As the Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, and daily stress levels rise to new heights, one Clinical Hypnotherapist is doing her bit to help people cope.
New Port Richey based Hypnotherapist Melanie McCool, who has helped hundreds of local and international clients with hypnosis via video conference, has released a free download on her website designed to help people deal with the daily uncertainties they are facing about the virus.
Studies show that facing uncertainty is often scarier than facing physical pain.
The human brain over millennia has developed an aversion to uncertainty. It is a carry-over from our inherent “fight-or-flight” reaction to threat. In our constant quest for certainty in our lives, we are wired to “catastrophize” – to view a given situation as worse than it actually is.
And this leads to worry, which in turn leads to anxiety.
“For many who have never experienced events that have an enormous impact on everyday lives, these are unprecedented times,” Melanie said. “Some people may already suffer with low-level anxiety and have found their symptoms worsened; others might be feeling new physical and psychological stress for the first time.”
The lack of answers to questions like – “What will happen?”, “What does the future hold?”, “What if my livelihood is threatened?” – can lead to frustration, anger and aggression.
Melanie says: “Awareness is the key. It is our superpower.”
She suggests that feelings of uncertainty can be mitigated by the following:
Be conscious of the “worry story” you tell yourself – and try to distance yourself from it;
Focus on breathing – take long, slow breaths;
Recognise the need to rise above “fight-or-flight”;
Accept the uncertainty – and allow yourself to stop the struggle against it.
“I’ve spent years helping people to cope with and reduce their anxiety. The techniques I teach my clients, whatever the trigger for their condition, can also be applied successfully in this current pandemic. I’d encourage anyone who is feeling stressed or anxious, whether they are directly affected by Coronavirus or are just generally worried about it, to download my session and see if it helps.”
The 15-minute English-language audio recording can be accessed from any computer or device, and simply requires the listener to be settled in a safe, quiet space, where they can fully engage with Melanie’s soothing words.
Melanie added: “Even just taking 15 minutes out of your day to focus on yourself, rather than the latest virus news update, can help you regain a sense of balance and focus. It’s all about relaxing your mind, deflecting the negative thoughts, and replacing them with calm, positive ones.”
She advises people to schedule a ‘worry window’, so they can better manage any negative thoughts and feelings by containing them in a predetermined time slot, and free up the rest of their day by banishing intrusive thoughts.
“To some degree it’s natural to worry, and we all do it – it’s how our brain handles problems or potential problems,” Melanie explained. “But it stops being useful if we become stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts about things that are out of our control. We should instead focus on those things within our control, and how we choose to respond to them.”
“This pandemic has many repercussions beyond the actual virus. One is the potential impact on mental health and wellbeing as people try to manage an increasingly stressful situation. If I can help ease that stress in any way, I believe it’s worthwhile.”
To access Melanie’s download, visit: https://mindworxco.com/anxiety