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Coping Techniques

This page has just a quick list of coping techniques that will help with anxiety when facing climate reality:-

  • Distraction – doing something that takes your mind off it. Work, reading, TV, chatting about inane stuff, physical activity.
  • Breathing exercises – can really help to calm down physically. [todo: add details of technique]
  • Simple Meditation [todo: add details of technique] – can be found on YouTube.
  • Simple Yoga exercises – yogo isn’t for a certain type/shape of person. Anyone can do the simplest exercise and enjoy it and gain good feelings. Just do very simple and easy exercises and be careful. Try YouTube or something like the Yoga For Beginners And Beyond dvd.
  • Spending time with people who haven’t faced climate reality and having a laugh.
  • Working out activities and things to do within a group (if there is one) of people who have faced it, that are not related to climate change.
  • Working on climate change – sometimes just working on the problem can help feelings of anxiety subside as you know you are doing something. Avoid overdoing the research though.
  • (A very useful one): Being more “philosophical” about the situation. If you tell yourself that you don’t care that much about death or when it comes – it’s surprisingly easy to believe yourself. (You’ve spent decades fooling yourself climate change isn’t that big a problem, so you have had lots of practice in exaggerating the truth to yourself). You can do the same about loved ones, the world, even about suffering (all suffering comes to an end at some point…). I have found that telling myself these things, which are all partly true has a genuine calming effect. Much more than trying to ignore the problem.
  • (Another very useful one): Tell yourself that maybe it’s OK. Maybe the IPCC and the government are right and we can just slowly reduce emissions until 2050 when we can hit net zero, and that will work. This is no joke. You have no way of knowing whether this is really false information, so if you tell yourself that probably everything is under control and the powers that be are in control, it’s easy to start feeling more relaxed. (Again, you’ve spent decades doing this already so it will come naturally and be fairly easy). Obviously don’t go back to telling yourself this all the time, otherwise you’ll do nothing to help the situation!
  • Visualisation – you can close your eyes and imagine yourself in a really relaxing place, or tying your thoughts of climate to a balloon and watching it slowly drift away each time you find yourself thinking about it. [todo: add more details and links to useful pages]
  • Talking with others – “a problem shared is a problem halved”. Group therapy, professional therapy, talking over with friend or with loved ones. Ideally if someone set up a free helpline that would be good…. There is something available from the Climate Psychology Alliance at this page where it says that if you email Caroline Hickman at then she will put you in touch with someone close by who would be willing to help you. They are providing help linking up both trained psychotherapists and non-professionals, some of whom may be able to provide some sessions without charge.
  • Learn about the condition of eco-anxiety – here’s a good programme about it from Radio 4
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