Emma Stone Gives Advice For Overcoming Anxiety

Emma Stone - photo call 'Irrational Man'

Emma Stone may appear to have a handle on everything given her thriving Hollywood career, but the actress said she has suffered from panic attacks since she was a child.

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, she admitted that her brain “naturally zooms 30 steps ahead to the worst-case scenario. When I was about seven, I was convinced the house was burning down. I could sense it … just a tightening in my chest, feeling I couldn’t breathe, like the world was going to end.”

Barely able to make it school, her parents enrolled her in therapy and it made an immense difference. She even wrote a book as a child called I Am Bigger Than My Anxiety. The cover features a green demon whispering negative thoughts into her ear.

“Every time I listen to it, it grows bigger. If I listen to it enough, it crushes me,” she said. “But if I turn my head and keep doing what I’m doing … then it shrinks down and fades away.”

Stone also adopted a new environment to improve her anxiety, ditching Los Angeles for New York. And while performing can create a lot of nerves, she found that it’s a great way to beat anxiety because it required her to focus.

“You have to be present in improv,” she said “And that’s the antithesis of anxiety … I just focus on what I’ve got to do at any one moment, and don’t necessarily think about where it’s all leading.”