Ryan Reynolds Manages His Anxiety Using These 2 Brilliant Techniques (Plus, the 1 Thing That Made Him Realize He Needed Help)

You probably know him as the anti-hero Deadpool. Maybe, to you, he’s just Blake Lively’s husband. But Ryan Reynolds doesn’t have an easy time doing the whole acting thing, despite his plethora of awards and nominations. Like many of us, Reynolds lives with anxiety. He hasn’t always managed it well, but he’s finally found a way to make it work.

This is what made the actor realize he needed to find a healthy way to manage his anxiety (page 4), and the unique solution he came up with — and still uses today (page 5).

Ryan Reynolds has ‘always had anxiety’

Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds | Lars Niki/Getty Images

He told The New York Times that he lived through an unusually stressful childhood. Even now, he still battles extreme nervousness — often accompanied by nausea — anytime he has to perform or sit down for an interview.

Next: In the beginning, he did what many kids do to cope.

At first, he relied on comedy to manage his symptoms

Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds | Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images

His first acting job came along when he was a teenager, during which he told a joke that made an adult laugh for the first time. He still often uses comedy — especially in his tweets — to create the lighthearted atmosphere that helps offset his anxious interior. There was a point when even this didn’t work, though.

Next: As a young adult, things took a turn for the dangerous.

In his 20s, he turned to drugs instead

Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds | Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images

Feelings of dread, panic, and restlessness aren’t easy to manage. Eventually, he felt making jokes just wasn’t enough. He said in his New York Times profile, “I was partying and just trying to make myself vanish in some way.” This could have landed him in a much darker place than it did.

Next: This is the one thing that helped him turn his life back around.

When the nightmares started, the self-medicating stopped

Ryan Reynolds

Ryan Reynolds | Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Reynolds recalled often waking up paralyzed with feelings of anxiety. Worried about his future — relatable — he continued self-medicating until he lost several friends to overdoses. He’s since found much healthier, practical strategies to manage his symptoms.

Next: Here’s how Reynolds thrives despite his anxiety.

He did most of his ‘Deadpool’ interviews in character

Deadpool Cosplay

Ryan Reynolds has truly embraced the Deadpool character. | ColobusYeti/Getty Images

The actor mentioned that he feels the most calm when he’s performing on set. So he uses that proven method to get through promotional interviews — the events that are hardest for him to get through. He conducted most of his interviews for “Deadpool 2” as Deadpool.

Next: His second method is something even you can do (no Deadpool impersonations required).

He also uses a popular meditation app to keep calm


Meditation can help. | iStock.com

Reynolds apparently uses a meditation app called Headspace to help manage his anxiety from day to day. The app offers users the chance to undergo guided meditations to relieve stress and practice mindfulness in everyday life. It’s free on both Android and iOS devices.

Next: Ryan Reynolds isn’t the only on-screen superhero who deals with anxiety in real life.

Reynolds isn’t the only celebrity living with anxiety

Chris Evans

Chris Evans has also struggled with it. | Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Reynolds’ success story — using theater to make his anxiety more manageable — isn’t a stand-alone tale.

Emma Stone (“La La Land”) has also spoken up about her struggle with crippling panic attacks. Kristen Stewart (“Twilight”), Chris Evans (“Captain America”), and many other celebrities have admitted to putting a lot of work into making their jobs look effortless while agonizingly anxious on the inside.

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