When you hear about extreme events and dire predictions about climate, it is easy to lose hope.
A recent study by the University of Bath in the U.K shows that you are not alone.
In a study of 10,000 youth around the world between the ages of 16 and 25, researchers found that nearly half the participants described anxiety about the state of our Earth's climate.
Let's find out more and the actions you can take.
Youth and Climate Change
According to the study, about 65% of the surveyed youth recognize the dangers of inaction on climate change and felt their governments were failing young people.
About half of the respondents felt they could not rely on the adults around them to tell them the truth. The results were nearly the same with those surveyed saying they have fewer opportunities than their parents as a result of changing climate.
Researchers also found that youth living in parts of the world that are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change were more affected. But uniformly everywhere, the terms youth used to describe their feelings ranged from fear to sadness, anxiety, and a sense of helplessness.
Addressing Climate Anxiety
While feelings of “climate anxiety” are shared by many young people, experts say this stress can translate to progress if dealt with in the right way. Here are some tips for calming any anxiety you may have about the climate.
- Sharing feelings is important: As exhibited by the pandemic, isolation only leads to more anxiety. From “climate cafes” to discussion circles, sharing your feelings about the current state and future affairs is important to your wellbeing, say experts.
- Large changes start with small actions: Although there may not be an end-all solution to climate change, experts say taking action on a small scale can be incredibly motivating and heartening.
- Believe in adapting: The best way to stay on top of events in an ever-changing world is to adapt to the new atmosphere as best you can.
- Spend time in nature: Bonding with the natural world can be healing and motivating.
Sources: NPR, BBC, Bath.ac.uk