Jenna Dewan Shared Her 'Toolbox' for Managing Anxiety and Feeling 'the Joy'
While big names such as Selena Gomez, Kristen Bell, and Lizzo have long been on the unofficial list of stars who've opened up about their mental health, Jenna Dewan is one of the more recent additions to the gang. Less than a year after first revealing that she suffers from anxiety (especially after her daughter Everly's birth in 2013), Dewan shared her secrets for successfully managing her mental wellbeing.
In a recent interview with NewBeauty, the multi-hyphenate entertainer got candid about her "toolbox," aka the "habits and rituals" that help her stay balanced, power through even the darkest of times, and feel better about herself.
"I look at it like a toolbox I have; I know certain habits and rituals I can do that help me release anxiety and feel the joy," she told the publication. "It's not a one-size-fits-all. There's not one thing I can do, but I know a few things that help me."
One of Dewan's top tools? Self-care, be it in the form of a "relaxing bath with sea salt" or an effective beauty routine. But those are just two of the "things that lift [her] mood." The 41-year-old mom of two is also a fan of, in her words, "the embodiment stuff," which basically involves activities that "get [her] out of [her] head and into [her] body." Think: working out, taking a walk with her pups, dancing, and hiking.
"I know, without a doubt, that when my anxiety is high, I'm not doing anything to serve my body," she continued. "There is a clear direct link for me. Anything embodiment seems to help with my anxiety — so does breathwork. Sometimes, it's something as simple as dancing, putting music on and moving, swimming, anything that's physical really helps."
And what The Rookie actress said makes sense — after all, regular movement has been shown to help ease anxiety in the moment and long-term, according to the Mayo Clinic. Not only does working out flood your brain with mood-boosting endorphins (cue Legally Blonde), but it also triggers a release of other feel-good chemicals such serotonin, dopamine, thereby leaving you to feel better even a few hours post-workout. What's more, when you're focusing on the physical activity at hand — whether that's practicing, say, belly breathing or a certain dance routine — you're more likely to move away from ruminating on any negative thoughts that might feed anxiety, according to the Mayo Clinic. And this is just the beginning of what breaking a sweat can do for a stressful mind.
Another key tactic for reducing anxiety? Thinking realistically and having a resilient attitude, according to the Cleveland Clinic — and, perhaps not surprisingly, that's exactly what Dewan does. While she currently feels "grateful" and "extremely fulfilled," she knows that "these are all just moments in life — it's not every day and it won't be every year that we're going to have this feeling," she told NewBeauty.
In other words, life can be a seemingly endless series of ebbs and flows with plenty of reasons to worry and be anxious. But as Dewan put it, "Everything works out. It always does." (Up next: The Self-Growth Guide That Has Nothing to Do with Chasing Perfection)