MT HAWTHORN clinical hypnotherapist Sonia Czernik is on a campaign to get men talking about their mental health – but more importantly, also doing something about it.
Ms Czernik, a qualified pharmacist, says anxiety is one of Australia’s most common mental health conditions, and one in five men experience it during their lifetime. However, only a quarter of those seek any help.
“Men are less likely to go to the doctor or tell someone about how they’re feeling because they’re generally not good at expressing their feelings,” she said.
“Most men have been brought up to be strong and not show emotion or cry.
“Men need to realise that anxiety is a conditionn not a weakness, and if it goes untreated can lead to serious depression. This is highly relevant because the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 is suicide.”
Ms Czernik says she’s got five tips to help men suffering from anxiety;
• Awareness: Identify situations when anxiety symptoms begin to surface;
• Breathing: Slow down and relax with specific breathing techniques and energy tools;
• Mindfulness: Be more aware of your immediate surroundings to accept your thoughts;
• Affirmations and positive self-talk: Make a list of thoughts, which will help to relieve these anxious feelings; and,
• Meditation: Allocate specific time to dissolve anxious thoughts and feelings.
Ms Czernik said the most important step was for men to first acknowledge they were suffering and then to take action by consulting an expert – bearing in mind, medication is only a short-term solution.
“Emotions which are not released remain buried, and can develop internally into anxiety,” she says.
“Equally, releasing through an outburst is not only upsetting for the person at the receiving end, but a temporary fix with an underlying level of anxiety waiting to be triggered.
“Those who end up on anxiolytics and anti-depressants often become over-reliant on them and unhappy that they are, because it makes them feel weaker.”
Mr Czernik says her five steps have really helped her clients at the Hypnosis and Health Clinic in Mt Hawthorn.
The clinic offers mindset workshops (both live and online) to help men and women overcome anxiety including panic attacks.
More information can be found at http://www.hypnosisandhealth.com.au