COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the world, bringing with it new levels of stress and anxiety and, in Australia, Victorians in particular have beared the full brunt of this deadly disease and its repercussions on our mental health.
As Melburnians enter the halfway point of a gruelling stage four lockdown, the psychological ramifications of living under strict isolation are more prevalent than ever.
The challenge has been great for everyone, perhaps none more so than families, whose homes have transformed into makeshift offices and classrooms, with no definite end in sight.
With more than 30 years of hypnotherapy experience, meditation expert and developer of the Mindfree app, Mark Stephens, wants to help those suffering in these difficult and unprecedented circumstances.
Stephens says mindful hypnotherapy is a helpful and effective way to reduce anxiety during these difficult times and can be a fast and easy approach to tackling the stress of the COVID lockdown.
Stephens says a combination of meditation and movement is key to keeping anxiety at bay, particularly important amid coronavirus as high levels of stress are proven to weaken one’s immune system. Mr Stephens said,
“When you meditate you relax, slow down and step away from the mental overload of everyday life,”
“This allows you to focus on the present so you can view stressful situations differently and release pent up worries.”
With huge success in helping people lose weight, break habits and reduce stress, Mr. Stephens is now keen to help the community as they continue to battle COVID, tailoring his practices to suit the restrictions in Victoria. Mr. Stephens is even offering free hypnotherapy sessions to help stop people touching their face toward preventing the spread of the virus.
For anyone experiencing stress and anxiety, Stephens recommends the following practices:
Step 1 – Allocate 10-15 minutes to sit back or lie down in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
Step 2 – Listen to the sounds around you with your eyes closed, but do not name the sounds. Pay attention to how you are feeling and your thoughts without judging or applying a story to them.
Step 3 – Listen to and feel your breath going in and out of your body. Don’t force the breath – just watch, feel or listen to it fall in and out of your body at its own pace and rhythm. Focus your energy and concentration into your breathing.
Step 4 – As you inhale, quietly repeat an affirmation like the word “peace” and, as you exhale, repeat the word “release”. Feel peace flowing in with each breath and allow your body to release any tension as you exhale. Repeat this for several breaths.
Step 5 – As soon as you feel yourself reaching a state of deep relaxation, use your imagination to envision and feel yourself overcoming any challenges or hardships. Mentally visualise yourself achieving your goals and making positive changes in your life.
About Mark Stephens
From the age of eight, Stephens has used meditation to help control his severe asthma attacks.
Throughout his teenage years and twenties, he studied meditation under Chinese teachers, Japanese masters and Tibetan monks.
A Jujutsu Black Belt, Tai Chi Teacher, bestselling author and leading hypnotherapist, in 1990, Mark was given a possible six months to live with a rapidly growing second-stage lymphoma.
Mark used a wide variety of eastern healing methods and complimentary treatments which he combined with the best of western medicine to overcome his health challenges.
With a clean bill of health 30 years later, Mark inspires people to transform their own lives through his seminars and ground-breaking hypnosis and motivation programs, which can be accessed through his MindFree app.
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