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
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!