Remember, your feelings are justified and valid and it is okay to feel stressed about climate change.
Positive experiences and emotions are important for motivating yourself (and others) in the long term so remember to also think about and discuss the positive reasons you are passionate about this issue, such as the beautiful natural world, the incredible intricacies of ecosystems or the allure of Australia's unique native flora and fauna.
By focusing on the solutions and positive news, you’ll be able to support a shift in your mindset and outlook. If we adjust unhelpful thinking patterns, we can start to create a more positive mindset.
This may include:
- Not being judgmental of yourself when it comes to climate action. You might feel as though you aren't doing enough but judgement, criticism or self-doubt is likely to fuel negative emotions and lead to less productivity. When these negative thoughts arise, think about it in a more positive way. This might be along the lines of; ‘I’m helping make a change in my own way’ or ‘I’m just at the start of my journey.’
- Take time to reflect. This can help you stay connected to your goals and ensure they are achievable while keeping a reasonable perspective on things. Reflection can help take out the sense of urgency that can be caused by climate anxiety and helps us recognise that change is incremental.
- Practise gratitude. Although there is a lot of negative news about climate change, there’s also a lot of positive things taking place to combat these issues. Make an effort to seek out the positive angles and write these down. It’s a way of practising gratitude for the good things that are taking place.
If possible, take a break or try to pivot your focus slightly when overwhelming feelings around climate change arise.
Some examples of this are:
- Turning off social media notifications to take a break from the 24/7 news cycle.
- Undertake hobbies that are different to your environmental interests. Be creative. Write poems, make art, sing, dance, garden – tap into your creative and imaginative brain, and have fun doing it!
- Connect with nature in a way that is meaningful to you.
- Focus on only a few climate issues - working on too many environmental issues may become unwieldy and can be overwhelming.