this weekly newsletter outlines how readers can feel less overwhelmed by the news about changing climate conditions. Gen Dread includes news articles, publications, and therapeutic advice.
- Use your feelings to get involved in your community.
Sometimes these feelings of dread can be motivating. We want to inspire change for the betterment of our planet. Getting involved in any movement or charitable drive can help reduce stress.
Activism doesn’t mean you have to shackle yourself to a construction vehicle, but you can help at the local food drive or with grocery deliveries to those in need. You might meet people who feel the same way.
- Explore the Good Grief Network.
The Good Grief Network can be a valuable resource for fighting climate anxiety. Like Alcoholics Anonymous has a 10-step program for recovery and quitting drinking, the Good Grief Network comes with a large peer-support program plus 10 steps to reducing stress and empowering resilience toward climate-related anxieties. It helps keep people grounded and builds those relationships with others feeling similarly.
- Join a Climate Advocacy group.
Taking more advice from Dr. Wray, joining an advocacy group can be one of the best steps to fight climate anxiety. You can build more support networks and relationships and also invoke real change. Dr. Wray cites how Mothers Against Drunk Driving brought together people who were grieving and angered over drunk driving. The same can be applied to those feeling climate anxiety.
- Be in control of your sustainable future.
It’s important to remember that you can only control what happens in your life. If you’re truly worried, take charge of your future by implementing more sustainable practices. Buy plant-based meat alternatives, switch to an electric vehicle, and start composting your organic material. Controlling your habits gives one a sense of security about your environment and climate anxiety.
- Embrace your mortality.
Focusing solely on the problems of the world doesn’t help reduce stress. Rather than feeling doom or dread, appreciate Earth’s beauty while it is here. Enjoy looking at the animals that scamper around your yard, smell the flowers, and watch the birds fly. Developing a sense of understanding about mortality and time can help you appreciate even small moments more. The Earth is a wonderful place; appreciate it to the fullest extent.