3 Ways To Manage Eco Anxiety

Dec 07, 2021

European towns washing away, Hurricanes Ida's path of destruction, floods in China's Subways… The list goes on. The environment is suffering. Animals are suffering. Humans are suffering. We get it, it’s a lot. 

"Eco-Anxiety" is a term coined to explain the crippling, overwhelming, and often paralyzing fear that with the direction the planet is going in everything is doomed and there’s nothing we can do about it.

It’s understandable to feel this way, with the ongoing news stream, recent findings from the IPCC report, knowing we have less than a decade to try and save our planet, among so much more! It’s a lot! 

The thing is this anxiety can quickly become paralyzing. It’s a disempowered state, and it doesn’t help anyone. If you’re suffering from Eco-anxiety it’s likely that you are super informed and aware of what’s going on around the world, but it’s hard to understand what you can do about it, and in the process, it’s wreaking havoc on our psychological well-being alongside not necessarily working towards a future where we won’t have to worry about Eco-anxiety.

The good news is, there is another way. There is always hope. There’s power in participation and we can work together to regenerate the world, to heal both the planet and ourselves. 

We need to step out of the disempowering, debilitating fear and step into the empowering, proactive place of compassion. Ironically, it was probably our love, compassion and sensitive nature that led us to a place of Eco anxiety in the first place, right?! We care SO much, that it’s ground us down. But caring is a superpower, we just need to channel it correctly and of course, make sure to care for ourselves as much as possible along the way (check out our blog: Herbs to manage stress and anxiety).

First of all, it’s completely okay to feel this way. If you’re experiencing eco anxiety, know that you’re not alone. Know that it doesn’t need to be like this, and more importantly, know that there IS hope, and you are powerful. Here is 3 Ways to Manage Eco-Anxiety. 


1. Reframe. 

When processing difficult, heavy emotions it can be helpful to reframe how we view it. Our perspective, the way we view the world, creates our reality, so it’s crucial to consider the outcome of our perspectives. It can also be healthy to let ourselves actually feel our feelings, as pushing them down constantly will only lead to them bubbling up in unpleasant ways at a later date. 

Rather than viewing eco anxiety as something negative that is holding you back (even though in severe cases, it can be) try to remind yourself that it’s actually an expected response to the global situation we are facing. 

Instead of aiming to eliminate all our feelings of anxiety, it’s much easier to change our reaction to the anxiety. For instance: “This article has brought up feelings of fear and anxiety. I feel really upset by this. How awful, now I’m upset about my anxiety.” And the negative spiral begins. Let’s reframe. “This article has informed me about this shocking event, which is very upsetting. It’s made me feel on edge, because I’m worried about the future. This is a valid feeling, and an understandable response to this type of content. I’ll allow myself to sit with this discomfort, rather than suppressing it. Then maybe I can ask myself: What are the solutions to this problem, and can I find any article that explains these in more detail?”

 

2. Relax. 

An anxious, nervous person is far less effective than a grounded, calm person in solving problems, big and small. The best thing we can do for ourselves, and everyone around us, is to take good care of ourselves. This can involve many lovely things, and varies from person to person, but here are some ideas: spend time with loved ones, friends, families, partners, get out in nature and enjoy the beautiful plant we inhabit, cook your favourite organic foods, do something creative that you enjoy, get lost in a book, meditate, do some grounding exercises, watch some comedy, learn something new. Or, ya know... Start a permaculture course and equip yourself with all the practical knowledge for growing a regenerative garden!  

It’s important to enjoy life because it makes us healthier, happier, more well rounded humans who are more able to contribute something positive to the world. 


 

3. Respond, don't react. 

There’s a big difference between reacting and responding. Reacting is a knee jerk, usually emotional reaction and responding (while still a reaction) involves more considered thought. Responding takes into consideration the desired outcome of the interaction, and applies emotion intelligently, rather than being simply fueled by it. 

With enormous issues such as the climate crisis, it’s a perfect opportunity to respond rather than simply react with eco-anxiety. 

There are so many ways we can introduce positive change to our world, and help regenerate it, such as growing a permaculture garden, a tangible, sustainable solution. All it takes is the right knowledge and a proactive attitude. 

Your impact is more powerful than you could imagine. 


Every single choice you make (or don’t make) has a butterfly effect on this wonderful world. Knowledge is power, after all.

So sit with your feelings, honour them, then take a deep breath, relish in your community and join us on our mission to regenerate the world! We’re so happy to have you here.