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The 2 Surprising Ways That Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Deals With Sadness

Self logo Self 4/11/2018 Devon Elizabeth
Dwayne Johnson posing for the camera © VCG/VCG via Getty Images

You're probably used to seeing Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson overwhelmingly happy and chipper on social media and in interviews. But that doesn't mean he doesn't deal with vulnerability and sadness just like everyone else. During an interview with Xilla Valentine to promote his new gorilla thriller Rampage, Johnson spoke about his experience with sadness—and his two (seemingly opposite) methods of working through it.

"My knee-jerk reaction to sadness is some sort of action," Johnson said. "I like to go do something. For me, the going to do something—it sounds boring or cliché, but it is what it is with me—I got to hit the gym, I got to do some sort of physical activity that can let me sweat and let me grind and let me get in. And that way I can not think about the sh*t that makes me sad and, in a way, I can just energetically get it out."

But sometimes, Johnson likes to embrace the emotion, instead of trying to distract from it: "Sometimes, for me, my own form of therapy is, I could stew in the sad a little bit. I'll put on some music that I know is going to keep the sad train going. I've gotta get in it, so I do that!"

It's especially important to have effective coping mechanisms if you have a history of mental health issues.

Of course, we all experience sadness at times. But if you, like Johnson, have a history of depression or another mental illness, it's even more crucial to develop healthy ways of dealing with those difficult feelings to avoid getting drawn back into thought or behavior patterns associated with the condition. For some people that might mean finding a creative outlet or form of physical activity to break out of the downward spiral, but others might find it more helpful to make time to process those feelings thoroughly.

Finding a set of strategies that work for you is often a large part of therapy. So if you're finding that your usual techniques aren't working so well anymore (or you just don't know where to start), it may be worth checking in with a mental health professional.

Johnson has become an unexpected source of mental health advocacy in recent weeks.

In addition to speaking about his personal experience with depression, he recently weighed in on how the stigma of mental illness and expectations of masculinity affect men.

"We all go through the sludge/sh*t and depression never discriminates," he wrote on Twitter. "Took me a long time to realize it but the key is to not be afraid to open up. Especially us dudes have a tendency to keep it in. You’re not alone."

Slideshow: 23 natural ways to boost energy and fight fatigue (Courtesy: Cheapism) 

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