In life, being anxious is something that we all experience. Whether it is anxious about the first date with someone, being anxious about a colossal presentation that we will have to make for work, or being anxious about our first little one staring back at us from that school bus window on the first day of Kindergarten. Life events can make us nervous because we are uncertain of what the outcome will be with them. But what happens when being anxious is something that occurs so often that it becomes debilitating? This is an epidemic that seems to be on the rise and more common than ever. As a person that has often suffered from anxiety that appears to have come out of nowhere, I find myself wondering what on earth is REALLY going on with those of us dealing with this?
I recently had a conversation with LIFE Coach Brea Williams about her experiences with those suffering from anxiety and her professional opinion of the cause.
I know for myself, a lot of my anxiety started to be onset from the transitional move that I did from the East Coast to the West coast. It was a lot of change suddenly, and I felt very unsure about if I was making the right choices, especially in terms of uprooting my life for a sudden career change.
Brea herself is no stranger to uprooting her life and making changes.
“I am from Detroit MI, and I moved to Las Vegas 7 years ago to pursue a Hotel Management career ” She explains. “I was in a great position as a Hotel Manager, but something in me felt like this career wasn’t something I was born to do. I went through a phase where I was so unhappy and angry that I didn’t know my purpose. What I have learned is that sometimes your purpose is in your pain and now I help people who were like me. I help people who struggle with their thoughts and their feelings and not only to find clarity but also to take steps towards your goals and purpose. “
I found it to be incredible that she was able to see her purpose within such a radical change and experience so much growth that pain of uncertainty. But so many people find it difficult to forge ahead when they just don’t feel like they are walking in their purpose. More often than not, this can cause the symptoms of anxiety to unravel.
I asked Brea how she defines anxiety.
“By technical definition its a feeling of unease, or nervousness. But my personal interpretation is imagination. Anxiety is what we have made up, and we literally have feelings over something that hasn’t happened yet. It’s like crying before you get hit.” She continues to explain that it doesn’t mean that it’s not real to the person who is experiencing it.
“I think the pressures of life causes anxiety. Social Media doesn’t help. We always want to be perfect, and we spend so much time to make sure that happens that we worry about the future. Women especially are and always have felt like we have to be better. To get the job, or the guy, or the life that we want, and we don’t realize what it’s doing to our mental and emotional health. Because the topic of anxiety isn’t a household discussion, no one knows how to cope. It creates this characteristic that is preserved as normal. Now, a secret generational curse has been created.”
In a time where the world, in general, is seemingly overmedicated, I wanted to know coach Brea’s perspectives on medicating for anxiety.
“I have never suggested that be get medicated for stress or anxiety,” She says. “There is no cure for it, the meds only numb you. Holistic approaches are always the best, in my opinion, because it allows you to have control. I had an anxiety attack once and didn’t know that I was having one. Because I didn’t know how to define Anxiety, I thought that I was having a heart attack. Thankfully I had a doctor who prescribed me a trip to the beach and to take a nap instead of giving me pills. Most times, some rest, being around people who love you, thinking logical instead of emotional, and meditation is the best way to deal with it. Again, there is no cure. The only thing we can do is acknowledge it and use tools to get through it.”
Brea asserts that having a LIFE COACH is an excellent way to be able to push through things like anxiety. “A Life Coach is an Accountability Partner. Someone that can show you a different perspective and push you to achieve your goals. I focus on Mental and Emotional Wellness, and there are coaches for any area that you need assistance in.”
She explains that working with a life coach is also an excellent way to attain mental and emotional balance as women “One quote that I live by is “Feelings are horrible leaders, but great followers” What that means is if we do everything from an emotional place we won’t always be happy with our decisions. We have to learn now to put our feelings aside and think logically. Feelings change far too often for us to lead with them. But if we make logical decisions, our feelings will catch up.”
As women, there are so many things that can factor into us being emotionally and mentally unbalanced. Brea explains the importance of why we must do everything in our power to maintain or recover this balance. “Because we are emotional creatures, we are conditioned to feel first. That’s what makes us good mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and friends. But, if we can’t find a way to manage our mental and emotional health, it can be our worst enemy. I’m sure we can all think of ways that we have allowed our thoughts and feelings to get the best of us. We no longer want to keep hitting our heads in the same spot. We can control how we think, we can control how we feel, and it’s time we start learning new habits to get us to the life we dream of; one of purpose and peace. “She also explains how having this unbalance can affect us as entrepreneurs or working professionals in general. “How you do one thing is how you do EVERYTHING. As business owners, we experience all emotions. We must remain logical about 90% of the time. Like I mentioned before, our feelings change all the time, and you don’t want to be stuck with a decision you made based on how you felt at the time. If something is wrong or doesn’t feel right, your gut will tell you. Listen to that intuition without becoming emotional. ”
What I know for sure is that anxiety, depression, and all kinds of unbalances affect millions of women every single day. While so many people are medicating and finding other ways to deal with these ailments, many suffer in silence because of the stigma attached to them. They don’t want to seem vulnerable or incapable, and this especially applies to women who hold significant rank in different areas of their lives. But it’s important to understand that without coping with these things and fully working through them, you can achieve great success, but will never reach your full potential as long as this instability binds you.
Coach Brea offered this advice on how we can take the first steps in dealing with these debilitating things that hinder us day to day.
“First, understand that the road to be mentally and emotionally healthy is a forever process. Because so many things in life happen, you should always seek to grow in that area. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. ALWAYS make time for yourself; if you don’t, you are no good to anyone. Identify how you like to use that time. Be honest with yourself about yourself. Only you know your triggers, and only you know what brings anxiety. Find your why, why does this trigger me? Why does “this” give me anxiety? Dig deeper, and when you do, you will have a better understanding of yourself, and that’s the start of achieving balance. ”