Thursday, June 18, 2020

Lee Cozens with European medallist Michael Nevin

By Denis J. Croke

AS the Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, and daily stress levels rise to new heights. One local Laois mind coach is doing his bit to help people cope.

Rathdowney based sports mind coach and hypnotherapist Lee Cozens, who works with amateur and professional athletes both locally and worldwide has released a free audio download designed to help people deal with the daily uncertainties they are feeling with the current situation.

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” response 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 can 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,” Lee 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 my livelihood is threatened?” – can lead to frustration, anger and

aggression.

Lee says: “Awareness is the key. It is our superpower.”

He 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 and come back to the present moment.

Recognise the need to rise above “fight-or-flight”.

Accept the uncertainty – and allow yourself to stop the struggle against it.

“As a sports mind coach I’m used to helping athletes clear away mental blocks to help with sporting success but in the current climate I’m hearing all too often from athletes trying to deal with uncertainty and frustrations as sporting events are all cancelled or on hold.

“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 this current

pandemic.

I would 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 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 and relax with Lee’s soothing words

Lee, who is also a boxing coach with the hugely successful Portlaoise boxing centre of excellence, says “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.”

“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.

And if I can help ease that stress in just a small way, I believe it’s worthwhile trying.”

To access Lee’s audio download visit: https://soundcloud.com/user-578517296/handle-uncertainty/s-fwj1XHdVtzo

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