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New articles about eco-anxiety: The Finnish national project

A national project 2020-2022 With the lead of Mental Health Finland (Mieli ry), three NGOs applied and received funding from the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health for a multiyear national project about eco-anxiety. This is a highly exciting project and one in which I have been much involved in, both in the preparation of the application and now as an advisor. The year 2020 was a tough one to start such a project, with COVID-19 pandemic reigning, but in winter 2021 the project has really kicked off. The two other organizations behind the project are Nyyti ry , an old NGO focusing on mental well-being among students, and the brand new Tunne ry , which was founded to develop resources for encountering eco-anxiety and other ecological emotions. The national project published its website  in winter 2020, offering information both for the general public and for various professionals. The project organizes peer groups, educates professionals, and raises awareness among the so

Videos about climate anxiety (and COVID-19)

Four videos are free to watch on the University of Helsinki "tube". I made these originally for students of psychology in Spring 2020, but they serve a wide audience.  1) Climate anxiety What are eco-anxiety and climate anxiety?  What kind of manifestations and symptoms may be included? Emotions and climate anxiety People who are especially vulnerable or exposed to climate anxiety The need for a systemic approach, which takes into account social factors and justice issues You can watch the 27-minute lecture here 2) Coping with climate anxiety Coping theory and resilience theory Susanne Moser : emotionally wise climate communication Maria Ojala's application of coping theory for climate crisis Varieties of resilience, including emotional resilience ( Davenport ), transformational resilience ( Doppelt ), and existential resilience (Pihkala) Insights from ecopsychology ( Macy & Johnstone; Greenspan) Tips for coping (climate psychology organizations) You can watch the 15

Lists of ecological emotion words

The following lists have been developed and used by eco-anxiety researcher Panu Pihkala, Ph.D. They have been used both in educational settings and in sessions about psychological well-being.  Please note that these are not comprehensive lists. All kinds of feelings and emotions may have dimensions related to environmental issues and experiences. For further reading, see the handbooks of ecological emotions by Panu Pihkala (2019, in Finnish: Mieli maassa? Ympäristötunteet ) and Glenn Albrecht (2019, Earth Emotions ). Lists that are used in environmental education, communication, and psychology should be edited to suit the context that they are used in.  It is always a good idea to ask people to invent words themselves for ecological emotions.   List 1: common ecological emotions care compassion frustration anger sadness curiosity relief joy shock overwhelm fear anxiety worry sense of belonging confusion awe wonder guilt melancholia pride

Ecological emotions: questions for discussion

There are a lot of different emotions and feelings in relation to ecological issues. It would be highly important that people could recognize their emotions and encounter them constructively. It can be very helpful and relieving if there are opportunities to discuss these emotions in groups. The following set of questions are meant to help facilitators to lead group discussions about some of the important ecological emotions / feelings / moods. These questions have been formulated by interdisciplinary environmental researcher Panu Pihkala, Ph.D., who has used them in sessions related to eco-anxiety and ecological emotions in Finland. (Version 10.11.2020) Anxiety - What does anxiety feel like? What are the physical sensations? - Topic: Different forms of anxiety. What kind of major variations of anxiety are there? (feeling of uncertainty and/or tension; anxiety states; existential anxiety; practical or adaptive anxiety etc.) - How is anxiety different than fear? - What kind of variou

Ecological emotions & eco-anxiety: Finnish activities

In this blog, I give a brief overview of the many initiatives that have been taken in Finland since 2017. I have personally taken part in many of these efforts. For the initial history of eco-anxiety discourse in Finland, please see this another text . A news story is also available. (Version 7.7.2020: basic information added. More to come.) Education Many initiatives have been taken, such as the “Hope and action” – project , which has developed activities for encountering ecological emotions and for increasing agency. Ecological emotions are finding their way into Finnish curriculums . There has been increasing discussion in environmental education (and sustainability education) about emotions and affect . Social and health sectors Awareness of eco-anxiety and climate anxiety is steadily growing, but much still needs to be done. Many health professionals distance themselves from eco-anxiety and/or see it mainly as pathological. On the other hand, many organizations

Mind map of ecological emotions

In brief The exercise enables people to create a mind map of their own ecological emotions (or emotions related to broader sustainability issues). A brief list of emotion words is used in support of the activity. Topics Very often we have used this exercise with a focus on climate change emotions (in brief: climate emotions). However, the mind map tool can be used with many framings. It can be drawn in relation to a specific issue of concern, such as a wildfire or flood that is causing distress. Naturally it can also be used for non-ecological issues, such as emotions about a pandemic. To whom? The major group that we have used this with is educators, but the exercise can be used with people of different age and profession. With the educators, the aim is to increase their emotional skills and also to enable the possibility that they would offer this exercise to their students. As with all emotional exercises, it is important for the educator to try this exercise first o

Spectrum Line of Ecological Emotions

This activity helps people to share their emotions and thoughts about the ecological crisis. If wanted, you can focus explicitly on climate change. Length : minimum 60 minutes, preferably 90-105 minutes. It is important to move towards empowerment near the end, and to provide enough time for this. Number of people who can attend : preferably around 20. For experienced facilitators, it is possible to include a quite large number of people. Requirements for the facilitator : Please do not lead this activity if you have not done inner work about ecological emotions yourself. You also should have at least basic experience of facilitating group work. If you are not very experienced, it is wise to guide this with a colleague. However, you do not need to be a professional therapist to facilitate this activity. Further ideas and tips More information and tips about facilitating this kind of work can be found at: - Carbon Conversations Facilitator’s Guide, Rosemary Rand