Sheila (not her real name) left a job as a CPA to begin having children at the age of 35. Megan (an alias) was laid off from a stressful job in corporate America and started her own small business. Besides having major life transitions in their late thirties, what these women have in common is Super-Mom Stress Syndrome.
SMSS presents with the attitude “I can do everything,” “I have to keep all these balls in the air,” “No one can do it except me.” Sheila had lost the luster of her life. She didn’t want to DO anything with the family she was so busy taking care of, preferred to eat her dinner alone, sat and read books on family vacations, drank wine alone at night. Megan, on the other hand, was running like a rat in a maze, with a constant state of brain fog. The main difference is Sheila’s case had persisted longer and had now turned in to burn out.
Both of these women have an engrained attitude that they have to “do it all” and there is no “me time” left in the equation. Interestingly, neither came to me to work on this problem. Both instead wanted to work on weight loss.
In reality, weight loss is the symptom, not the problem. Massive stress causes the body to produce more adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol, particular, will cause the body to hold fat around the mid-section. In order to release the excess weight, we have to work on the core issue causing the SMSS. The nice thing about hypnosis is: we don’t really have to know what the core issue is to let it go. We simply instruct the subconscious to do so.
One of the things I always like to do with these or similar cases is Time Line Therapy tm. I refer to Time Line as Emotional Vacuum Cleaning. The process allows us to clean out anger, sadness, fear, hurt and guilt, plus any additional stuck emotions. Then we can eliminate any stuck limiting beliefs like: I’m not good enough.
Another process I include in these types of sessions is deep, deep relaxation and installation of self-hypnosis signals. I generally give the person a trigger word of their choosing that they put on their “trigger color” sticky note and place in strategic spots in clear view. For example, an SMSS mom might have a purple sticky note with the word “relax” on it.
Finally, the SMSS moms are going to get direct suggestion for ways to incorporate more “me time” and homework to being do so by a certain date. I generally give these instructions at the outset and check up on them every week until the new behavior is in place. Hypnosis generally makes the installation of new behaviors much easier and faster than say, cognitive therapy (at least that’s the comments I get from my clients) because it is more like computer re-programming than counseling.
Even with hypnosis, SMSS is not a quick fix. SMSS moms have to be re-trained to put themselves back into the equation of their lives, literally. I usually include a healthy dose of guilt, with the admonition: If you disappear, who is going to take care of all these people.