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Three Ways to Work With Eco-Anxiety

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about how we can work with eco anxiety. So we are currently living through a time of upheaval, uncertainty, and looming challenges. So really understandably many of us are feeling, you know, ongoing feelings of fear and anxiety. In a situation like this, it's really easy to get caught up in unhelpful thinking habits, like becoming consumed with rumination and worry about the future, or, you know, we might try distracting ourselves in an attempt to escape things or numb ourselves through addictions.

We may even fall into a sense of helplessness or even depression because it's so overwhelming. Is there another way? Is it possible to face what's happening around us without getting swept away by fear overwhelm or hopelessness? I believe that it is possible. And in order to do so, we need mindfulness, self-compassion, and the ability to focus on what we can control. Firstly, we need mindfulness because it offers us a refuge, a stable and safe inner place amongst the storms of life. When we anchor ourselves in presence, in this place of inner strength and stability, we find that we're more able to hold and bear what once felt unbearable.

We learn to gently face things as they are and work with them more skillfully. Second, we need self-compassion so that we can meet our difficult emotions. You know, in difficult times, we don't want to pretend that we're not feeling difficult emotions. We don't want to try and escape them or struggle with them too much. Instead, just being able to acknowledge your feelings and give yourself compassion for what you're going through, is a really important skill.

And three is to focus on what you can control. So in times of challenge or crisis, a certain amount of fear and stress is really inevitable and natural. But we often cause ourselves a lot of excess suffering by continuously worrying about all kinds of things that are not really in our control. You know, for example, you cannot control what other people are doing. You cannot control how certain natural disasters might be unfolding around the world or how the whole political landscape is unfolding.

And in fact, the research shows that the more you focus on things that you cannot control, the more overwhelmed and disempowered and frantic you're likely to feel. So one of the most important things you can do when facing a challenge is to focus on what you can control and accept for now, the rest really simply is as it is. What you can control is your behavior. And our research shows that focusing on what you can control and taking action guided by your values, shifts you from a state of helplessness to one of hopefulness and empowerment. So your values, you know, that are going to guide your actions might be things like kindness, courage, playfulness, determination.

Whatever your values are, connect with them, let them guide your actions. Perhaps just starting by considering what's one small thing that I can do today to make things better. So in a time when you might've otherwise felt paralyzed, depressed, or overwhelmed, taking action restores calm, resilience, and agency. So may you connect with the presence, compassion, and strength that you have inside of you as you navigate these challenging times. Thank you for your practice and your presence here.

Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

Three Ways to Work With Eco-Anxiety

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today, I'm going to talk about how we can work with eco anxiety. So we are currently living through a time of upheaval, uncertainty, and looming challenges. So really understandably many of us are feeling, you know, ongoing feelings of fear and anxiety. In a situation like this, it's really easy to get caught up in unhelpful thinking habits, like becoming consumed with rumination and worry about the future, or, you know, we might try distracting ourselves in an attempt to escape things or numb ourselves through addictions.

We may even fall into a sense of helplessness or even depression because it's so overwhelming. Is there another way? Is it possible to face what's happening around us without getting swept away by fear overwhelm or hopelessness? I believe that it is possible. And in order to do so, we need mindfulness, self-compassion, and the ability to focus on what we can control. Firstly, we need mindfulness because it offers us a refuge, a stable and safe inner place amongst the storms of life. When we anchor ourselves in presence, in this place of inner strength and stability, we find that we're more able to hold and bear what once felt unbearable.

We learn to gently face things as they are and work with them more skillfully. Second, we need self-compassion so that we can meet our difficult emotions. You know, in difficult times, we don't want to pretend that we're not feeling difficult emotions. We don't want to try and escape them or struggle with them too much. Instead, just being able to acknowledge your feelings and give yourself compassion for what you're going through, is a really important skill.

And three is to focus on what you can control. So in times of challenge or crisis, a certain amount of fear and stress is really inevitable and natural. But we often cause ourselves a lot of excess suffering by continuously worrying about all kinds of things that are not really in our control. You know, for example, you cannot control what other people are doing. You cannot control how certain natural disasters might be unfolding around the world or how the whole political landscape is unfolding.

And in fact, the research shows that the more you focus on things that you cannot control, the more overwhelmed and disempowered and frantic you're likely to feel. So one of the most important things you can do when facing a challenge is to focus on what you can control and accept for now, the rest really simply is as it is. What you can control is your behavior. And our research shows that focusing on what you can control and taking action guided by your values, shifts you from a state of helplessness to one of hopefulness and empowerment. So your values, you know, that are going to guide your actions might be things like kindness, courage, playfulness, determination.

Whatever your values are, connect with them, let them guide your actions. Perhaps just starting by considering what's one small thing that I can do today to make things better. So in a time when you might've otherwise felt paralyzed, depressed, or overwhelmed, taking action restores calm, resilience, and agency. So may you connect with the presence, compassion, and strength that you have inside of you as you navigate these challenging times. Thank you for your practice and your presence here.

Let's settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.7

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