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Cole Sprouse opens up on what his social anxiety feels like and what he does to deal with it
Featured Image Credit: YouTube/The Diary of a CEO

Cole Sprouse opens up on what his social anxiety feels like and what he does to deal with it

The star of Riverdale and Friends has spoken about his experience of mental health issues

Cole Sprouse, Riverdale actor and childhood star of Friends, has spoken candidly about his struggles with social anxiety, what it feels like and how he deals with it from day to day.

Speaking to Steven Bartlett on the latest episode of his podcast, The Diary Of A CEO, Sprouse spoke with refreshing honesty about what the physical sensations of his social anxiety feel like.

"My social anxiety feels a lot like sitting in a sauna where it's just a bit too hot like the sauna right before you have to get out. You know what I mean?" he begins.

But it's far from a relaxing spa experience: "It's like this warm sort of blanketing feeling, but it's not warm. It's f***ing hot. But it's a blanket over me for sure."

Sprouse described in detail how his anxiety can feel all consuming: "Anxiety is really present. Even though I'm thinking about future possibility or past actions that I've made. It is a consistent: I'm living in this, I'm living in this, I'm living in this, I'm living in this, I'm living in this. And so in that way, it's almost blanketed over me."

But despite the intense description of his anxiety, Sprouse's descriptions of his coping mechanisms offer others going through something similar a light at the end of the tunnel: "And what I'll do for that anxieties, is I will activate my five senses.

YouTube/The Diary Of A CEO

"What do I see? What do I smell? What can I hear? Can I taste anything? What do I feel? It immediately grounds me in the process. These things are grounding mechanisms that I really enjoy when I start to feel social anxiety."

Sprouse credits these techniques to 'Eastern philosophers and the Buddhists' who he claims 'were trying to tell you to do this s**t the whole time'.

While Sprouse goes on to say that he generally tries to avoid talking about his own mental health issues because everyone has such a personal relationship with their own, with the disclaimer that he isn't a trained professional he says: "Meditate, ground yourself in the present. Grounding yourself in the present is the greatest enemy of anxiety."

Sprouse is also an advocate of taking a literal step away from situations that are triggering him: "Whenever I'm feeling heightened emotionally I will take a break from whatever I'm doing. I will truly walk away from whatever I'm doing.

"I will go: 'Hey, right now I'm feeling some heightened emotion. If you don't mind, let's pick up this conversation in about 20 minutes'. Give yourself time."

Cole Sprouse has opened up about his struggle with and techniques to ease his social anxiety
YouTube/The Diary Of A CEO

He explains that approaching his emotions with 'logos' or logic can throw some people off: "I try to approach everything with the kind of logos that that allows me to think more clearly and calmly about what I do, which can be off putting to some people.

"Not a lot of people like being met with logos when they're heightened emotionally or being met with solutions when they're just trying to vent."

Last of all he tries to put his anxiety into context when possible: "I'll remind myself that you're not the only person that's ever gone through anxiety or will ever go through anxiety.

"The vastness of the problem as you perceive it is not the way other people perceive it."

The NHS advises seeing your GP if you think you have social anxiety and it's having an impact on your life or you can refer yourself directly to an NHS talking therapies service here.

Topics: Celebrity, Entertainment, Cole Sprouse