I spoke with Jake Smith for this article from Prevention on coping with climate anxiety. There were also several good points shared by David H. Rosmarin, Ph.D. an assistant professor in psychology at Harvard Medical School and founder of the Center for Anxiety.

Some key take-aways: Don’t lose your focus on the present day and the present moment. That’s where our life happens.

“Anxiety is a normal, healthy emotion. It’s normal for people to feel anxious about climate change or disruption because it has many, many potential threats.”

Thomas Doherty
climate people street crowd

Make friends with anxiety. It’s job is not to make you happy but to help you survive. Close the loop by taking action, however small, on an anxiety provoking issue.

Know your values. We “hurt where we care.”  Strengthen your “environmental identity” — your self concept about your own unique relationship with nature. Actions, feelings, and attitudes will shift. But our values and identity are more stable and enduring. Take pride in yourself and your eco values!

Remember, anxiety is just one emotion of many. Don’t overuse it. Keep in touch!

Read the full article: 5 Strategies to Cope With Climate Anxiety, According to Psychologists

— Thomas Doherty, Psy.D.

Published by Thomas Doherty

Psychologist Thomas Doherty's work on environmental sustainability and health has been featured in publications like the New York Times and in talks worldwide. Thomas consults with individuals and organizations through his business Sustainable Self. He was the founding Director of the Ecopsychology Certificate Program at Lewis & Clark Graduate School and Founding Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed academic journal Ecopsychology. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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