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Home  >  Latest News  > Eco-anxiety, what is it and how to cope?

Eco-anxiety, what is it and how to cope?

Eco-anxiety is often described as “a chronic fear of environmental doom” with feelings of loss, helplessness, frustration and even guilt arising from witnessing our natural world change, and worrying about the future for ourselves and future generations.  


It seems there isn’t a day where we don’t hear a new statistic about record high temperatures, wild winter storms or widespread flooding. Many of these extreme weather events can be linked to climate change, as weather patterns have the potential to change as the planet becomes warmer. This can cause some people to feel eco-anxiety, where they struggle to mentally cope with the ever-increasing coverage of negative environmental stories.  

Eco-anxiety affects people of all ages but particularly by those experiencing climate impacts first-hand and living in vulnerable areas. Young people especially are experiencing greater levels of eco-anxiety as they see the window to fix the climate emergency closing, but often feel powerless to enact meaningful change. Although eco-anxiety is not a diagnosable condition, mental health experts recognise that climate change can trigger a psychological response.  

So, how do we cope with eco-anxiety? The following are some top tips of actions you can take to feel less anxious:


Avoid 'doomscrolling' - continuously scrolling through bad news stories even if it impacts our mood

Instead, absorb the news in smaller bursts. Try setting aside 15 minutes a day to read the news and don't look at it outside of this time. Avoid looking at the news first thing in the morning or last thing at night as this could impact your sleep.

You can also create a more positive news feed by unfollowing pages that trigger your eco-anxiety and replacing them with pages that share positive environmental news and solutions. Take a look here at positive climate news from 2023 - Nine breakthroughs for climate and nature in 2023 you may have missed - BBC Future


Connect with nature 

Spending time outdoors will help re-establish your positive connection with the environment. You could take a walk around one of Nottingham’s parks, why not explore one you haven’t been to before?


Engage in climate learning  

In your workplace there is likely to be some online learning on climate change, and outside of work there are lots of books to choose from which can help you feel more resilient in the face of uncertainty. ‘The Future We Choose’ by Christiana Figueres is one example to get you started.  


Reduce your climate footprint 

Making eco-conscious choices within your life can make you feel more optimistic. You can use the WWF Footprint Calculator to calculate your own footprint and find out how to make positive changes. 


Volunteer and take positive action 

Volunteering to support an environmental cause is a fantastic way to connect with people in your community and work together on positive projects. You could get involved with Nottingham Green Guardians and make a difference in Nottingham.  


Eco-anxiety is something that so many people are feeling, so if you do struggle with it you are not alone. Remember it’s a natural reaction to a real issue – eco-anxiety isn’t a mental health problem that needs to be fixed or cured, it’s a rational response to our current global situation. If you are feeling anxious, remember that if you are at least aware of the climate crisis then you have more power and motivation to take action. Reframing your feelings from eco-anxiety to eco-compassionate or eco-empathetic can also help!  

This quote from Sir David Attenborough is a great reminder to take away:



“Our motivation should not be fear, but hope.” 

Sir David Attenborough in his address to leaders at COP26.