Empowering Women from the inside out – Anxiety doesn’t need to hold you back

by | May 2, 2021 | Mental Health | 0 comments

Empowering Women from the inside out – Anxiety doesn’t need to hold you back

“She looks totally fine”  is what has been heard many times throughout the past three years as our daughter has been recovering from a brain injury, according to Rochelle Walsh, LSCSW.  As a therapist specializing in complex trauma and anxiety, Walsh, was no stranger to the brain and suffering, often not discernable on the outside.  

The first 6 months after the injury, few people saw her daughter.  Once she began to be out in the world, it was difficult for others to understand how she could be suffering when she looked relatively “normal” on the outside.   The invalidation was quite painful at times, even as experienced by certain health care professionals.

Rochelle Walsh had been treating mental illness for over two decades, and she came to quickly realize how similar this path of physical brain recovery with her daughter would be to those she had walked through with clients for years.   Mental health is brain health, after all. Perhaps, if we dropped the “mental,” more people would feel validated in caring for psychological issues. 

Anxiety is one of the most serious and common challenges women face today, and it is one you cannot see.  Perhaps the greatest barrier to breaking free from anxiety or other mental health disorders is the lack of understanding… not only of the causes but of the most effective forms of treatment. Empowering women starts with a deeper understanding of what is in the way of us living our best lives. 

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America……  “Anxiety disorders are real, serious medical conditions – just as real and serious as physical disorders such as heart disease or diabetes. Anxiety disorders are the most common and pervasive mental disorders in the United States. An estimated 264 million people worldwide have an anxiety disorder.  Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.”

Walsh believes the epidemic of anxiety among women is largely ignored and misunderstood.  

“Empowering women must not only include how we encourage women to show up on the outside but to delve deep into caring about how women are experiencing their lives from the inside.”

She believes that not only does the stigma surrounding mental health still exist, but that a new and dangerous idea has emerged in that anxiety has been normalized to far too great a degree.  Too often, women’s complaints around anxiety are written off as being “just stress,” ageing or hormonal.  Anti-anxiety medications are prescribed at an alarming rate, and yet rates of those suffering from anxiety have not decreased.

Certainly, it is not helpful for anxiety to be treated as a character defect or weakness.  Nor is it helpful to see it as anything less than the harmful health condition it is.  Anxiety or stress … as a “fight or flight” response to a threat is a normal biological function, which is intended to help us get out of danger.  It can help us to perform, protect and mobilize.  

Anxiety, however, as a chronic state happens is when “fight or flight” gets stuck in the “on” position.  This state is not only NOT normal… it is extremely detrimental to our health and ability to function at our highest level.  

Chronic anxiety not only creates suffering, but it also leads to further health conditions, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other health conditions.  Brain fog is a major complaint of women who struggle with anxiety, as the high levels of cortisol negatively impact the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain which is involved in memory.  

Walsh says, “So often, clients understandably begin treatment for anxiety with the pressing question of… “How do I stop feeling this way?”   

In reality, the most critical question they should insist their providers help them answer…. is “WHY am I feeling this way?”  Anxiety is a symptom of something… and that “something” determines the strategies that will be most helpful for that individual.”

Trauma, health issues, hormones, emotional regulation in childhood, environmental factors, prior concussions, and life circumstances can all contribute to anxiety.   Helping women uncover the reasons behind anxiety not only guides effective treatment, but it also serves to unburden them from shame by validating their experience and giving them hope for relief. 

Empowering women is more than just telling them they can and should have it all. 

It is by encouraging and supporting them to be able to enjoy the journey and feel safe in their own skin as they reach the destination.   “I’ve had too many successful clients over the years achieve great things outwardly, only to feel chronically burdened by distress internally.

Walsh continues to practice EMDR in her private practice and has also expanded her services to include online courses in the past year.  “Having to search so far and wide for informed care for our daughter, has ignited a passion in me to share what I’ve learned… both professionally and personally… to a greater number of women in need of opportunities for healing,” says Walsh.

Walsh wants women to know that the way they care for their mental health touches every other area of life, and that help is possible.  Recently, Rochelle was featured at the Women Thrive Summit, hosted by the Women in Business Club, where she talked about How To Calm Anxiety and Become Unstoppable in Life and Business. You can learn more about Rochelle’s free tools to overcoming anxiety here

Eloho Efemuai


Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Advanced Trained EMDR Practitioner, Specialist in Helping People Reduce Anxiety, De-stress and Overcome Trauma.

8 Ways to Ease Writer’s Block

By Dhara Singh, Storytelling and Niche Coach

Are you someone who has brilliant story ideas, but when the moment comes to sit down and write a post – your mind goes blank?

As a full time, storytelling coach and former journalist what if I told you this is completely normal even for someone who writes professionally. 

In fact, here are 8 strategies that have helped me ease writer’s block and find my footing again. 

  • Turn Your Copy Into A Letter

When perfectionism strikes and you find yourself forcing the professionalism in your writing – immediately stop. Take a step back and reframe your story as a letter you were writing to a friend. 

Or even better think of one of those Future Me letters where you write a letter to yourself in the future – what stories would you include?

  • Brain Dump 

Sometimes you need to forget the perfect grammar for a second and simply get words on a page. Sink deep into your inspiration zone and let the fingers loose on the keyboard. Write straight for 15-20 minutes then pause, take a deep breath and resume.

I remember once I wrote a top paper when I was younger by simply going to the library and cracking it out for 3 hours straight. I only tweaked the grammar and sentence structure after I was done. 

  • Dress Up 💄💃🏽

You heard that right. Sometimes you have to wear a comfortable flowy dress with some mascara to start feeling at ease. Wearing comfortable clothing has allowed me to write some of my best pieces!

  • Read a Book

Sometimes we’re so focused on creating a picture-perfect story that we forget why we even started in the first place. If you’re reading this then you’re likely a natural storyteller so makes sure to keep the fun and creativity alive.

One way to regain your creativity is to read someone else’s stories. They say great writers are great readers for a reason. As you immerse yourself in someone else’s storyline you may suddenly feel inspired to create a work of art as well. 

  • Call a Friend

You don’t realize it, but you already tell your friends stories all the time. Why not hop on the phone and exercise that storytelling muscle by telling your friend how your day was. As you chat back and forth, you’ll feel inspired to weave together details into your own written story.

  • Voice Record

A controversial yet honest take is that not all storytellers are great writers. You may be a great verbal storyteller. In this case, why not voice record your draft instead of writing it. Later use a service such as Otter to transcribe your story for you. 

The hard part is done!

  • Take A Shower

Sounds silly right? If you’re especially empathetic, refreshing yourself with a nice shower will not only ease your writer’s stress, but you’re more likely to get an inspired download or two. 

  • Pitch Yourself in a Networking Room

Close the notebook and word document for a minute. Instead, I want you to download the Clubhouse app and pitch yourself in a networking room.

Clubhouse is THE storytelling app. I nicknamed it that because there hasn’t been a single room I haven’t attended where someone didn’t share a personal story.

By being in the company of others bravely sharing their stories, you’ll also feel more inspired to finish yours. 

Not to mention by pitching your story in a 30 second elevator pitch you can build your confidence. 

At the end of the day, storytelling is supposed to bring you joy! It’s an opportunity to let your natural creative power flow. Once you’re having fun – that’s when the writer’s block fades away!



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