Selena Gomez has, in her own words, been working since the age of seven. Now, at 27 years old, she’s experienced a full decade in the public eye, growing up in the spotlight. The most difficult moments of her life have been documented globally, and she’s been open about them, too, explaining in a recent interview with NPR how important it is to “be able to tell my story the way I want”.
It is particularly in the last four years, though – in between 2015’s Revival and her newly released album Rare – that Gomez has come up against some of “the worst moments” of her life, such as dealing with depression, anxiety, suffering with lupus and undergoing a kidney transplant.
Gomez has been open about just how debilitating at times her mental health issues have been, explaining that she still has “days when it’s hard to get out of bed” or will have “major anxiety attacks”.
But as well as using her experiences to create a positive practice when it comes to checking on her own mental health, such as understanding that she won’t “just magically feel better” and that taking care of mental health is “forever”, she also uses a method her mum taught her as a child to calm her anxiety.
Gomez recalls being scared of extreme weather when she was growing up in Texas, saying: “When I was a kid, I was terrified of thunderstorms; it would freak me out. I was in Texas, so I would assume that thunder and lightning would mean ‘tornado.’
“And so my mom, she would give me these books – and they’re the little thin books for kids to know about ‘What’s rain?’ and ‘What’s this?’ and she just said ‘The more you learn about it and how it works, the less you’re going to be afraid of it.’ I think that took so much work for me,” she continues.
This simple advice of learning about the things you’re scared of and arming yourself with knowledge around something that feels daunting is something that’s helped Gomez into adulthood.
Writing for Psychology Today, Susan Biali Haas M.D. explains that gathering information on the subject of your fear is a tried and tested way to help break down the anxiety that surrounds it. It doesn’t have to be factual research, either, it can just be a way of determining what you know about the likelihood of that fear coming true or what the worst outcome would be if it did.
She says: “Whenever a patient or client expresses a problematic fear, I ask questions. You can do this, too. Process and analyse your fears with a trained counselling professional, talk it through with a wise friend, or just get your fears down on paper.”
For example, you could ask yourself why a certain experience provokes fear in you when it is happening, what is the probability that the thing you fear will actually happen or if there’s anything you can do to increase your chances of a positive outcome?
We love that once again by sharing this simple tip, Gomez proves herself to be one of the most relatable celebrities out there.
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