Climate change is not just about the climate. It is having a detrimental impact on people’s physical and mental health, and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. People are growing increasingly concerned and anxious about the state of our natural world, with extreme and record weather events occurring more frequently. The effects of climate change, and the growing concern of how it will impact Earth and our society, is understandably taking its toll, both personally and collectively.
For this reason, mental health experts including the Medical Journal of Australia, the American Psychological Association and the Australian Psychology Society are all recognising the link between climate change and its impact on mental health. These mental health impacts include:
increased anxiety and distress about the implications of climate change;
increased possibility of experiencing extreme weather events and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);
feelings of remorse, regret, pessimism, worry, fear, loss and helplessness;
adverse response to exposure to media and popular culture reporting on climate change;
mild to chronic stress responses to climate change;
impact on the social fabric and interpersonal relationships; and
increased likelihood of experiencing aggression, violence and crime.
Transition Breath is conscious of the impact of climate change on our community. For this reason, it believes it important that we collectively and individually address our emotions through therapeutic channels. To achieve this aim, Transition Breath supports people to:
help understand complex individual and cultural responses to climate change as it unfolds;
help people build inner resilience, so that they can contribute to society’s response and prepare to climate change;
validate people’s experience and emotional response to climate change.
Breathwork is a unique and important tool to assist with this support because it is a non-verbal exploration into the underlying feelings about climate change and its impact on our lifestyle, our families, our community and our world. Transition Breath also advocates for people regularly interacting with the natural world through its nature-based contemplative exercises, other altered-state therapies, movement and dance.
For more information about a therapeutic response to climate change this news article.