Climate anxiety, or eco-anxiety, is a worry and fear about the future because of climate change. It is connected to the focus that society and the media have on the threat of climate change. More so, the urgency that is being communicated. For example, it is common for many young people to feel climate anxiety. As they are growing up in a state of climate emergency.
Furthermore, climate anxiety can be caused by the lack of response from governments. In other words, government inaction. As many people feel that politicians are not treating climate change as a global crisis. More so, people feel that they don’t have the power to change the situation. Therefore, it can also be related to a feeling of hopelessness. Other feelings can be grief, guilt and anger. Many organisations highlight these feelings today and suggest ways of action.
Climate anxiety across the world
As mentioned, climate anxiety is common for young people. One study, funded by Avaaz, shows that 59 % of people between the ages of 16-25 are very worried about climate change. About half of the participants felt for example anxious, angry and powerless. More so, 45 % said that these feelings harm their daily life. The study also shows that young people are scared of the future. And that they think politicians have failed to handle climate change.
Work against climate anxiety
There are many things that one can do to deal with climate anxiety. But first, it is important to know that the feelings are completely normal. It is a fact that climate change is a threat to humans and life as we know it. Reacting to this threat is a healthy response to the situation. Yet, the feelings are often not easy to carry. One helpful thing can be to take action. This can look in different ways.
For example, it can help to talk about the subject with others. By talking with family and friends, a therapist or even a support group. More so, it is good to remember that spending time in nature can be helpful. Furthermore, it is good to remind yourself that the climate crisis is a collective responsibility. Meaning that it does not rest on your shoulders only. Yet, different lifestyle changes can have a positive effect. Such as eating less meat, not flying and consuming less. More so, getting involved in all the work against climate change.
For example, to take action can be to get involved in environmental organisations. It can also look like studies, volunteering and/or internships that work with climate change. There are many ways to work for a better world. Such as taking part in movements like the Fridays for future. At best, climate anxiety can be used as a force for change.