If stress is often cited as the “great evil of the century”, another emotion is entering the realm of current mental health issues: eco-anxiety. We all agree that for anyone who is ecologically aware, the sight our planet’s future can easily come across as being rather depressing… But there is an unbeatable remedy to staying true to ecological awareness without succumbing to depression: action.


What is eco-anxiety?

Eco-anxiety (also known as solastalgia), which has appeared in scientific literature very recently, is a form of profound distress experienced when confronted with the future of our planet.

Climate change, pollution, resource depletion, extinction of plant and animal species… It’s no wonder that being aware of these disorders while observing the inertia of certain decision-makers and the contradictions in which our humanity is trapped, can be highly distressing. The state of our world leads many people to feel afraid, desperate and angry, especially when realizing that the issues at hand can often feel so huge that our individual actions, although relevant and necessary, do not have the expected impact – and therefore do nothing to soothe our anxiety.

Eco-anxiety is also about that: a feeling of powerlessness that often goes hand in hand with an increased level of knowledge about the environmental issues we face and the challenges coming ahead.


Young people at the forefront of eco-anxiety

Young people are particularly affected by eco-anxiety, especially by the spectre of climate change. And rightly so, as it is their future that is at stake.


Pessimism and resentment against decision-makers

According to a study published in The Lancet Planetary Health in 2021, 74% of French people under the age of 25 say they are pessimistic about climate change and 67% believe that governments are not doing their share to avoid climate disasters. The study shows that there is a relationship between eco-anxiety, and concern about climate change and the perception of an inadequate response by those stakeholders who have the power to decide and take action.


Generational divide

41% of them do not trust adults to find solutions. A very regrettable figure that highlights the looming gap between generations, at a time when we need more than ever to combine all our energy to turn our fears into solutions.


How to remain happy despite this hazardous fate?

Are we really entering the era of disillusioned hummingbirds?

Faced with this looming feeling that our humanity is doomed, it’s easily understandable that some people tend to give in to an ecological spleen sustained with never-ending disillusionment. But this would mean overlooking the fact that emotions, from the Latin “emovere” which means “movement”, are there for a reason: to make us move! To make us go from point A to point B… but always on our planet A because at this point, everyone has clearly figured out that there is no “planet B”, right?


Taking action to revive your eco-optimism

So, there’s nothing like being active to awaken the positive in you. And at the Equestrio Foundation, we’ve tested it. It works!

We share here with you a few tips, partly inspired by Alice Khelifa, journalist, naturalist guide and co-founder of the NGO For My Planet.


Combining action with pleasure

There are so many ways to take action. And within that range, you have to identify what you like and what makes sense to you. You can’t be good at everything and be everywhere. Set realistic environmental goals that match your needs, capabilities, and personality so you can experience the drive that comes when achieving them. This is a great way to keep going!

At Equestrio Foundation, we’ve chosen to focus on human-scale projects, on which we can have a concrete impact. It is a choice that corresponds to our means, to the spirit of our foundation but also to our personal need to see the tangible effects of our donations.


Be selective with information

It can be hard not to be affected when constantly bombarded with environmental crises on the news and social media. At a time of ultra-connectivity, we are reminded every day of the state of our planet. While being informed is fundamental, beware of too much “doom scrolling”.

Be selective with your choice of information, choose in-depth articles, select media based on reliable sources and avoid sensationalist news. Try to unplug and never hesitate to take a shot of good news and beautiful images, like those shared by Equestrio Foundation! We are committed to highlighting each project we fund with beautiful photo and video reports that remind us how marvelous and precious nature is and how we can make the most of it.



Get involved with like-minded people and think positive!

While each individual action counts, it’s when put together that they take on their full meaning… To soothe the feeling of powerlessness in the face of the complexity of environmental issues, try to connect with those who embrace the same values and fights as yourself.

Nothing like collective energy to boost morale. Neuroscientific studies are formal: our physical and mental health relies largely on the quality of our social interaction. Connect with others without comparing, feeling guilty or impacted by the sirens of punitive ecology. Your commitment to a greener world can also be lived in a light-hearted way and bring you closer to like-minded people.

At Equestrio Foundation, we systematically work with partners with whom we share the same convictions and purpose. Our commitment is the source of many discoveries and wonderful encounters that fuel a realistic optimism for the future.


Action for pleasure, information in full measure, connections with others – this is your anti-eco-anxiety dosage. And if, when it comes to the environment, our sights are necessarily set towards the future, never forget to stay in the moment. Forests, animals, mountains, plants, sun and water. Those who cherish and protect them. It’s still all here today. Remember that the present will always remain the time when all is possible.

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