Some people experience anxiety for the concern that they think about the environment and the future of the planet. This anxiety can increase when consulting data from studies and research on the planet’s resources or on human actions that have a very negative impact on the environment.
Thus, as more and more people experience this sensation, a name has already been given to the feeling of nervousness, fear or fear regarding climate change, the environment and the future of the planet: eco-anxiety.
Eco-anxiety has been defined by some authors and is included, for example, in the report Mental health and our changing climate: impacts, implications and guidance, from the American Psychological Association (APA). Here it is stated that gradual and long-term climate changes can have effects on mental health, resulting in fear, anger, helplessness or exhaustion.
Thus, the climatic effects that are, for the most part, irrevocable, and the concern for their own future and that of the following generations it can be a source of additional stress for some people.
People affected by eco-anxiety are those who have converted climate change and concern for the environment in a struggle and a personal problem when, in reality, it is a problem that affects the whole world and globally.
In fact, there is another word related to this problem: solastalgia. This is defined as a type of mental or existential anguish caused by climate change.
The effects that eco-anxiety or solastagia can cause in a person are, among others: insomnia, depression, nervousness, or refusal to have a child out of concern about what will happen to the planet in the future.
To combat eco-anxiety a series of guidelines can be followed, shown in the following video, and that would help people who raise this problem that affects mental health:
- Follow a lifestyle according to those values.
- Reduce energy use at home.
- Reduce air travel.
- Don’t be ashamed of these feelings or sensations.
- Take action to change the system.
- Find people with the same ideals.
- Protect and cultivate local green spaces.
- Share the changes that each one achieves with other people.