If you’re feeling overwhelmed or disheartened by our climate problem, this isn’t unusual. Many people feel a deep worry about human caused environmental degradation and climate change. A recent worldwide survey showed that this worry– what psychologists call “eco-anxiety”– affects nearly 70% of adults and 85% of children.
But what to do about it?
Here are five things you can do to address eco-anxiety.
Each of these can create a greater sense of individual security and agency in the face of eco-anxiety and can help build the resiliency needed for the challenges ahead.
Here is the second (*):
2. Break the “spiral of silence” by talking about it
Even though the majority of the population experiences eco-anxiety, upwards of 65% of adults in the US never, or only rarely, discuss climate change. Researchers call this the “spiral of silence.”. Break that spiral. By openly discussing eco-anxiety, the feelings associated with it can be normalized and better managed.
NOTE: Since conversations about climate change and feelings can be difficult, consider using an “active listening” strategy. Questions such as “What have you noticed on the news about climate change that really struck you?” or “What are you feeling? What’s on your mind?” are good ways to get the conversation started.
Don’t keep this a secret. Please forward this to someone who needs to hear about it and start up a conversation.
(*) Here is the first.