How to Cope with Eco-Anxiety: Resources for individuals experiencing anxiety around climate change and the environment.

Are you finding yourself overwhelmed by worries about the environment? Does the thought of climate change consume your mind, leaving you feeling hopeless and discouraged? If so, you may be experiencing what’s known as “eco-anxiety.” This term describes persistent anxiety or distress related to environmental concerns such as climate change, pollution, and loss of biodiversity.

It’s essential to recognize that eco-anxiety is not a mental illness; instead, it’s a natural emotional response to the challenges facing our planet. After all, our connection to nature and dependence on it means that we’re bound to feel anxious when we see something wrong.

While eco-anxiety can serve as a motivating force for positive change, it can also become a problem if not addressed effectively. The gradual and unpredictable nature of environmental threats, combined with the feeling of powerlessness to tackle them alone, can lead to a spiral of distress. In an attempt to escape or alleviate this anxiety, we may resort to avoidance behaviours or seek quick fixes that ultimately exacerbate the problem.

However, it’s crucial to understand that feeling hopeless doesn’t mean there’s no way forward. By learning how to cope with eco-anxiety, we can channel it into meaningful action and find hope and purpose in the face of daunting challenges.

Read our new resources to explore how we can break free from the cycle of eco-anxiety and move towards constructive action, starting with reframing the climate crisis as a call to action rather than a source of despair, so we can empower ourselves to make meaningful change.

Thank you to Dr. Robert Selles, who created this resource. Special thanks to other members of the Scientific Advisory Committee for their input and review: Drs. Melanie Badali, Carmen McLean, Lynn Miller, Marlene Taube-Schiff, and Maureen Whittal.

Cultivating Resilience: Tools for Managing Eco-Anxiety

Is Eco-Anxiety a Problem?

Part 1 introduces eco-anxiety and answers the question: is eco-anxiety considered a mental illness? And when is it a problem? Read it here.

Navigating the Storm: Eco-Anxiety Coping Strategies

Part 2 offers guidance and coping tools for those experiencing environmental anxiety. Read it here.

How to Transform Your Eco-Anxiety into Eco-Action

Part 3 talks turning your environmental concerns into concrete action. Read it here.

Other Anxiety Canada resources you may find useful

  • Anxiety Canada Blog – Read about a variety of topics, including eco-anxiety.
  • My Anxiety Plans (MAPs) – My Anxiety Plan is an anxiety management program based on cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), an evidence-based psychological treatment. MAPs for Children and Teens, Adults, and Educators are helpful for those with mild to moderate anxiety.
  • Downloadable PDFs – Our anxiety management downloadables includes useful tools, including “how-to” guides and self-help PDFs for parents, covering a variety of anxiety-related topics.
  • Get Help – Our Get Help page covers a variety of our other evidence-based resources. Find information on our free anxiety management app, our accessible group therapy program, and more.