You are never to small to make a difference. Greta Thunberg

In recent years, a growing concern has emerged among young adults regarding the state of our planet. This mounting worry about the environment, often called eco-anxiety, is a psychological response to the ongoing climate crisis and the associated ecological challenges.

As a psychotherapist, I have noticed an increased number of clients sharing the impact of their anxiety over the state of the environment on their mental well-being and worries about their future and the younger population.

Understanding Eco-Anxiety.

Eco-anxiety can manifest as a chronic fear, distress, or unease related to the current and future state of the environment. Young adults, especially attuned to the world around them, often grapple with feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, sadness, and anger when confronted with environmental issues such as climate change, deforestation, or biodiversity loss.

These concerns are not unfounded; our global challenges can be overwhelming for many clients I often meet in my practice.

Why Eco-Anxiety in Young Adults?

Climate Change Awareness:

The accessibility of information through media platforms has increased environmental awareness, exposing young adults to the magnitude of environmental issues. The more they learn, the more they may experience feelings of distress.

A sense of loss of Future Prospects:

Young adults who worry about the environment may also experience a sense of existential dread. They fear a future where their dreams and aspirations may be compromised due to a degraded planet.

A life mostly disconnected from nature:

The disconnection from nature, often caused by urbanization and the digital age, can contribute to eco-anxiety. Young adults may feel disconnected from the earth’s well-being without directly connecting to the natural world.

Coping Strategies for Eco-Anxiety.

Self-Care and Emotional Well-being:

It is crucial for young adults to prioritize their mental health and well-being. Engaging in activities that promote relaxation, such as mindfulness, meditation, or regular exercise, can help reduce anxiety levels.

Educate and Empower:

Instead of succumbing to a sense of helplessness, young adults can channel their anxiety into action. Becoming informed about environmental issues and actively participating in sustainable practices can create a sense of empowerment.

Seek Support and Connection:

Sharing concerns with like-minded individuals can alleviate feelings of isolation. Engaging in eco-conscious communities, either online or in-person, provides a platform for dialogue, support, and collective problem-solving.

Increase Focus on Positive Change:

While our challenges are immense, shifting focus toward positive change is crucial. Celebrating and supporting environmental initiatives, volunteering for conservation efforts, or advocating for sustainable policies can help young adults feel part of a solution.

Develop Resilience:

Resilience is critical in navigating eco-anxiety. Encourage young adults to build coping mechanisms to manage stress and adapt to adversity. This can include creating a solid support network, developing problem-solving skills, and cultivating optimism.

Eco-anxiety among young adults is a real and valid emotional response to the state of our planet.
As a psychotherapist, I encourage young adults to acknowledge and address their eco-anxiety while providing them a safe and non judgmental space where they can consider strategies to navigate this complex emotional landscape.

It is my heartfelt hope that by focusing on self-care, empowerment, connection, and resilience, young adults can transform their eco-anxiety into positive action and be agents of change in creating a more sustainable future for themselves and the generations to come. We can channel our concerns into meaningful solutions and work towards a healthier planet.