Eco-Anxiety & How to Cope

Writing: An Eco-Anxiety Blog & resulting web project I worked on for Anxiety Canada.

Anxiety Canada Blog Post (Excerpt)

“Eco-anxiety is a sign that we are beginning to recognize the severity of the environmental crisis we are facing. It is a call to action, urging us to take responsibility for our actions and work towards a more sustainable future.”

– Dr. Sylvia Earle, Marine Biologist and Oceanographer

Eco-anxiety” is a newer term but has become widely known as more begin to understand the severity and urgency of the ongoing environmental crisis; it is a form of anxiety related to environmental issues, including climate change, pollution, deforestation, species extinction, overpopulation, and other environmental challenges. 

Understandably, ‘doomscrolling’ (the act of spending an excessive amount of time reading negative news online) and seeing keywords like “torrential floods,” “melting ice sheets,” “rainfall warning,” or “heat wave” can increase environmental anxiety.

Eco-anxiety can lead to helplessness, despair, and loss of hope for the future—especially for Gen Z or those born between 1997 and 2012. Per Yale Environment 360, climate anxiety is greatest for Gen Z, who have been bombarded with news of climate disasters on social media and in the news. They “feel betrayed by government inaction” and upset when told they are “overreacting to what they see as an existential threat.”

Close to 40% of Gen Z surveyed also said that fears about the future have made them reluctant to have children one day. “Eco-anxiety, or more specifically fears around global warming and the sustainability of our planet, has become more prominent in the last decade,” says Mark Antczak, Anxiety Canada’s in-house Registered Clinical Counsellor and Clinical Educator. Mark further suggests that “uncertainty is especially hard to tolerate or sit with when it relates to anything we feel we have less control of, which in the case of the climate can feel especially true.”

Eco-anxiety, like generalized anxiety, involves excessive worry and fear about the future. However, eco-anxiety is a specific type of anxiety that is rooted in concerns about the environment. The issue of climate change can often be politicized, and although we can challenge and reframe our anxious thoughts around environmental issues, eco-anxiety centres on valid concerns about the planet. Current climate issues are complex, and it is natural to feel concerned about the impact of climate change on our lives.

Nonetheless, it is important to note that eco-anxiety can have similar symptoms and treatments as generalized anxiety, like cognitive-behavioural therapy, as well as other therapeutic and relaxation techniques. 


Read the rest of the Eco-Anxiety blog post I created, wrote, and published: Click here.

Eco-Anxiety Expansion Project

I wrote this blog in 2023, and for 2024, we wanted to expand on the material with additional psychologist input. Members of Anxiety Canada’s Scientific Committee created new resources in 2024 that I coordinated, edited, and uploaded to the back end (WordPress). Click here to see the landing page: Eco-Anxiety Resources.

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