How climate change is affecting health, by a meteorologist

In researching and writing this book at the height of the pandemic, I felt it was important to address the topic of mental health, which is an integral part of overall well-being.

When it comes to climate change, the mere thought of global warming triggers anxiety, especially among young people. For those with eco scare, a term defined by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as “chronic fear of environmental degradation.” Viewing images and media reports of any type of weather-related destruction can be triggering. A recent global survey of 10,000 young people aged 16 to 25 found that 56% believe that “humanity is doomed”.

Mental health experts say spending time in nature, whether it’s hiking, gardening, or engaging in an eco-friendly activity, can help cope with environmental anxiety. When these activities are done in a group, there is the added benefit of potentially finding like-minded people to express mutual climate concerns.

Scientific studies also indicate that practicing mindfulness and meditation can help reduce the emotional anxiety you may feel when thinking about our climate. Even in the darkest of times, research shows that writing down what you’re grateful for can refocus attention and improve mood, too.

About Mike Crayton

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