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How To Handle Environmental Anxiety Constructively

environmental anxiety

Common Causes of Anxiety (including environmental anxiety)   

Anxiety is a mental disorder that can get the better of most of us from time to time.

Feelings of worry, apprehension, and fear all fall under the term, and whilst low levels of anxiety is normal; when it starts to become 'disabling' and impact the way that you live your life, its time to seek out a solution.  

The cause of anxiety can be the result of both genetic and environmental factors. If your parents or siblings suffer from anxiety, then you are more likely to develop the condition as well.  

Genetics do definitely play a part in anxiety disorders. However, anxieties are always leaned. You are not born fearing heights, or spiders; instead, you learn that spiders can be poisonous and that falling from a height can hurt you – resulting in a fear.  

Anxiety is far more than just fear; anxiety is an overwhelming recognition of fear that has both physical and mental symptoms.  

For example: 

If a person who doesn't really like spiders comes in contact with a scary-looking 8 legged creature, they might avoid it, or perhaps grab a glass and chuck it out the window; and that's the end of that situation.  

For somebody with the anxiety of spiders, they might not be able to enter the room, won't be able to think about anything other than the spider, and a sense of panic can set in.  

Panic attacks are commonplace in suffers of anxiety. Panic attacks present feelings of impending doom, hyperventilation, increased heart rate, clamminess, lightheadedness, nausea, and a host of other unwelcome symptoms.  

Causes of anxiety disorders:  

Stress.  

Stress from work, a relationship, school, etc. can all contribute to feelings of generalized anxiety. Any stressful situation that might cause a sense of apprehension over returning can greatly elevate feelings of anxiety.  

Money.  

Money is one of the most common sources of anxiety. In modern times you can get very far without money, and with the cost of living increasing by the day, it can be difficult for many to make ends meet. 

causes of anxiety disorders

Money troubles can be incredibly overwhelming and stressful which can cause anxiety levels through one's life dramatically.  

Abuse.  

Being abused in any way shape or form can result in serious anxiety issues, as well as other mental health issues, including depression. Being abused either physically or mentally can cause people to fear unjustly, and make it hard to trust those who may be trying to help them.  

Experiences.  

Although anxiety usually presents itself through some kind of experience, being put in a situation that significantly raises your anxiety levels can result in anxiety carrying over to other aspects of your life.

For example, if somebody gets sick from eating a bad piece of chicken, they might develop an anxiety of all food... which can develop into an anxiety of being poisoned, which can then lead to obsessive compulsions, and so on.

Anxiety has a way of escalating rapidly, in a somewhat snowball effect.  

Environmental decline.  

The rapid decline of the environment is an ever-increasing cause of anxiety in people from all walks of life. As the planet is seemingly heading toward an implosion, caused by overpopulation, greenhouse gasses, and pollution; feelings of being helpless and vulnerable to the fate of the earth is common.     

What Is Environmental Anxiety?  

Environmental anxiety, eco-anxiety, and climate anxiety are all disorders that develop as a result of learning, hearing about and witnessing the rapid decline of this planet.

As the population rises, so does the demand for more fuel, food and basically, 'things'.  

Humans are consumers, and I mean that in the broadest sense possible. Using fossil fuels, Non-degradable materials, deforesting half of the planet and other practices that damage the entire ecosystem, is resulting in the planet heating up at an alarming rate.  

It is said that if we do not cut our carbon production by half by 2030, then we can expect to see more floods, more famine, drought, and other natural disasters.  

A temperature increase of 1.5 degrees per year, is the maximum the earth can handle without unfavorable results.  

Environmental anxiety is the fear of the effects of global warming and pollution caused by humans, and a feeling of helplessness in the face of climate change.    

How To Cope With Climate Change.  

To cope with environmental anxiety, the best thing one can do is become a part of the solution.

Acceptance that some aspects of our lives are out of our control is step 1, but doing something about the source of the problem can put you in a positive mindset, and teach you that you can have a say in the fate of the planet!

eco anxiety 

Ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint:  

  • Use less electricity and opt for greener sources, such as wind power and solar.
  • Reduce fuel by using more economical modes of transport such as walking or cycling instead of driving.
  • Use plastic-free alternatives and eliminate the use of single-use plastics, such as plastic bags and drinks straws.  
  • Eat less meat and animal products.  

Being more mindful of your consumption of products as a whole is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint. Most people don’t realize the environmental impact industries such as clothing has on the environment.  

Buy less, use less, consume less, and you will be doing your part for the environment.    

Other Ways of Dealing With Anxiety.  

Dealing with specific anxieties requires specific action. If you suffer from generalized anxiety, then there are some universal techniques to reduce stress and anxiety that you can use to great effect.   

climate anxiety

  • Speak to a family member, friend or health professional about your worries. 
  • Try mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, yoga and deep breathing.  
  • Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.  
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine.
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Reduce stress
  • Try natural anxiety relievers, such as some herbal teas, or CBD extracts.