“While it’s true you can’t change the winds or currents in this tumultuous world, you can adjust your sails so that you can guide yourself to a safe harbor.”
– Lise Van Susteren and Stacey Colino
In January of this year, The Optimist Daily, along with our publishing partner The World Business Academy, got the chance to apply for a grant from Invoking the Pause, a remarkable funding group dedicated to supporting climate change trailblazers in the nonprofit arena. One area of climate change that we felt was under-explored is the effect the changing climate is having on our mental health. So, we teamed up with our friends at PsychAlive and applied for funding to jointly produce a webinar that would explicitly address anxiety, fear and overwhelming feelings associated with issues around a changing climate. In March, just as California and other states began their first lock-downs, we learned we had won the grant.
The wise folks at Invoking the Pause expect that the grant be used to allow the awardees to take a step back from their daily chores to reflect on the their work and the world, and to spend time strategizing how to best bring their unique talents and skills to the fight against climate change. In our original budget, we planned several retreats for staff from PsychAlive, Optimist Daily and the World Business Academy to meet face-to-face to address our own fears and anxieties around climate change, as we designed the webinar with an expert in the mental health field of eco-grief and climate anxiety.
As life unfolded however, the “pauses” we intended to invoke got interrupted by an entire world that was being asked to “take a pause”, as we all retreated to our homes as much as possible, stayed away from our offices or schools or from congregating with anyone outside of our own households. In addition to worries and grief around ecological collapse, we were now suddenly confronting a more immediate threat of a virus that no one in the world understood. While we were sad to miss a chance to work in person with our colleagues in developing this webinar on climate anxiety, we also felt the event had renewed relevance. It’s easy to see the similarities in how a world-wide pandemic makes us feel and the anxiety and ambivalence that arises for many people in the face of climate change.
The intersection of mental health and climate change is a relatively new field, but there are several brilliant minds working on it. As soon as we got the green light for the funding, our webinar development team had sent out invitations to Dr. Renée Lertzman and Dr. Lise Van Susteren, each regarded as a leader in this growing sub-field of mental health. Much to our delight, both of these mental health luminaries agreed to work with us, and because our travel and retreat plans were thwarted by the pandemic, we suddenly had room in our grant budget to expand the one webinar to two separate events.
Today’s Optimist View is an invitation to our readers to watch the second webinar from October 9, 2020, with Dr. Van Susteren and Stacey Colino, co-authors of Emotional Inflammation: Discover Your Triggers and Reclaim Your Equilibrium During Anxious Times.
If the news and other current events have you feeling anxious or outraged, you’re not alone. There is a name for this: emotional inflammation, a state that’s not unlike post-traumatic stress but stems from simply living in a world that feels increasingly out of control.
Please tune in to join us and Lise Van Susteren and Stacey Colino, and learn more about this concept and how to regain your emotional equilibrium from this webinar that was held on October 9th, 2020.
One of the main causes of emotional inflammation is our sense that the big issues— like climate change, gun violence, and political corruption—are beyond our control. With strategies for relieving stress, improving critical thinking, recovering inner composure, and reclaiming the gifts of nature, you’ll learn to transform your distress into steady calm and strength.
As you move from a state of emotional whiplash into greater balance and harmony, you can redirect your energy and learn to become an “upstander”—a force for improving the conditions that fuel your fears. With a relatable style and a heaping dose of hope, Emotional Inflammation is a timely antidote for a world in turmoil.
Don’t forget to take this quiz to discover your reactor type before watching the webinar!
Watch the Full Webinar HERE
See all slides from the webinar HERE.
Download a PDF of
The first free webinar, entitled “From Anxiety to Action: How to Stay Sane While Fighting Climate Change” with Dr. Renée Lertzman was held on August 7th. In case you missed it, you can watch the full webinar here!