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EBS Experts: Prof Myriam Bechtoldt on the topic of climate anxiety

1 August 2021 | By: Violetta Sulzbach, Research Assistant Impact Institute
Zeit Magazin MB

The time when we could enjoy the summer without worrying is over. Today, concerns about the climate, animals and plants often resonate. The question of how to deal with this ambivalence is addressed in an article in Zeit Magazin.

Myriam Bechtoldt, professor of leadership, psychologist and expert in emotional intelligence, explains why unpleasant emotions are a human and useful reaction to the climate crisis. “After all, the function of emotions is to encourage us to act because we want to do something to feel better, ideally even something to solve the problem.” At the same time, however, Bechtoldt also points out that the carefree enjoyment of sunshine would reduce stress and worry. On the other hand, one should remain true to one’s own values and, if necessary, refrain from air travel if one feels that this is the right thing to do. “Social change cannot be built on fear and guilt alone. We need positive images that go hand in hand with climate protection: that we are doing something good for our health, that we are creating spaces where we feel good, surrounded by nature, by trees, clear air and deep lakes.”

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Max Mustermann
Research Assistant Impact Institute
+49 611 7102