What is climate anxiety and how can we manage it?

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The number of people feeling distress to some degree about the state of our planet is growing exponentially, especially among the younger generations.

The effects of climate change are increasingly difficult to ignore. Melting ice caps, forest fires, drought and extreme heat waves are just some examples of what our new reality looks like.

And so the number of people feeling distress to some degree about the state of our planet is also growing exponentially, especially among the younger generations. More so during these last warmer summer months when it is so common to take a peek into the news of the day and find about some kind of natural disaster or adversity that is so clearly a cry from our environment and the pressure we have put it through.

The emotional destruction of climate change

The physical toll climate change has had on society has become rather difficult to escape, as the consequences of human environmental impact begin to clear out the line that once made us feel so far away from actual environmental collapse. In fact, it has also become a main factor of inequality in the last few decades, creating a whole different kind of social, economic and ethical questions.

But there is one element we all as humans have in common, and much like everything else these days, has not managed to get away from the consequences of climate change: emotions. And here, in this unifying force, is where we want to put our focus today. Even if your material life is somehow still intact, feelings are quite harder to ignore.

According to recent psychological studies, such feelings are far from uncommon. In a situation of loss (environmental loss), grief and fear for the future are natural responses. This is what has come to be known as ”climate anxiety” or ”eco-anxiety”.

However, although there is no diagnozable condition, the realm of sentiments encompassed in the so called ”climate-anxiety” spectrum is not just a catastrophic and existential ensable of feelings. In fact, we bet most people have felt some level of climate realted anxiety in their lifetime.

The fear about the future of the planet and civilization is among the hardest end of the spectrum existentially speaking; but on the other end, anger for what is or will be lost and a feeling of guilt or shame when embarking in consumption that is not necessarily the most sustainable are other forms in which climate anxiety can develop.


You are not alone

The first step to coping with a sentiment of grief, loss, fear or mourning is to accept that it is there and it is a normal response to such a crucial existential threat for our species and others. Experts suggests finding the time and the place to feel this way is important for healing. At the end of the day these feelings, whatever they may be, will eventually change or flee our minds.

And althoug the term ”climate anxiety” itself does not portray a lot of hope or reassurance, we belive it is a sign that a lot of people care deeply about the environment and it is in fact engaged with its protection and the future of humanity and nature.

Finding other like-minded people and sharing your thoughts and concerns is not only a healthy way to tackle with anxiety, as it can take the weight of the world away from your shoulders; it is in fact the spark that can change grief into action as a way to fight the feeling of powerlessness many have regarding climate issues.


Fighting climate-anxiety in the workplace

The workplace is probably not the first place that comes to mind when thinking about environmental action, but we are here to prove you wrong.

The amount of time we spent working throughout our lives, and the power of bringin together so many people with all kinds of backgrounds is what makes the workplace the perfect place for taking action against the threat of climate change.

In DoGood we have developed a corporate government tool that helps establish ESG impact objectives for employees in regards to the sustainability strategy of the company. Through our technology we are able to activate and track employees’ impact, creating engagement that translates into improved ESG metrics, reputational value and an overall positive impact for the environment and society.

If you want to know more about how we work to create a positive social and environmental impact, click here.