39 degrees. Parched fields.

And have you been feeling uneasy and uncertain about what’s next?

Given the current high-profile proxy wars occurring in Palestine, Gaza, and Ukraine, I have been feeling a sense of social despair at the widespread dehumanization of weaker territories.

A part of me has been triggered.

Despite getting less media coverage, there are various ongoing civil wars in other regions such as Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Myanmar, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Colombia, and Mexico. Quite a list.

It’s the 21st century! Despite higher literacy and awareness through education, diplomacy, international regulatory bodies, journalism, media coverage, and increasing research against the use of violence, it can feel disturbing to notice how much oppression, human-made disaster, and tragedy are still happening.

Do you feel small and powerless pleading for a ceasefire or feel tremendous empathy towards fellow human beings who are living or have lived in the places affected by the current wars?

Paulo Freire:

“The oppressed, instead of striving for liberation, tend themselves to become the oppressors.”

Or in psychological terms, perpetrator imitation. Oppression is a human condition, ever in history, ever now.

Never have I observed so many people being polarized in their views and stances and lashing out at each other. I have even been blocked by an acquaintance for speaking up on modern-day colonization hiding under or masked with ‘justice seeking,’ power-hungry politicians and military, and profiteers of the weapon stocks boom.

Deep down, there is a sense of fear and dread for the future, that these wars are planting more seeds of resentment, anger, and violence, going against global peace. Trauma, unhealed, often repeats itself. A loop. Unimaginable sabotage only gets perpetuated.

“Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor estimated that approximately 70,000 tons of bombs were dropped on Gaza, covering the six-month period between Oct. 7 and April 24.”  (A Turkish News Agency report)

This is far more than the total number of bombs dropped during the Second World War. This article also highlights how unsafe it is for these unexploded bombs, a long-term threat to the environment of humans and animals. (French News)

The current wars and the fear of a nuclear war are adding to the eco-anxiety already experienced on our subconscious level from extreme climate challenges. One recent study found that militaries account for almost 5.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions annually – more than the aviation and shipping industries combined. (The Guardian)

What is Eco-Anxiety?

It is the extreme worry about the current and future harm to the environment caused by:

a) Human actions and activities

b) Climate change

Unlike most anxiety that is imaginable, eco-anxiety is supported by facts such as extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels, pollution such as oil spills, contamination from nuclear reactors, and nuclear war threats. These current wars and nuclear threats contribute to feelings of a lack of safety, more destruction, and retaliation.

  1. Denial, Numbness, Detachment, and Anger

Even when people are concerned about climate change and the environment, they may feel paralyzed or useless when it comes to taking action (Landry, N., et al., Journal of Environmental Psychology, Vol. 55, 2018). It is likely that after months of passively seeing the occurrence of war, one becomes numb and desensitized. It doesn’t mean you have no feelings. An overload of mass media causes exhaustion.

Notice if your  parasympathetic nervous system is now taking over. It is one way your own system is saying “enough.”

The October 7 attacks were a shock, and the relentless retaliations continue to shock me further. It is also disheartening to witness the unleashing of anger within social media posts. Hate posts, accusations of disloyalty, and blocking each other.  Boycotting businesses that support war, and collective students and citizens protests to influence a ceasefire, have not yet been successful.

  1. Prioritizing Self-Care is OK

One doesn’t have to feel unnecessary guilt for living in a safe place and community now. Connection is the key to recovering our natural state.

Your own routines and priorities still matter.

Your sleep matters.

Your nutrition matters.

Your relationships need attention.

Your work is important.

You matter.

  1. Acceptance and Compassion

I appreciate people who post updates to not forget that there are parts of the world barely living, surviving, struggling, and not giving up on seeking justice. And there is a sense of loss for the lost fighters and soldiers who have died for their beliefs or cause, and the many thousands who are now disabled, orphans living with permanent grief and losses, homeless, dehumanized.

I respect those humanitarian aid workers, doctors, and nurses who have stood in their line of duty, despite the dangers.

I can observe when I am triggered.

I can choose not to stay in despair and be creative every single day.



Any views or research expressed in this post are not intended to insult or offend anyone, malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organisation, company or individual.