As many people are now having to return to work including those that have been shielding, daily stress levels are rising to new heights, one UK based hypnotherapist is doing her bit to help people cope.
Hypnotherapy expert Tamsin Cooper, who has helped thousands of clients in her 20 years in practice, has released a free download on You Tube designed to help people deal with the daily uncertainties they are facing about the virus and lockdown lifting.
Studies have shown 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 “catastrophise” - to view a given situation as worse than it actually is.
And this leads to worry, which in turn leads to anxiety.
“For many of us who have never experienced events that have an enormous impact on everyday lives, these are unprecedented times,” Tamsin said. “Some people may already suffer with low-level anxiety and have found their symptoms have ramped up recently; others might be feeling new physical and psychological strains for the first time.”
The lack of answers to questions raised by the current uncertainty - “What will happen?”, “What is in the future for us?”, “What if we get a 2nd wave?” - can lead to frustration, anger and aggression.
Tamsin 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 have 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 our current time. 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 17-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 Tamsin’s soothing words.
Tamsin added: “Even just taking 17 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,” Tamsin 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 had 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. And if I can help ease that stress in just a small way, I believe it’s worthwhile trying.”
Photo credit: Tamsin Cooper