Having anxiety is never easy. It plagues sufferers in ways that can feel debilitating. Triggers can range vastly from person to person. One emotion that tends to trigger anxiety is fear. One type of concern triggering many people today is eco-anxiety or concerns about the environment. Curious to see if it could be the source of your anxiety? Take the quiz to find out.
Where Eco-Anxiety Comes From
As of 2018, approximately 70% of people in the United States reported feeling worried about climate change, the majority specifying that they felt helpless. While anxiety itself is a part of the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders in association with the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the term “eco-anxiety” is not yet listed.
This means eco-anxiety cannot be a psychiatric condition. However, it is regarded by mental health professionals as a term associated with ecopsychology—a branch concerning the psychological state in correlation with the environment.
What Eco-Anxiety Feels Like
Experiencing eco-anxiety means having chronic anxiety or feelings of doom when it comes to the state of the environment and how humanity relates. It can come about a result of continually receiving traumatic or disturbing information about the future of the Earth and the environment. It becomes chronic if it is a persistent issue that progressively affects everyday life.
What You Can Do About It
Strong feelings of stress or anxiety about the environment will not change over-night. However, here’s how to control them:
- Getting proactively involved: One way to ease environmental anxiety is to make choices in everyday life that would help to impact the environment positively.
- Becoming optimistic: Having an optimistic attitude and gravitating toward positivism may help to better frame one’s perception that is possibly leading to eco-anxiety.
- Focusing on education: Staying up to date with the facts may help to empower those who struggle with fear of what may happen to the environment. It will also reduce the likelihood of falling for sensationalist scandals and misinformation about the environment.
- Self-care: Making sure to stay on top of one’s mental health apart from the environment may help to limit eco-anxiety. One aspect of this is by taking self-care measures involving your physical, mental, and emotional health.
- Speaking with a mental health professional: Consider working with a mental health professional that helps provide additional tools for coping.
If you think you have eco-anxiety, don’t give up on feeling better. You’re aware of what’s controlling your anxiety. Everything will only get better from here on in.