Colton Haynes shared advice to his younger self about how to overcome anxiety in a new video for Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign.
“I think some advice I would give to myself when I was younger, especially about anxiety, would be that it’s OK to be anxious,” the Arrow actor, 28, told fans in a video message. “Also, a really, really good way to help yourself get over anxiety is to tell yourself that you’re excited instead of that you’re anxious.”
Haynes explained that he tried the tip when he was younger and it helped with his anxiety. “If you’re excited it’s almost the same feeling, but obviously without the panic part,” he said. “So, whenever you start to get a little anxious, just tell yourself, ‘I’m excited about this. I’m not anxious about this.’ And that really does tend to help.”
The Teen Wolf alum then shared a message to people battling mental health disorders. “You’re not alone. I think that that’s really something that I’ve learned in my recovery process for anxiety,” he said. “There’s millions of people out there who suffer from crippling anxiety, whether it be from fainting or from sweating or so many [other] different ailments from anxiety. There’s so many people that have it and suffer from it, so you’re not alone. It gets so much better once you’re able to learn the tools to cope with it.”
As for Haynes’ final piece of advice? “Sometimes just having a dance party can really, really, really help anxiety,” he added. “Or just breathing in for seven and out for 11.”
Every day in May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, a different celebrity will share stories about their struggles with a mental health or learning disorder for Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign. “By speaking out, they will eradicate stigma and show children still struggling that there is a brighter future ahead,” a press release said.