What is ‘Climate Anxiety’, and what can you do about it?

Heatwaves, droughts and floods have become a regular fixture in the news. In the leadup to 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (also known as COP26) more and more people are talking about ‘climate anxiety’. We share some tips on how you can make a difference environmentally, whilst supporting your own mental health and wellbeing.

 

What is Climate Anxiety?

You may be wondering what exactly climate anxiety is. Put simply, it’s a sense of fear, worry or tension linked to climate change.

While scientists, campaigners and politicians have warned about the adverse effects of global temperatures rising and of climate change for decades – heatwaves, droughts, floods have become a regular fixture of our news cycles and our social media feeds in recent memory. This has led to the term ‘climate anxiety’ being coined by many talking about the issue of climate change and its effect on our mental health.

What can we do to ease climate anxiety?

Someone experiencing climate anxiety may feel worried, nervous, or scared of the consequences of climate change, and what the future holds for our planet. They may also experience low mood connected to a broader sense of hopelessness or helplessness.

While some anxiety can develop into a disorder, in many cases, taking action on a personal level can help remedy anxieties and manage what’s in our control.

That’s why we’re sharing some very simple ways that you can make a difference environmentally, whilst supporting your own well-being.

 

  • Keep active:

    Did you know that people who take part in regular physical activity have up to a 30% lower risk of depression? Exercise is also proven to have a hugely positive impact on the quality of life of people affected by mental health problems including improving our mood, reducing symptoms of stress, reduced anger, alleviating anxiety and slowing cognitive decline.
    One way to love the planet and your body is to cycle more and drive less. So why not ride your bike to work or to meet up with family or friends, instead of driving? Learn more about physical health and mental health.

 

  • Give your time to an environmental cause:

    Planning a walk at lunch with a friend or colleague? Why not take the opportunity to help pick up litter whilst you walk. You could even organise a litter pick with a larger group of people. Reach out to your local council and find out how you can help volunteer to clean streets, parks and beaches, in your local community and help cut litter, end waste and improve the places you love and live in.
    Supporting your local community is both a worthwhile activity, and one that can contribute to our own wellbeing.

 

    • Take your thoughts to court:

      Negative thinking can lead to feeling stressed, which can prevent us from living our best lives. Taking your thoughts to court is a simple, yet effective, exercise taught in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to help you address negative thinking.
      Our simple video helps you to learn this technique and put it into practice either at work or elsewhere in life.

 

    • Empty your ‘Stress Bucket’ regularly:

      You may be dealing with higher levels of stress if you’re experiencing Climate Anxiety. While a healthy amount of stress can help motivate us, sometimes it makes us feel like we can’t do anything at all.
      The Stress Bucket is a simple tool that helps us to think about the stressors in our lives and find ways we can release stress.

 

  • Learn:

    Last but not least – why not help educate others by sharing any tips and techniques you’ve learnt here in our blog, to help others understand the importance of looking after their environment and their mental health.

 

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