Shailene Woodley Wasn’t Sleeping for ‘Most of [Her] Adult Life’

Shailene Woodley isn’t shy about how much she cares about health. But the actor isn’t just talking about following the latest fitness and wellness trends. Instead, the Divergent alum takes a holistic approach to her health. And in recent years, she’s really prioritized therapy and having strong mental health.

Shailene Woodley
Shailene Woodley | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Shailene Woodley examined her mental health after she started experiencing physical pain

The daughter of two therapists, Woodley is no stranger to the importance of mental health. However, she admits that, for a while, she didn’t recognize that she herself was dealing with extreme anxiety. In an interview with Harper’s Bazaar, The Fallout actor shared that it wasn’t until issues started manifesting in her physical body that she realized something was amiss with her mental health.

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“It wasn’t until I started recognizing those habits and addressing them that I was able to change my perspective on mental health to a point where my physical ailments went away,” Woodley explained. One physical ailment that The O.C. alum was experiencing was exhaustion. Woodley admits that her anxiety prevented her from sleeping for years until she was able to start healing.

The ‘Divergent’ alum admits that she didn’t sleep for years

“I realized that most of my adult life, I didn’t sleep because my mind was continuously overwhelmed,” Woodley shared. “Now I can sleep at night. I feel much more grounded and rooted in my body, and I show more compassion and kindness towards myself.”

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For Woodley, prioritizing her healing looked like taking a break from acting, committing to weekly therapy, working through her childhood traumas, and more. As far as her physical health, Woodley has shared that she’s on the other side of the very scary physical situation she was experiencing in her early 20s. Alternatively, she seems to be taking her mental health journey day by day. In fact, Woodley isn’t afraid to set clear boundaries in order to protect her mental health.

Woodley shares one way that she copes with her anxiety

But what is one coping mechanism that allows Woodley to help manage her anxiety? Apparently saying no has become of the utmost importance to the Endings, Beginnings star.

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“Another way I cope with anxiety when I’m working, whether it’s on film sets or at Fashion Week or part of an activist movement somewhere in the world, is that I’m really, really good at saying no,” Woodley shared. “I think that we’re taught not to say no. Our society doesn’t accept no for an answer. But at the end of the night, a lot of people like to have dinner, a lot of people like to talk, a lot of people want your attention, and if I can’t give it to them, then I don’t give it to them. I say no thank you, and I go to bed at the time I need to go to bed.”

It’s great that Woodley has found helpful tools to manage her mental health. It’s also nice when celebrities help reduce the stigmas around mental health by getting candid about their personal experiences.

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