Eco-anxiety, or the impact of climate change on mental health
If you are reading this article, the term eco-anxiety surely rings you a bell, but you would like to know a little more about it. You are in the right place!
Arsayo realizes that ecology and the commitment to preserving our ecosystem can have certain unhealthy consequences on our mental health. In order to limit these and continue to act without getting sick, we will explain everything to you.
Also called green depression or solstagia, eco-anxiety is defined by the feeling of fear and chronic distress regarding environmental issues, such as climate change.
We might believe that this new form of anxiety appeared at the same time as over-information, social networks or even massive use of the Internet ... Well, not really! This notion was first used in 1996 by Véronique Lapaige, medical researcher in mental and public health.
However, in recent years, cases of eco-anxiety have become more and more numerous, and the consequence of this increase is undoubtedly the strong media coverage of climate change (depletion of resources, extinctions of species, etc...).
Who are the most affected, the most sensitive to this phenomenon? Young people, and the most sensitive persons. As we have seen in recent years, the climate crisis is a global issue. However, it seems it concerns more the young population, because it is about their own future: School strikes and climate marches have been organized every Thursday and Friday since 2018: they have brought together thousands of young people and adolescents. On the streets in France and around the world! It is estimated that around 85% of 15-30 year olds feel concerned about the subject of climate.
The youth advocate for the climate herself, Greta Thunberg, spoke to The New York Times about periods of depression in her environmental awareness.
But don't worry, there are obviously solutions to relieve your anxieties.
1. Books helps a lot on how to deal with this topic, such as "Staying green without ending up depressed" by author Laure Noualhat.
2. Surround yourself with media and caring people, who do not treat news as inevitable and who also know how to highlight progress and good news about the climate.
3. In “eco-anxiety” we find: anxiety. To help you calm it down, methods such as meditation, follow-up with a sophrologist, a psychologist or a hypno therapist could help you.
4. Talk about it. Opening the debate with those around you and listening to the points of view of others could help you move forward, without focusing too much on the negative.
5. Disconnect. Sometimes when the mental load is too heavy, the solution may be to cut everything. 24h, 48h or more without notifications from your favorite ecological magazine would surely help you calm down.
There you have it, you know everything. Commitment to a cause, no matter how beautiful, should in no way become harmful to you. And rest assured, you are far from the only one feeling anxious about the climate!
In order to complete this article, the entire Arsayo team would like to tell you how proud we are of you. Your involvement for the planet is precious. Remember that eco-anxiety is first and foremost due to awareness of the global climate situation, so you are on the right track to make a difference!