Get clear on your purpose — One of the causes of depression is not knowing or living your purpose. Understand why you are here and get clear on what serves you. Spend some time thinking about the activities you are passionate about, that energize you, and what depletes you. It will involve disentangling yourself from other people’s values and expectations. It’s a journey, but one that is so fulfilling and incredibly beneficial to your mental wellbeing.
As a part of my series about the “5 Things Anyone Can Do To Optimize Their Mental Wellness”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexis Artin.
Alexis is a leading Success Coach and co-founder of FreeBody™ Practice. She has spent the past two decades propelling people towards their personal and professional best in body, mind, heart, and soul.
After working with many A-list celebrities across the board in television and film, Alexis transitioned her passion and skillset for fostering potential and obtaining results to the world of self-development and transformation. She worked side-by-side with many of the most revered thought leaders bringing personal growth to the global stage.
She was the driving force behind expanding one of the largest and most respected female empowerment companies, which inspired her to channel her expertise into creating a coaching practice serving clients across the globe.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
Human behavior has always fascinated me. Growing up, I expressed that through a love of acting. I used to love delving into different characters’ stories, trying on different roles, and seeing life from a different perspective. Taking on a new persona also provided me with a safe space to experiment with expressing my emotions.
Eventually, I moved behind the camera. For ten years, I worked as an entertainment executive, supporting, producing, and managing talent. I quickly realized I had a knack for knowing what people wanted and needed. It was a skill that served me phenomenally well and allowed me to fast-track people to their full potential.
After a decade of catapulting celebrities to success, I decided to transition my skills into the personal development space to help everyone live an extraordinary life — and that’s what I’ve been doing for the past ten years.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
When I worked in the entertainment industry, one moment really stands out for me as a turning point. Back then, I was famous for making other people famous. I hid in the shadows and excelled at serving others. Then I received an opportunity that shifted my entire perspective.
One day, my friend — who is the right-hand woman to one of the most powerful couples in entertainment — called me up. She had a great opportunity for me — an interview she knew I was a fit for. Before I knew it, I was pulling into Kris Jenner’s driveway! As I walked into her beautiful home, I felt overwhelmed by the grandeur of this opportunity. As I waited to meet with her, the internal pressure mounted. I wanted to be liked, to prove I was enough for her. The longer I sat there, the smaller I made myself.
When we met, her confidence filled the room. She holds herself in a way that is both magnetic and mysterious. I was overawed. What happened in that meeting was I lost myself. I was so full of self-doubt that I agreed to everything without considering what I wanted, my family, or other commitments. It was as though the only word in my vocabulary was “yes.”
By the time I left, all I knew was I was starting on Monday. And then I started to come back to myself. I realized I had a choice. I didn’t have to keep saying “yes,” and there was huge empowerment in saying “no” and finally living life on my own terms.
So, in the end, I turned the opportunity down. Not because of anything to do with Kris, but because a light had finally switched on. Suddenly I was thinking, “What about me?” I decided it was time to step out of the shadows and start living life to serve myself… and it was the catalyst for starting my coaching practice. It’s the best decision I ever made.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
This is an interesting question for me as I don’t typically believe in mistakes. I believe everything is an opportunity for growth. I’m not sure I have any hilarious moments to share, but I will say that, as with any growth process, there are growing pains and what I learned from those is the importance of putting progress over perfection. However small the step may be, we need to focus on stepping into the next action toward achieving our goals. It’s all progress.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My husband. When I felt the pull to start my business, I was in a corporate career. I had job security and was bringing consistent money in to support our family. Stepping out of that created a lot of uncertainty and unpredictability — you can lose a lot of money in the first few years of a new business. My husband’s support and belief in me to follow my dreams was unlike any support I’ve ever had in my life. To have someone value me so much and say, “I’ve got you, you go do you and make the world a better place by being you,” is incredible, and I could never thank him enough for that.
What advice would you suggest to your colleagues in your industry to thrive and avoid burnout?
I’m a big believer in slowing down to speed up. We spend so much time rushing around that we end up burned out. When you’re rushing, it’s for someone else’s benefit. We fear we’re not quick enough for someone else’s needs. By slowing down, you give yourself the space to think about what’s in your best interests. Always come back to how your choices serve you.
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture?
Encourage a healthy work-life balance. We’ve spent too long favoring presenteeism and “busyness,” which has led us to the high levels of burnout and stress we’re currently seeing. No-one is at their best when they’re stressed, tired, and overworked. When an employee repeatedly says they are “too busy” or “stacked with work,” I’d ask leaders to see it as a warning sign that something needs to change.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Mental health is often looked at in binary terms; those who are healthy and those who have mental illness. The truth, however, is that mental wellness is a huge spectrum. Even those who are “mentally healthy” can still improve their mental wellness. From your experience or research, what are five steps that each of us can take to improve or optimize our mental wellness. Can you please share a story or example for each.
- Get clear on your purpose — One of the causes of depression is not knowing or living your purpose. Understand why you are here and get clear on what serves you. Spend some time thinking about the activities you are passionate about, that energize you, and what depletes you. It will involve disentangling yourself from other people’s values and expectations. It’s a journey, but one that is so fulfilling and incredibly beneficial to your mental wellbeing.
- Listen to your body — We spend so much time stuck in our own heads that we forget that our body is an important part of who we are. It’s your number one indicator of when things are starting to shift. Think of all the physical symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. Pay attention to them — notice your sleep habits, your appetite, any digestive issues — they are your body’s way of giving you feedback on your mental wellbeing, so it’s important to listen. Try spending several minutes each day doing a body scan. Work your way from head to toe, observing any pain, tension, or discomfort, so you really tune into this powerful feedback system.
- Speak your truth — Many of us often hold back from saying what we really want (or don’t want) for fear of being rejected. That’s totally normal — it’s because our minds are wired to fear rejection and do anything to keep us safe from it, even if it means compromising our own values. But if you don’t speak up for what you want, you’re unlikely to get it, and that leads to a limited life. Practice speaking your truth just once a day — it can be as small as requesting the milk you really want with your coffee order rather than just going for the default because you think it will make the barista’s life easier! Each success will build your confidence to keep going, and it will become more natural for you over time.
- Practice gratitude — There’s always something to be thankful for, however small. Keep a gratitude journal to remind yourself there’s always joy to be found in every day. Each night, write down three things that you are thankful for — it could be as small as your morning cup of coffee.
- Be mindful — We spend a lot of time worrying about the future — what might happen. Ground yourself in the present moment to focus on the things you can influence in the here and now. Mindfulness is a powerful exercise for this. When you feel panic rising, I recommend doing this five senses mindfulness exercise: name five things you can see in your present surroundings, three things you can hear, two things you can feel, one thing you can smell, and one thing you can taste.
Much of my expertise focuses on helping people to plan for after retirement. Retirement is a dramatic ‘life course transition’ that can impact one’s health. In addition to the ideas you mentioned earlier, are there things that one should do to optimize mental wellness after retirement? Please share a story or an example for each.
A common theme I see with people after retirement is a lack of purpose. Their job gave them a reason to get up in the morning, and now they feel lost without it. We’re all more than our jobs, and we all have a deep-rooted purpose we were born with. Work isn’t the only way to live that purpose.
I’d encourage any retiree who feels this way to reconnect with the activities that bring them joy and find ways to actively incorporate that into their life. From joining an activity group to volunteering or learning a new skill, there are still so many ways we can live our purpose after retirement to feed our mental wellness.
How about teens and pre teens. Are there any specific new ideas you would suggest for teens and pre teens to optimize their mental wellness?
The pressure on our teens today is unprecedented. The best thing they can do is work on building their self-esteem. We care so much about what our peers think of us at that age, and social media has taken that focus on external validation to a new level.
I’d actually give similar advice as to the retirees! If teens can connect with what they enjoy doing, it will bring them so much more confidence and self-belief. You might not be top of the class in math, but you might be an incredible artist. Identify what you are good at — speak to your teachers and parents if you don’t know where to start. What you are good at is tied to what you enjoy — find that and follow it with your whole heart.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin. I read it very early on in my coaching journey and it spoke profoundly to the essence of what I believe coaching should be about: deep connection and powerful conversations. That’s how my life changed: one conversation at a time and one action at a time. By slowing everything down and getting to the root of why I’m here and how to step-by-step create a fulfilling business out of that. In fact, it had such a powerful impact on me that I ended up working with Rich and becoming a member of his elite community of top coaches.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I want people to start connecting their minds to their bodies, hearts, and souls to really tune in to who they are and why they’re here. I would inspire people to find the way back home to themselves. To their own mastery, expertise, and sovereignty. So many of us live the lives we think we should, whether it be working a corporate job when we really want to be a musician or desperately looking to settle down because all our friends are when really we want to travel the world. By paying attention to the feedback your body is giving you all the time, we can start to know ourselves on a much deeper level. Imagine if each of us uncovered and started living our true purpose? I think the world would be a much happier, joyful place. How extraordinary would that be?
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Own it, or someone else will,” is a quote I came up with and it’’s the summation of everything I stand for. I think it speaks for itself. I come from fierce love, I don’t know any other way, and my hope for the world is to live life knowing this a choice and it’s theirs alone to make.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!