I don't know who needs to hear this but Black men are not exempt from social anxiety.
Celebrities are not exempt from social anxiety. Your mama, daddy, sister, brother, and cousin are not exempt from social anxiety. I could go on and on, but it's important to know that no one is exempt from the paralyzing side effects of mental disorders like anxiety and depression, not even you, sis. The sad part is that while social anxiety is very real, a number of us aren't even aware that we're experiencing it and in a recent Instagram post, Keith Powers explained that not long ago, he was a part of that number. He explained:
"I could admit like three years ago, I didn't even know what anxiety was. I didn't know. I couldn't tell you exactly what it was. I knew what I was feeling. I knew I would wake up scared or be in public places and be worried, but I couldn't tell you exactly what that was. I literally just started researching what anxiety is and just start researching mental health in general because I didn't really know too much about it at all."
The What/If actor went on to explain that he eventually came to terms with and sought help for his anxiety after realizing that the disorder was causing him to develop some pretty unhealthy habits:
"I could tell that anxiety really affected me because it would be things where I'd be invited to like an industry party. And before I go to the party, I gotta take a shot of like alcohol to, you know, deal with the anxiety, basically, and it's something that I do not recommend at all. Just seeing that and just seeing how that affects me to the point where I feel like I have to drink in order to cope with something is not good at all."
Suffering in silence is for the birds and Keith took to Instagram to share his own experience with anxiety and spilled on a few tangible tips that he uses to cope.
Write It Down
"I think writing in your journal is very important. It's very underrated, but it feels good to just get all of that down on paper, you know, to be able to write that on paper and write why you may be having anxiety, you know what I'm saying?"
"I think that's very important. I keep a journal. I keep a composition notebook journal and I like date it and just like write down these notes. And then, so I was interested to look back at it too and just read the notes and just be like, 'Oh, okay.' Like, just to see where my headspace is. But it feels really good to just get it down on paper and just release, you know, what's inside."
Turn Off Your Phone
"I delete my apps when they're getting on my nerves and I just can't deal with them. And the problem with that is sometimes when I download my apps again, I'm still facing the same problems I was having before I deleted them and just not really being able to face that demon."
"I think you have to eventually be able to face that demon. I don't know, however you get to that point, but you just got to realize the world is just something you just gotta be aware of, and just, you know, just digging more into finding that inner peace. But I feel like turning off your phone is just an amazing thing to do, just to be present in life, simply just to be present in the now and not worry about what's going on in that world."
Talk To Someone
"The third thing would be to talk to somebody. So many people deal with this and it's cool to just feel like you're not the only one. Like I talk to my friends about it and that always is the best because you know, we can relate to it and we talk about it and you don't have to feel alone."
"You don't have to feel like you're feeling that feeling alone. Find someone you can relate to, to talk about it or find someone that don't really know about it and you guys just figure it out together. You don't have to feel like you're feeling that feeling alone."
Featured image by Instagram/@Keithpowers.