It’s very common for people to get stuck in a rut with the realisation of the extent of the threat of climate change. The number of those people are only growing as well. This may be something you are experiencing without even knowing. Eco-anxiety is on the rise and is especially prevalent among young people. This is due to the increased sensitivity of their brains to the effects of stressors. Another factor is the increased likelihood young people face of being impacted by more severe climate-related effects throughout their lives.
What is eco-anxiety?
Eco-anxiety is defined as ‘’a chronic fear of environmental doom’’ by psychologists all around the world. To break it down, it is a negative emotional response that’s associated with awareness of climate change. So now that we have established that we’re all in this together, how do we make sure that our eco-anxiety doesn’t interfere with our mental wellbeing? Mental health professionals and scientists have announced several ways of coping with this side of anxiety:
In general, connecting climate impacts to practical, small-scale solutions can help boost emotional resilience. Beyond your choice of transit, small habits you can perform daily, like turning off lights you don’t need, reducing your shower time, and opting forreusable materials instead of single-use plastics. Reducing meat consumption,composting food scraps, andshopping secondhand are some more examples.
Rethink your commute to work
Choosing so-called active commuting over vehicle commuting not only reduces your reliance on fossil fuels, but also contributes to overall physical health and stress reduction. A 2014 study published in Preventive Medicine found active commuters experienced lower levels of stress than car commuters. And for walkers, sense of wellbeing increased proportionate to travel time. For drivers, a sense of wellbeing decreased with travel time. Even the use of public transit correlated to higher levels of wellbeing opposed to driving. So if you’re able to walk, bike, or use public transportation on your next commute, your mind, and the planet, may benefit.
Find green spaces
Reducing anxious emotions doesn’t have to involve concerted action, either. How and where you spend your free time can also influence anxiety levels and overall mental health. Spending more time in green spaces (and out in nature in general) has been shown tolower stress levels andreduce rates of stress-related illness. “Green spaces” refers to spaces outdoors that are at leastpartially covered by “natural elements,” like vegetation, flowers, or trees.
Talk to Family and Friends
Perhaps most important of all is remembering that the fight against climate change isn’t an individual endeavour. Seeking out and talking to friends and family about eco-anxiety is a healthy form of expression. Plus, there’s no better feeling than being able to teach those closest to you what they can do to help better the planet, too.
Introduce your family to composting, help your friendshop for more eco-friendly products, and educate those willing to listen about what’s happening in the world (and how these small changes can help).
Find your people
It’s always nice to have a community that justgetsyou. Getting that support and validation from peers feels pretty darn good and is great for your mental wellbeing. In fact, group membership and participation in group activities has been shown to helpmaintain and enhance mental (and even physical) health.
Find your eco-friendly oral health tools
If you’re looking for a like-minded community of people striving to live more sustainable lives, you couldn’t have come to a better place. At Floe we know the feeling of wanting to make positive changes for the environment all too well. So don’t be shy. Switch up your oral health care products with our subscription box that includes:
A brand new Curaprox brush -with over 5000 soft bristles, gives unrivalled cleaning coverage,to remove plaque more effectively.
Dawn toothpaste -designed to whiten using natural ingredients that are kind to your enamel. SLS Free.
Dusk toothpaste - suited to the needs of your mouth in the morning and evening. SLS Free.
Activated charcoal natural floss - made from bamboo charcoal fibres - effective flossing at a price that doesn’t cost the earth.
Remember - we’re all in this together!