Can hypnosis help with eco-anxiety?

There is a new form of anxiety arising - environmental, or eco-anxiety. Some people are feeling overwhelmed by the existential challenge of climate change. Eco-anxiety is a constant worry, and it can have an adverse effect on your life if you are panicking about being 'too small' to make a change. The concern can escalate as you experience climate change in your daily life. We hit record temperatures and yet, some leaders and highly influential people, who could actually help, deny its existence!

We all must take steps to save our planet. However, watching the ignorance of the more influential leaders might make you feel powerless. Your feelings of it being out of your control can cause panic. The American Psychological Association's 2017 report explained the impacts of climate change on mental health. Some people, unfortunately, are deeply affected by feelings of grief, helplessness, frustration, stress, and even violence and aggression due to their inability to make a difference to stopping climate change (APA 2017). Dealing with climate change is urgent and demands action.

Greta Thunberg called for school strikes to save the planet: 'Adults keep saying "we owe it to the young people to give them hope", but I don't want your hope, I don't want you to be hopeful, I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. I want you to act' (Greta Thunberg 2018).

Some of us do panic, and might think that the small act of riding a bike, for example, is not enough to save the planet and give a future to children. This experience, this worry, has led to the development of a new form of anxiety that affects more and more people. According to Anxiety UK, at least one in 10 British adults are likely to feel a 'disabling anxiety disorder' during their life, but how can we not panic when our future is threatened and we feel powerless? What can we do?

How can a therapist help?

Well, we therapists needed a new approach too. We cannot discourage you from doing your usual routine, as we need you to protect the environment. We cannot desensitise you; we cannot ask the question 'what is the worst that can happen?'. We needed a new approach that combines encouraging attitude and relaxation techniques. It is beneficial for you to talk it through and find ways to manage your anxiety. Getting involved in actions might make you feel more in control, but it might deepen your worries. The problem can then escalate and worsen the panic, or it might lead to developing other issues such as drinking or self-harming. We tailor the therapy to your individual needs to help you!

How can we use hypnosis to help with eco-anxiety?

Hypnosis is a great way to teach you relaxation techniques for your safety and, at the same time, we can boost your confidence and ability to work for the planet.

Hypnosis can increase your motivation and alter some of your behaviour patterns. Under hypnosis, you can usually experience a sense of deep relaxation with your attention narrowed down and focused on the suggestions made by the hypnotherapist.

These suggestions help you to make positive changes. The therapist merely helps to facilitate your experience, empower your abilities, build your self-confidence and self-esteem, and relax you. Feeling strong and empowered makes you confident, and will encourage others to listen to what you have to say. And, as it happens, you can feel more and more in control and influential about your own role in saving our planet.

References

APA (2017): Resolution on Affirming Psychologists’ Role in Addressing Global Climate Change. American Psychological Association. [Available from:
https://www.apa.org/about/policy/climate-change/] [Accessed: 22/7/2019]

Greta Thunberg (2018): Speech at United Nations. {Video} [Available from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFkQSGyeCWg] [Accessed: 22/7/2019]

Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Andrea Szentgyorgyi

Andrea Szentgyorgyi
Registered Hypnotherapist, MSTT

Urmston Hypnotherapy
M41… Read more

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