Do You Have Eco-Anxiety? Why Earth is the Planet Impacting Your Mood the Most

Do You Have Eco-Anxiety? Why Earth is the Planet Impacting Your Mood the Most

You see it all the time from your celestial family and friends. “Mercury is in retrograde.” “Neptune is in alignment.” There’s all this talk about other planets and how they may or may not be impacting our mood, but there’s a more obvious planet that’s having a real-time impact on us: EARTH.

Climate anxiety and grief are real and evolving experiences for a lot of people right now. Scrolling through any newsfeed will conjure up headlines about rising temperatures, the ice caps melting, fossil fuel dependency, and more.

It’s gotten to the point where Gen Z – the generation that’s currently in middle/high school – is feeling a “heavy emotional burden” because of the climate. So, what exactly is eco-anxiety and how do we manage it?

Defining Eco-Anxiety

The American Psychology has dubbed eco-anxiety simply as “anxiety or worry about climate change and its effects” and noted that 48% of adults ages 18-34 feel some level of it. That number is expected to rise significantly when Gen Z enters the age range.

This growth comes from the fact that for many adults Climate Change hasn’t been “real.” It’s real in the sense that it’s happening actively, but it’s not on their doorstep changing their daily lifestyle. It’s happening in developing nations and out on the ocean. It’s intensifying weather patterns that they don’t follow closely enough to recognize.

It’s happening – it’s just a matter of how aware you are and what you are doing about it.

Alleviating Eco-Anxiety Through Action

No one person will save the planet. We all wish some billionaire would come up with the perfect invention to slow down Climate Change, but it’s just not the reality we live in. So, how do our individual decisions affect this?

Frankly, I’m not a climate expert and I’m not here to give you advice on saving the planet. My advice is simply that in order to confront eco-anxiety we must take action. Corporations placing the responsibility on individuals with recycling campaigns and anti-plastic straw movements are misguided in claiming those actions are what will save the planet – but they might save you.

Recycle when you can. Don’t throw litter out your car window as you drive down the highway. Buy more sustainable and recycled materials in your home. Turn your thermostat up a degree or two.

Again, saving the planet is not YOUR responsibility, but anxiety often metastasizes through inaction. Even if you have a selfish motivation, making climate-conscious decisions on a daily basis benefits everyone. Ultimately, it was action that saved the ozone layer.

You should also talk to an expert if you are feeling overwhelmed. Nobody is perfect and you don’t have to be, but if you need help managing your anxiety and other stressors then contact Integrated Therapies for help today.