How to reduce your anxiety about climate change
Updated: Apr 28
A timely, helpful, and inspiring newsletter from Dan Harris's excellent 10 Percent Happier mindfulness site. I am taking inspiration from author Jay Michaelson's advice to "find the Venn diagram overlap of what needs doing, what you’re good at, and what brings you joy:" --What needs doing? individual and political/national action --What am I good at? getting involved on a team, communicating --What brings me joy? taking good action, knowing I'm doing something to help, being with others in like-minded pursuit of meaningful goals --What is my action step? join a meeting of my city's Green Advisory Committee, and see what follows from that!
And I'm also inspired by his vision of "pendulation:"
...bring climate change, and politics, into your meditation time, to allow whatever emotions they bring up to unfold. Because learning not to be controlled by them is how you actually grow happier.
Building mindfulness in this way can also help you practice “pendulation,” engaging with the challenging material, and then backing away from it to restore. It’s like a cycle: do your activist work, notice when you get stuck, restore, and return. Remember, fighting climate change is a marathon, not a sprint. And being frozen by anxiety, anger, or burnout is not helping anyone.
I can give myself grace for resting when I need to, and then continue to take action without getting hung up on negative thinking about the rest period. Onwards!