The impact of climate change undeniably has far reaching effects and can be felt all around the globe. Communities are experiencing extreme weather conditions and natural disasters at a more rapid rate than ever before. As we become more aware and attribute more of these events to climate change, a growing concern known as climate anxiety (also known as eco-anxiety) is occurring.
Whilst not a diagnosable condition, climate anxiety is a very real phenomenon. It is causing people, particularly our youngsters, to have feelings of sadness and despair due to the overwhelm of the state of climate change. This anxiety is made worse by the feeling of helplessness and the perceived lack of control over the environmental crisis we face.
How can we help ourselves and each other?
Communities play a crucial role in addressing climate change and alleviating climate anxiety. By fostering a sense of belonging, shared responsibility, and collective action, communities can provide the support and resources needed to navigate these challenging times. By connecting to local groups and activities around us, we can lean on each other for support and together share coping strategies and experiences.
Developing a deeper connection with the natural world can also be a powerful tool in alleviating climate anxiety. Community gardens, nature walks, and outdoor activities provide opportunities for individuals to appreciate and protect the environment. Mindfulness, meditation, and other stress-reducing practices, particularly when performed in the natural environment, can help individuals manage climate-related anxieties. These techniques can cultivate a sense of inner peace and empowerment in the face of uncertainty.
While the challenges of climate change are immense, it is crucial to emphasise the potential for positive change. Highlighting success stories, innovations, and the collective power of communities can inspire hope and motivate action.
Climate anxiety is a real and valid response to the global environmental crisis. However, by building resilient communities, we can provide the support and resources needed to navigate these uncertain times. Through education, connection with nature, mutual support, and collective action, communities can empower individuals to face the challenges of climate change with hope, determination, and a sense of purpose. Together, with positivity and hope, we can forge a more sustainable and harmonious future for our planet and our communities.
Take Action: Join our monthly meet up for a chat with like minded people in the community.
Date: Wednesday 11th October
Time: 6.30pm - 8.30pm
Location: Activities 115, 115 Fore St, Kingsbridge.
Find out more:
We recommend checking out the following organisations and writers who are doing great work in this area:
Climate Psychology Alliance - Exploring psychological responses to the climate crisis to strengthen relationships and resilience for a just future.
Force of Nature - Helping young people turn climate anxiety into action, and working with leaders to drive intergenerational solutions.
Generation Dread: Britt Wray - Britt is a climate and mental health researcher and has written the book Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis
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