Follow the Feeling
EAS Worksheets

Befriending my eco-anxiety 

Rachel created these worksheets for workshop participants and we wanted to share them with the wider Eco-Anxious Stories collective. We plan to create a stand-alone resource for the EAS library for each, but in the meantime, here’s a quick overview in case you want to use the worksheet for your own reflection. 

We’re excited to offer these worksheets in both French and English.

Worksheet 1 outlines 5 things Rachel has learned befriending her eco-anxiety. There’s a fun way to use your hand as a mnemonic device to remember all 5:

  1. This is healthy. We don’t have to pathologize our eco-emotions to understand them, it’s perfectly rational to be concerned about climate change.
  2. I’m not alone. There is a growing body of evidence for the widespread experience of climate anxiety, fear, concern, and worry.
  3. I’m not to blame but I am at hand. Given that power holders have known about the dangers of climate change for decades, I tap into my anger to fuel a sense of responsibility rather than drawing on personal sense of guilt to motivate action.
  4. Emotions connect us. What we feel ties back to our values, and by sharing our eco-emotions, we can centre conversations around core values and motivations.
  5. Emotions move us. Not all emotions are mobilizing, but we can intentionally frame our climate stories in ways that motivate courageous and compassionate action. 

Worksheet 2 provides a story-based framework for “Following the Feeling” we have about climate change to a more fulsome story with key characters and elements of context. Here’s how we use the prompts in workshops:

    1. Who: How does this feeling relate to your sense of identity? Who are you as a key character in this climate story? What other key characters can you identify and what is each characters’ relationship to power and agency in this story
    2. What: What key themes or concepts do you find yourself coming back to when you think about your climate emotions? Climate issues are vast – what topics do you tend to focus on? What are your priorities and areas of focus?
    3. Where: Where are you located within this climate story? Where are you coming from with your lens on these issues? Consider the setting of your story, whether that’s your geographical location, your background journey, or your relationship to other places, sectors, organizations, or movements. 
    4. When: What is the timeline of your climate story, and how does that relate to your climate feelings? What key moments help to define “now”, “then”? When are the key turning points or tipping points that bring meaning to “when” you are? 
    5. Why: What core values underlie your climate feelings? Why does this matter to you? What motivates your response to these feelings? 

These worksheets are a starting point for deeper conversations about our climate emotions. There are a number of other activities, theories, and practices that we’d like to explore in this way, and we hope to focus more energy on these engagement tools in the new year.

Stay tuned for more!