Is the climate and ecological crisis affecting you feel emotionally and physically? Is what you hear and see reported on the news causing you to lose sleep and feel anxious, yet helpless to do anything to avert the crisis that is predicted? You are not alone and more people are experiencing symptoms of what has been termed ‘eco-anxiety’. Please read on for some more context, and also consider the value of getting some support for yourself. Contact me if you wish to explore having some therapy.
A recent radio programme, and feature article have captured some individual stories as well as generalising on themes that characterise ‘Eco-anxiety’: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/b2e7ee32-ad28-4ec4-89aa-a8b8c98f95a5. It is common to many people who care about the state of Nature and realise the dependency we humans have on our natural ecologies for a stable future. The article says that if you are feeling anxious or depressed and distracted by fears of collapse of our natural life support systems, your experience is a very appropriate response to a real existential threat. I agree that to feel scared is appropriate and it is natural and human to want to feel a togetherness in this with others.
However, it is not straight forward to accept and share these experiences and you may be in an internal conflict around your own feelings. Despite your fears, you may not feel able to change your lifestyle just like that; and amongst your friends and family, you may encounter disagreement rather than support, if they see things differently. Feeling separation and conflict can lead to overwhelm, so it’s important to try to find ‘like-minded’ people who can help you.
There are resources and alongside more established environmental and human rights charities, there is a growing number of grass roots groups who are prepared to explore responses to ecological and climate change crisis scenarios. These groups can feel supportive to many who feel driven to activism. The sense of agency and interpersonal connections can be empowering and reduce isolation.
Often in activist groups, the focus is on taking action to rectify a ‘wrong’ or injustice, and not so much on the complexity of feeling or interpretation of the reasons for action. Yet many people can also feel blocked by their feelings, which prevent them from acting, or there’s confusion about where to contribute, particularly if work, family or health issues make it hard to join in meetings or action in their community. Is this something that you are experiencing? It may feel particularly hard at this time to know that others are mobilising whilst you feel stuck.
Feeling stuck and ‘frozen’ when it comes to action can stem from a variety of root causes in our nervous systems. Our individual experiences of threat to our lives are unique, and whilst for some of us the response is to fight back, or to run away, for others of us, there is a very scary place of frozenness, which debilitates and refuses to release us to move.
Therapy can support you to meet your overwhelm safely, to unblock stuck emotions and to find stability and clarity in both your emotional experience and in your choices about taking action. I am writing here and offering therapy in direct response to eco-anxiety, because I know that feeling this degree of threat is a healthy response from our bodies and minds. It is a time to recognise that our lives are not separate from our natural world. I believe that we each have unique contributions to make to our human and Natural world. You are entitled to find stability and resource to be able to contribute to our collective effort to rebalance and resource our world.
If you would like to have an initial free telephone consultation with me, to start to get unstuck and find your way forward in this time, please contact me to book a time. I look forward to hearing from you!