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How to Soothe Climate Anxiety With Hope and Action

Verywell / Getty Images Key Takeaways

Climate anxiety and climate change-related disasters are increasing in tandem.

Climate anxiety is likely caused by an interplay of many factors, including news exposure, lived experience, and institutional inertia.

Understanding climate change in the contexts of climate injustice, racism, and oppression can help to mobilize and change individual and systemic thinking.

Over the past couple of weeks, it seems like climate disasters are happening everywhere we look. In the U.S. alone, a heat dome blazed in the Northwest, fires cropped up in California, New York City flooded , and even an ocean fire broke out in the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s no wonder why “climate anxiety” is becoming a household name. Everyone from academics to Instagrammers is publishing papers and sharing posts on the topic. There’s even a call to measure and standardize it.But one study found that climate-related anxieties are “correlated with emotional but not behavioral responses to climate change.”1 This anxiety can be paralyzing, leading to inaction.Yet that lack of behavioral response, Sarah J. Ray, PhD , professor of environmental studies at Humboldt State University, tells Verywell is part of the problem.”Intense emotional responses to environmental problems are not new among people […]

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