As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe and daily stress levels rise to new heights, award-winning Australian hypnotist Matt Hale is helping people cope with a free download to combat feelings of uncertainty and anxiety and worrying behaviours such as panic buying.
Matt is known for his popular, award-winning, feelgood comedy hypnosis shows, (fresh from his recent sell out Fringe World and Adelaide Fringe 2020 seasons) and/or speaking engagements spreading mind-hacks for positivity and productivity.
Matt’s free 15 minute download (available on his website http://matthale.com.au/anxiety/) is designed to help people deal with the daily uncertainties they are facing about the virus.
“Most of us have never experienced events that have had such an enormous impact on our everyday lives – these are unprecedented times,” says Matt.
“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.
“I have spent years helping people to develop positive habits. The techniques I teach my clients, whatever the trigger, 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,” he says.
He 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.
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 Matt’s soothing words.
Studies indicate that facing uncertainty is often scarier than facing physical pain and Matt explains that the human brain has developed an aversion to uncertainty over the millennia.
“It is a carry-over from our inherent ‘fight-or-flight’ reaction to threat,” says Matt.
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.
The lack of answers to questions raised by the current uncertainty such as ‘What will happen?’, ‘What is in the future for us?’, ‘What if my livelihood is threatened?’, can lead to frustration, anger and aggression.
“Awareness is the key. It is our superpower,” says Matt.
Matt suggests 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.
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.Matt Hale
Matt points out that while it is natural to worry, it stops being useful if we become stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts about things that are out of our control.
IT’S ALL ABOUT RELAXING YOUR MIND, DEFLECTING THE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS, AND REPLACING THEM WITH CALM, POSITIVE ONES.Matt Hale
“Worry is how our brain handles problems or potential problems – we all do it – however we should instead focus on those things within our control, and how we choose to respond to them.”
Matt explains the phenomenon behind unhelpful practice of ‘panic-buying’ is completely natural, and hardwired into our DNA.
“One way people have been trying to exercise control and diminish their worries is by loading up on hand sanitiser and toilet roll, which is really just an overload of our ‘fight-or-flight’ response being fuelled by images of empty shelves in the media, and on social media.
“It’s an exaggeration of a natural reaction – we think we’re fighting for our survival. Suddenly, certain items take on much greater significance than usual and just possessing them seems to calm our fears, that is until the next bout of fear takes hold about a different ‘essential’ item.
Matt believes this pandemic has many repercussions beyond the actual virus.
“There is already a huge impact on mental health and wellbeing as people try to manage an increasingly stressful situation amidst this virus.
“I can help ease that stress in just a small way, and I believe it’s worthwhile trying,” says Matt.
To access Matt’s download, visit http://matthale.com.au/anxiety/