By now we are all pretty familiar with the fact that 1 in 4 of us deal with anxiety struggles. And while society has a long way to go in terms of helping make the world a more accessible place for things like mental health, the current generations are working hard to promote the concept of “it’s okay to not be okay.” There’s a lot of resources online these days which can help us cope, but sometimes you can still be at a loss of what to do. So we’re sharing some of our faves who also deal with anxiety who have shared their experiences and how they deal with the days they’re struggling.
Ariana has been quite candid surrounding her battle with anxiety and knows that speaking about it on her large platform will encourage others to be more open and try to seek help or find ways to cope with struggles. Her album Sweetener even included songs surrounding mental health with songs like ‘Breathin” and ‘Get Well Soon’ being huge fan favorites for those who identify with Ari.
While interacting with fans on Twitter back in 2018, she said “in all honesty, therapy has saved my life so many times. If you’re afraid to ask for help, don’t be. You don’t have to be in constant pain and you can process trama. I’ve got a lot of work to do but it’s a start to even be aware that it’s possible.”
The ‘7 Rings’ superstar also finds great comfort in her many pets. Sources even revealed that during the Sweetener World Tour she jetted out her dogs Tolouse and Myron, saying “Ariana wanted to make sure she felt right at home and after she cancelled a number of meet-and-greets due to anxiety, they help her with that. They calm her nerves.”
Michael Clifford has been championed the mental health advocate of 5 Seconds of Summer. The lead guitarist has been known to speak out about mental health, including anxiety, throughout the band’s career. Back in 2017, Clifford took to Twitter to share his experiences.
“About two years ago was when I spoke out about my mental health to my parents, friends, therapists, and it was the best thing I ever did. To break the awkward barrier between people not knowing what’s wrong with you to just being able to speak out openly about your issues is so important, and I hope I can at least inspire one person to just get some help with whatever you’re experiencing and be open and honest.”
“As someone who suffers from severe panic disorder I understand completely how hard it is to feel stagnant & like you’re not making progress, but change is gradual and there is no quick fix to anything relating to mental health, just know you’re not alone & things do get better.”
Miley was just 17 when she first started experiencing anxiety, when her hit show Hannah Montana came to an end.
“You know what, it actually makes a lot of sense: I had a routine doing my show,” she said in an interview with WSJ Magazine. “From the time I was 12, I went to the same studio every single day, drove there with my dad, and I knew what my life would be. I’d get to work at 8:30 a.m., I’d do my three hours of school, put my friggin’ wig on, and mash my mouth around and have my lip syncs and all that.”
But nowadays, Miley knows how to deal with her anxiety, and shared some advice in an interview with Elle.
“Every person can benefit from talking to somebody. I’m the most anti-medication person, but some people need medicine, and there was a time where I needed some too. So many people look at [my depression] as me being ungrateful, but that is not it—I can’t help it. There’s not much that I’m closed off about, and the universe gave me all that so I could help people feel like they don’t have to be something they’re not or feel like they have to fake happy. There’s nothing worse than being fake happy.”
Zayn has spoken about his battles with anxiety and even shared a chapter about it in his self-titled 2016 autobiography, where he discussed how he had to pull out of Capital FM’s Summertime Ball at last minute.
“I just couldn’t go through with it. Mentally, the anxiety had won. Physically, I knew I couldn’t function. I would have to pull out. One of my team members offered to write a statement saying that I’d been taken ill, but I didn’t want to do that. I was done with putting out statements that masked what was really going on. I wanted to tell the truth. Anxiety is nothing to be ashamed of; it affects millions of people every day. I know I have fans out there who have been through this kind of thing, too, and I wanted to be honest for their sake, if nothing else. “
However, despite going through a difficult time, Zayn shared how he was glad he opened up.
“After I put out that statement I was blown away by just how many people got in contact, and how many people suffer from anxiety. It’s so common, and that’s not surprising, really.”
“There’s a lot of negative chat and hate out there. But what I found in the wake of my cancellation at Wembley wasn’t hate but a massive amount of support from fans—people who understood, kids who were in the exact same situation as I was. Guys on Twitter were telling me how anxiety had affected their lives and saying that they were glad I had spoken up. It felt as though some good had come from the situation.”
One of the biggest mental health advocates of our generation is Miss Demi Lovato. The superstar has spoken at events, and even brought CAST on tour with her. There’s many quotes from Demi, but some of her coping strategies she shared with American Way are ones that many of us can adapt into our lives.
“Exercising is [one] way I deal with anxiety. Painting, and writing music and expressing myself through art are other ways that I can release emotions. Meditation is another one. Whatever it is, it’s important to find what works for you.”
Earlier this year Demi also helped launch The Mental Health Fund to support organizations who are meeting the increased demand in crisis counseling due to COVID-19.
Speaking to People magazine about the launch, Lovato said: “It’s so important that people have these lines because sometimes you feel really alone and you don’t know where to turn or who to talk to. You’re afraid that these thoughts you’re having are too dark, and you need guidance. That’s where this comes in. It can provide help to people who are struggling.”
The Vamps‘s bassist Connor Ball has opened up about his struggles with anxiety. He opened up about it on ITV’s This Morning saying: “I suffer with generalised anxiety order, panic attacks and depression as well.”
“In the band it has affected me because I don’t go to as many things as I would like to or should do. I would like to be going out and seeing more people.”
For World Mental Health day in 2019, Connor spoke to Young Minds and discussed how he copes.
“It’s so important as talking about it first and foremost takes that weight off your shoulders that you’ve potentially been carrying around for so long. After you’ve made the first step this can then lead to your recovery! I do a couple of different things to ensure my mental health stays healthy! Going to the gym and running are the biggest things for me – they massively help clear my head. I can’t lie because Dominos and McDonalds are my favourite things but eating healthily is a huge help too.
“Speaking to family and friends is my biggest support if I need a little help from time to time. I’ve spoken to my parents a lot in the past and my girlfriend Lucy is an amazing listener and gives the best advice too. [When I spoke to someone about it] a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders! I think it opens a lot of doors for you to be open in yourself but I also feel like I can give advice to other people now and listen to their stories.”
When offering advice to those dealing with anxiety, Connor said: “Having no judgement is the best thing possible. It’s so hard not to judge if you’ve not been through something that someone else is telling you about, but just listening and taking it in is sometimes all someone needs.”
Selena knows the importance of speaking up about anxiety and mental health with her huge influence. In 2018, she spoke to Harper’s Bazaar about accepting she has anxiety and that it’s likely to be something she will deal with for life.
“I think it’s a battle I’m gonna have to face for the rest of my life, and I’m okay with that because I know that I’m choosing myself over anything else.”
She also is a strong supporter of Dialectal Behaviour Therapy, saying to Vogue: “DBT has completely changed my life. I wish more people would talk about therapy.”
BTS‘s lead rapper Min Yoongi AKA SUGA has been very candid about his experiences surrounding anxiety for his entire career. Speaking to Yonhap News in an interview in 2018, the global superstar shares how he utilizes his music to help him and others.
“Anxiety and loneliness seem to be with me for life. And how you choose to make peace with them, that needs a lifetime of consideration. I put a lot of meaning on how I would work it out, but it seems like I have to study it for my entire life. Emotions are so different in every situation and every moment, so I think to agonise every moment is what life is. By the lyrics [for songs on my first mixtape Agust D] I wanted to tell people ‘I am anxious, so are you, so let’s find the way and study the way together.’”
“When I first started to feel the effects of anxiety I thought I was losing my mind and it terrified me. I felt so alone and like I was the first person in the world to ever experience it. The first panic attack was so intense and overwhelming I felt like I was having a heart attack, I was so scared and confused and had no idea what was happening to me. I had people around me but I couldn’t explain to them what was happening to me or why. It affected me so badly that I didn’t even want to leave the house. I would step foot out the door and feel the overwhelming need to go straight back inside. It completely took over my life.”
“Talking to someone relieves you of SO MUCH STESS. I worked out coping mechanisms and learned what the triggers are so I can fight the attacks before they take hold. I restricted my time on social media which often made me feel trapped and claustrophobic. I took control of my life and accepted what I couldn’t control.”
Stray Kids‘s leader Bang Chan has been known to discuss mental health and often offered advice to STAYs who have needed it. When asked for advice on a VLIVE, he was quick to make the decision to go into a discussion about the topic.
“This is something I should talk to you guys about. Whatever stress there is, there’s always a way of relieving it. Stress could be formed by work, it could be from society, just a lot of thoughts. Sometimes it comes without any reason as well, it’s very common. There’s a lot of reason you can get stressed. It’s a very natural thing. One thing that helps me escape to my own dimension is playing one round of games, or listening to music, just playing an album and just repeating that.”
“[Anxiety is] another very important thing to talk about. It’s gonna be hard, you have to battle yourself out and try to overcome that; if you can’t do it by yourself, ask help from someone you can rely on. Always stay close and give warmth to those suffering from anxiety.”
The Queen of Chromatica has dealt with anxiety her entire life and even has the Born This Way Foundation which helps fans cope with their own mental health struggles. In an inspiring talk at Yale University back in 2015, Gaga shared about how decision-making helped her deal with things that became overwhelming.
“I started to say no. I’m not doing that. I don’t want to do that. I’m not taking that picture, I’m not going to that event, I’m not standing by that because that’s not what I stand for. And slowly but surely, I remembered who I am. And then you go home, and you look in the mirror, and you’re like, ‘Yes. I can go to bed with you every night.’ Because that person, I know that person.”
If you’re dealing with anxiety and would like to talk to someone, befrienders.org has a number of organizations listed around the world. You shouldn’t have to suffer – especially not alone.
How do you cope with anxiety? Have you tried any of the coping techniques listed above? Let us know down in the comments below or by tweeting us @thehoneypop!
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