I went to the grocery store. Not a quick trip. This was a full-blown, grocery list, up and down every aisle kind of shopping… with my two sons. Dad verses one toddler, one newborn and the supermarket.
My youngest was in the top basket of the cart, strapped in a baby carrier, while my oldest constantly wanted to get in and out of the cart….until there was no more room in the cart - because the cart was filled with groceries. Letting him play in a toilet paper fort among the pallets of industrial-size toilet paper packages, provided me with a few fleeting moments of relief.
I finally made it to the check out stand. The woman in front of me cast a bewildered stare as her eyes darted between me and my children. She pointed to my youngest and said, “That’s a newborn?”
“No,” I thought. “It’s Benjamin Button.”
I kept my thoughts to myself. Despite being a professional stand up comedian at the time, my biting commentary was best served for drunk hecklers in comedy clubs. Being a smartass to anyone in Walmart, I felt was the intellectual equivalent of burning ants with a magnifying glass.
What I actually said was, “yes,” and I smiled.
“And you’re grocery shopping?” the woman went on, looking completely stunned. “With a newborn? And a toddler? My youngest is twelve and my husband still refuses to take our kids anywhere alone with him!”
It truly had not occurred to me that for most husbands, this experience was an oddity; a scene ripped from the alternate reality of Superman’s Bizarro World, where up is down, and left is right, and forwards is backwards, and four-year-olds don’t hurl pop-tarts it into a cart.
I didn’t know any different. At the time, my kids’ mom and I had our own careers. She worked in the medical field with a traditional nine-to-five work week. I spent weekends telling jokes in comedy clubs. The combinations of our careers afforded me the opportunity to be raising kids during the day. I welcomed it. I changed diapers, fed bottles, arranged play dates, cooked meals, did laundry and trolled babycenter.com.
My youngest is now nine-years-old and my kids’ mom and I have since divorced. We have a great post-divorce relationship and have both gone on to new marriages. I rarely do stand up comedy anymore. My career path took an unexpected, but exciting welcomed turn a few years ago. I went from stand up comedy to a stage hypnosis show, to presenting to corporate audiences on how to harness the power of the mind and achieve goals. Understanding and utilizing hypnosis, radically improved my life. I tapped into limiting beliefs about myself that held me back. Once I accessed them, I was able to erase and install new, more effective programming to get the outcome of a quality of life I truly desired.
My current wife of almost a year, Rachelle, is also a Certified Consulting Hypnotists. She is the mother of four grown children, and she possibly understands the stress of parenting more than anyone I know. When her youngest was born, her oldest was just two years old, with a set of one-year-old twins sandwiched in between. We both wish that we would have known what I’m about to share with you, when we were both knee-deep in raising young children.
Together, Rachelle and I show professional people how to get into a peak state of flow, performance and how to power through their day at the office. The same experience hypnosis provides for someone on their job, can also be a huge benefit for anyone that’s raising young children. If you’re a stay-at-home parent or juggling work and kids, hypnosis can allow you to conquer the day by having more energy, less stress, increased focus and an overall boost to your physical health.
You’ve probably heard a lot of about “mindfulness” and “meditation.” It’s become well over a billion dollar a year industry, especially for corporate America. Meditation and hypnosis are sister-states of mind. Your brain waves slow down from a beta brainwave state, to alpha and theta brainwave states. It’s in those low alpha and high theta states, we experience both meditation and hypnosis. To explain the difference between the two, I use a car analogy. Meditation turns the engine off and gives it break. With hypnosis, you turn the engine off, give it a break, do a tune-up, oil change and can upgrade the parts.
Experiencing hypnosis, especially self-hypnosis through the use of guided programs, is easy, feels great, and does’t require a huge block of time during your busy schedule. It not only provides profound mental benefits, it’s also good for your physical body.
Here is Part One, of the Four Ways Hypnosis can Make You a Super Mommy! (or daddy)
A Reduction in Stress
Too much of a good thing is a bad thing. I learned this lesson the hard way in Gunnison, Colorado as a 22 year old comedian, doing a show in a bar that allowed the comedians to drink for free. It was the first time I had had tequila. In fact, I lost track of how much tequila.
I can’t say that any amount of tequila is a good thing or serves a purpose, but there is such a thing as a necessary level of cortisol in your body. It serves a healthy purpose. But… cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” because we get increased amounts during times of stress. Too much cortisol can speed up the aging process, contribute to high blood pressure, loss of muscle tissue, loss of bone density and increases body fat. It weakens the immune system makes us more susceptible to illness and can lead to moodiness, irritability and depression.
When we are in an alpha and theta brainwave state, cortisol levels drop significantly. Not only can we achieve a blissful, positive state of mind, our bodies aren’t experiencing a negative impact from the above mentioned health issues.
If that’s not enough, regular practitioners of alpha and theta brainwave states get a double shot of stress relief with increased levels of DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone). Having low levels of DHEA can cause a myriad of health issues, including weight gain and fatigue. Increasing this hormone gives a big boost to a person’s over-all mental sense of well-being, it reduces the feelings of stress and also aids in the strength of the immune system. It can also increase sex-drive, but that’s another article entirely.
When I dedicated myself to a daily ritual of self-hypnosis, it occurred to me that after my first winter I had gone the entire season without catching a single cold or having a bout with the flu. That was a first.
Not only was I boosting my body’s ability to feel good with hypnosis, I was also lowering the factors that can contribute to feeling lousy, both physically and mentally, by lowering cortisol and increasing DHEA.
I understand the appreciation for a glass of wine (or two) after the kids finally get to sleep. Maybe the wine can take the edge off, but there’s no wine out there that’s going to prevent you from looking older, feeling healthier and keeping the extra pounds off. Hypnosis can, by lowering cortisol levels.
Increased State of Happiness & Positivity
Hypnosis can put us in a better mood. I’m not merely talking about a hypnotic suggestion either, as in when a hypnotist provides the hypnotized person with a suggestion to feel or respond in a particular way. In the alpha and theta brainwave states of hypnosis, your body releases more endorphins, oxytocin, serotonin, GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid), dopamine and melatonin.
Endorphins are the body’s chemicals that allow us to have feelings of exhilaration. They are associated with the feelings that come with what’s called a “runner’s high.”
Oxytocin is a pleasure hormone. It not only makes us feel really good, it has a calming effect and alleviates anxiety.
Serotonin too has a soothing effect. It makes us feel calm and relaxed, not to mention it can increase concentration. Having too little serotonin in our bodies, pivots us in the opposite direction where we can feel stressed, tired and depressed.
GABA prevents mood disorders. Lack of it can lead to insomnia, increased stress, and anxiety. Individuals with drug and alcohol addictions, and even addictions to gambling and shopping, all experience low levels of GABA.
Dopamine is a chemical that also contributes to our focus and concentration, as well as feelings of bliss, pleasure and satisfaction. More dopamine means more of your happy place.
Increased stress can lower melatonin, which is a naturally producing chemical designed to help you sleep at night. By increasing your body’s levels of melatonin, you’re contributing to that better night’s sleep. Melatonin also functions as an anti-oxidant, so add another check mark by a stronger immune system.
By naturally increasing all of these levels on a regular basis, you can put yourself in an overall happier state. Imagine feeling that increased level of bliss and lower levels of stress throughout your day-to-day activities. How could you more effectively handle certain situations and more successfully navigate challenges?
I’ve experienced a noticeably significant increase in an overall positive mood with my own experiences with daily hypnosis. When challenges present themselves, I’m not focussing on what’s wrong, but rather I’m more calm, cool and collected, even excited in finding a solution. My artistic expression also comes from a more positive frame of mind. While I once relished in being an angry comic on stage, complaining about everybody and everything, my endeavors now focus on creating something that serves as a beneficial message. Hopefully, like this one.
I think I did a stellar job as a stay-at-home dad. I pretty much had an impeccable track record, aside from that time when my oldest was six and fell out the second-story window onto the back patio and broke his pelvis ring. He's fine, though. In fact now, he’s thirteen, 6’2” and plays lacrosse for his Middle School. But, I’ll admit it was stressful and tapping into all the benefits of the alpha and theta brainwave states under hypnosis, would have been a welcomed gift.
Next week, in part two, we’ll talk about how hypnosis makes creativity, focus and productivity soar through the roof, as well as creates profound and profound, life-altering behaviors.