Collective Action Could Relieve Climate Anxiety

As human beings we have been evolving and developing to lengths that were unknown to us. As humans, we always feel like we are in control of our life, of the people in our life, a career, and our financial growth. But if there is anything that makes us feel more vulnerable and not in control, it has to be the mighty nature. And we all know that in the last couple of decades, the harm that we as mankind have created in our natural surroundings has impacted the very ecosystem of a planet. We have exorbitant heated summers and even longer freezing winters and it just doesn’t seem natural enough for us to survive on our own without any additional support. Heat waves are increasing across the world, so Are the number of hurricanes and wildfires — all of this makes us feel very nervous about our future on this planet. But ignoring the problem or stewing the same is not going to ease our burden. Global warming is something that has been discussed again and again in various conferences all over the world. However, seldom progress has been made towards the measures that are being taken to protect our environment from global warming. People have started becoming very anxious about climate change and they know that they need to act upon this is extremely urgent.

Some of us question the practices that we do at our home, don’t we? Does switching to steel straws instead of plastic ones help? Does home composting help, does switching to electric vehicles help? The questions to the various practices that we have started incorporating in order to make the environment greener and reduce climate change are uncountable. So, how do we fight climate change? What is actually the need of the hour? Read on to know more.

Working together!

A certain study that was published in a book called current psychology says that collective action is the only truth to relieve climate anxiety. The survey was conducted on 284 students from different US universities and the result indicated that climate change does cause anxiety and it was also linked to depression amongst those Group of students who did not engage in any form of group activities that were aimed at tackling the climate change problem.

It was noticed that the students also developed political anxiety. The participants did not participate in any group activity retaining two steps to be taken to fight climate change, however, they did develop climate anxiety when they were exposed to themes like environmental damage, human global suffering, in collective inaction, and individual suffering.

Researchers suggest that we must look at climate change as an opportunity for us to collectively work together and this will help alleviate the anxiety. The bottom line here is that when we do things socially or collectively together with other people, it has a stronger impact and effect on not just the environment but also our mental health when compared to doing things independently.

We humans are social creatures and therefore we are designed in a manner that carrying out activities together with other people benefits our ecosystem as well as the ecosystem of the environment. Conducting activities on our own in isolation will develop frustration and anxiety within us. We thrive on taking collective action rather than being independent or self serving.

It is the oppressed groups that are hurt the most because of climate change

Collectively, if you look at one of the greatest fears that each of us as humans are afraid of, it is the fear of the unknown! As individuals we are always unsure about what is going to happen next not just in our environment but also in our life. With violent storms, forest fires, increased global temperatures, oil spills, overfilled landfills, melting of enormous ice caps, toxic emissions— all of these are a great deal that contributes to the unknown that we all fear. Collectively working towards fixing our environment may definitely help us find some relief. The main Takeaway for all of us as readers of this article is that we are in the center of a major global problem that screams attention.

One of the things that is worthy to note here is that all living in metro cities and developed countries have substantial information when it comes to climate change. There are in other parts of the world that include oppressed populations and impoverished communities who do not have access to such information. Without more advocacy and education on the climate change topic, many who experience anxiety related to this or unaware of the root cause of climate change start internalizing the wrong and feel that something is wrong with them.

However, it is very notable to say that many affluent communities are making efforts to address the problem correctly. Speaking about climate change openly to various communities in the world will normalize the whole experience of feeling the climate change and help people lay positive focus on the efforts that need to be taken collectively to fix the climate change problem.

We need to understand that it is the marginalized communities that are at the front end of bearing the brunt when it comes to climate change. Therefore it is our responsibility to collectively take action and elevate climate anxiety and not just us but in those communities as well.

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