Have you experienced feelings of worry and fear about the future of the planet? This is called eco-anxiety, and it's becoming more common. Eco-anxiety is a newly coined term, but it is relevant to the experience of individuals and organisations in the modern world. Find out more about eco-anxiety and why it matters at The Surefoot Effect, along with our net zero offering.
Anxiety affects everyone to some degree; some have occasional worries and fears, while others suffer from chronic and debilitating conditions. Medical professionals have separated these anxious feelings into categories that include general anxiety, panic disorders, OCD, and others.
But we don't have to have a disorder to suffer from anxious feelings from time to time; in fact, most people experience some worry, stress, or fear, on a daily basis. Thanks to our biological evolution, our brains are encoded to search for life-threatening dangers, even in a home office.
If you're feeling anxious and don't know why it could be due to the condition of the world at the moment and your fears about the future of society and the wellbeing of future generations; this is considered a form of eco-anxiety according to the American Psychology Association (APA).
As with all anxiety, it affects different people in different ways, but it's clear that people with eco-anxiety have a greater awareness of the climate challenges faced by the planet and a realistic view of where we stand. As with other types of anxiety, it can range from mild to severe.
Climate change is the biggest challenge of our generation, thanks to a legacy of inattention and profiteering in previous decades. Today, it is hard to find anyone unaware of the impact of climate change in local communities and on a global scale. That's why eco-anxiety is growing.
The more information and awareness a person has about the effects of climate change, the more likely they are to experience the symptoms of eco-anxiety; these include stress, sleep disturbances, nervousness, and in severe cases, it can lead to depression and hopelessness.
Eco-anxiety is an existential condition arising from reflection on recent political changes, environmental challenges, and general attitudes in society; it can lead to despair about people’s lives and future. Employees might start to question the usefulness of their roles in the company.
Employees affected by this kind of anxiety can be less motivated and less committed. On the other hand, if a company is committed to climate action in the form of net zero practices like green supply chains, the opposite is the case. Eco-conscious employees respond to the call.
Have you experienced eco-anxiety, or does it affect the quality of work in your business? It's easy to access support for eco-anxiety through The Surefoot Effect, which offers workshops and a peer support service to individuals and companies. We can only serve the planet if we have the strength, resilience, and motivation to make a difference in workplaces and communities.
Here’s a collection of some of our articles which have been in our newsletters or published elsewhere.