What is Eco-Anxiety, and What are the Symptoms of Eco-Anxiety?
Eco-anxiety, also known as climate anxiety, is a psychological phenomenon that manifests as a strong worry related to the environment and climate change. As environmental issues continue to dominate the headlines and scientific reports highlight the harmful consequences of human actions on the planet, more and more people feel emotional distress over these issues.
Eco-anxiety is therefore fueled by awareness of the climate crisis and environmental damage. Individuals may feel helpless in the face of the problems and fear for the planet’s future. This anxiety can manifest in many ways, ranging from sadness and anger to insomnia and eating disorders.
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What are the aggravating factors?
While it is normal to wonder about global warming, several factors can aggravate eco-anxiety, such as:
It is important to note that these factors may vary from person to person and that each individual may react differently to these elements. Being aware of these factors can help better understand and manage eco-anxiety.
What are the symptoms of eco-anxiety?
Eco-anxiety is manifested by anxiety and intense stress related to environmental concerns. People with eco-anxiety may feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of environmental challenges. A feeling of sadness, difficulty feeling joy, and unexplained crying may also be present. Eco-anxiety can also lead to somatization and result in physical symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbances, digestive problems, and other stress-related symptoms.
Eco-anxiety can also impact daily life and social relationships. Individuals may struggle to concentrate on daily tasks and maintain healthy relationships. Eco-anxiety can also lead to social isolation and a deterioration in quality of life.
How to fight against eco-anxiety?
There are different strategies individuals can use to deal with eco-anxiety and turn their anxiety into positive action. First, it is essential to learn about environmental issues and understand the actions that everyone can take to contribute to positive change.
Seeking support from others with similar concerns can also be beneficial. There are many communities and support groups to discuss environmental issues and find solutions together. Participating in collective actions, such as collecting recyclable plastic, or cleaning a beach, can also help you feel less alone and substantially impact your immediate environment.
Taking concrete action in one’s own daily life can also be a source of relief for eco-anxiety. Embracing a more sustainable lifestyle by reducing energy use, recycling, prioritizing public transportation, and making more eco-friendly food choices can provide a sense of accomplishment and control.
Relaxing, meditating, practicing breathing exercises, and engaging in joyful activities can help reduce stress and restore emotional balance. Psychological support can also be beneficial.
How can I help someone with eco-anxiety?
It is important to listen to the feelings of the person concerned. For example, you can encourage them to educate themselves, join support groups, and take concrete steps to take action for the environment. Do not hesitate to offer emotional support and seek help from a mental health professional if necessary.
Eco-anxiety should not be ignored or minimized, as it significantly impacts individuals’ mental health. On Livi, our GPs, psychiatrists, and psychologists are on call every day from 6 a.m. to midnight and can help you manage this growing concern and offer you appropriate support.