Climate anxiety, also called eco-anxiety, is a distress related to concerns about the effects of climate change.
It is not a mental illness: it is an anxiety “rooted in uncertainty about the future and alerts us to the dangers of a changing climate.”
It is often accompanied by feelings of grief, anger, guilt and shame, which in turn can affect mood, behavior and thinking.
The American Psychological Association (APA) warns that people are increasingly at risk for these mental health problems even if they have not experienced the direct effects of climate change.
As people watch the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold, they worry about the future of the planet, children and generations to come, which can lead to too much stress, affecting people’s mental health and their relationships with people.
Today we want to talk about four interesting books that can help you cope with climate anxiety.
Turn the Tide on Climate Anxiety: Sustainable Action for Your Mental Health and the Planet
It’s hard to watch the news, scroll through social media, or listen to the radio without hearing or seeing something disturbing about the climate emergency. This can trigger all sorts of emotions: worry, anger, sadness, guilt, and even grief but also often over-looked positive emotions like motivation, connection, care, and abundance that support mental health and climate action for sustainable longevity.
Written by psychologists with extensive experience in treating people with eco-anxiety, this book shows you how to harness these emotions, validate them, and transform them into positive action. It enables you to assess and understand your psychological responses to the climate crisis and move away from unhealthy defense mechanisms, such as denial and avoidance.
Ultimately, it shows that the solution to both climate anxiety and the climate crisis is the same – action that is sustainable for you and for the planet – and empowers you to take steps towards this.
A Guide to Eco-Anxiety: How to Protect the Planet and Your Mental Health
This is the first mainstream book to tackle the growing phenomenon of eco-anxiety. Written by a psychoanalyst, with a foreword from Greenpeace’s Ed Gillespie, this book offers emotional tools and strategies to ease anxiety by taking positive action on a personal and community level.
The most powerful thing we can do to combat climate change is to talk about it and act collectively. But despite it being an emergency, most people don’t bring climate change into conversation in everyday life.
The book will cultivate a pragmatic form of hope by offering a dynamic toolkit packed with practical ways to connect with community and systemic support, self-care practices to ease the symptoms of anxiety, and strategies to spread awareness and – crucially – bring about change.
A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet
Drawing on a decade of experience leading and teaching in college environmental studies programs, Sarah Jaquette Ray has created an “existential tool kit” for the climate generation. Combining insights from psychology, sociology, social movements, mindfulness, and the environmental humanities, Ray explains why and how we need to let go of eco-guilt, resist burnout, and cultivate resilience while advocating for climate justice.
A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety is the essential guidebook for the climate generation—and perhaps the rest of us—as we confront the greatest environmental threat of our time.
Coco’s Fire: Changing Climate Anxiety into Climate Action
Climate Change can be scary, so talking to children about this topic in a way that is both honest and empowering is important. Join Coco the squirrel and her dad on their quest to stop climate change, and watch as her worries transform into the very thing that inspires her.
This book offers a model conversation written by mental health professionals and environmental scientists for how to have “The Climate Talk” with children. Additionally, 65% of the proceeds from the sales of this book will be donated to support research about Climate Change and mental health.