Ryan Reynolds is opening up about how his children are a huge factor in him sharing his battle with anxiety.
“Part of it is that I have three daughters at home,” Reynolds recalled in a recent interview, “and part of my job as a parent is to model behaviors and model what it’s like to be sad and model what it’s like to be anxious, or angry. That there’s space for all these things.”
Reynolds shares his three daughters with his wife, Blake Lively: six-year-old James, four-year-old Inez, and one-year-old Betty.
He went on to share how he hopes to set a healthy example of emotional regulation for his kids as it is something he didn’t see growing up.
“The home that I grew [up] in, that wasn’t modeled for me really,” Reynolds said. “And that’s not to say that my parents were neglectful, but they come from a different generation.”
In an Instagram post for Mental Health Awareness Month in May, Reynolds spoke on his “lifelong pal, anxiety,” in hopes to “model things for anyone who might need to hear it.”
In the past, Reynolds admitted to feeling isolated in his own battles with anxiety, but today, he wants to help “destigmatize things and create a conversation around [mental health]”.
In 2018, Reynolds shared some of his own coping mechanisms he’s used to fight off stress and anxiety. When he was a kid, Reynolds said he did chores around the house to try to quiet his father’s stress.
In his 20s, Reynolds admitted he self-medicated and partied but has since transitioned into other habits — such as using acting as an outlet, continuing to channel his character Deadpool during interviews and public engagements, and using the meditation app Headspace.
Reynolds went on to say that during times of high stress and anxiety, he feels fortunate to be able to have the support of his partner, Lively.
“I know that when I felt at the absolute bottom, it’s usually been because I felt like I was alone in something I was feeling,” Reynolds recalled to ET Online in the recent interview.
“I don’t necessarily dwell on it or lament on it, but I think it’s important to talk about it. And when you talk about it, it kind of sets other people free.”
And while Reynolds understands how his life may differ from the lives of most people who are dealing with the same challenges — he also believes that the experience of mental illness is a universal experience.
“Other people feel like, ‘Oh, he’s feeling that and so am I,’” he said. “And even though we might be in two completely different fields or we might have two completely different lives, it connects us in a way.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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