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Hayley Hasselhoff on Dealing With Social Anxiety: ‘You Don’t Feel Comfortable When You Have People Calling You By Names That Are Defined By Your Size’


to open Yahoo Life’s Wellbeing Series where experts, influencers and celebrities share their perspectives on wellness and mental health, from self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.

Hayley Hasselhoff made history recently by stepping out of the shadows of her famous family to make a name for herself as an actress and model. The first curve model to star on a European cover lazy. Now, the 28-year-old star is entering the wellness space as the host of her new podcast, Redefine You: Conversations for Wellbeing, in which she invites experts and friends in the industry to discuss topics such as self-acceptance and mental health.

Hasselhoff hopes these conversations – which originated as an Instagram Live series – will help “break” [the] Stigma” surrounds mental health and provides listeners with the tools they need to work through their concerns. Hasselhoff has also found the sharing process therapeutic.

“I don’t know if I’d be okay if I didn’t start opening up,” she tells Yahoo Life. “It helped me a lot to talk fearlessly about my struggles, instead of trying to contain my struggles and say that I’m perfect and everything in my life is great, because it’s never happen.”

Model Hayley Hasselhoff is addressing self-care and mental health on her new podcast. (Photo: Getty Images; Designed by Quinn Lemmers)

Indeed, the model daughter of actors David Hasselhoff and Pamela Bach says she suffered from a young age with social anxiety, which she attributes to “my self-image and my relationship with my body image.”

Noting that “my self-worth was not as strong as I was today,” Hasselhoff remembers feeling “intimidated” in certain situations, such as going to school.

“Looking back, I was afraid of being put in a situation I didn’t feel comfortable in,” she says. “And when you have people calling you names that are defined by your size, you don’t feel comfortable. And I think that can create a lot of anxiety for someone who It’s so small.”

She credits her family for being a “great support system” during those difficult moments.

“My mom and my dad were far behind me” [on[ those days when that anxiety rose and I wasn’t able to get into the car to go to school because it was so overwhelming for me,” Hasselhoff says, adding that they gave her the space to work through her feelings through painting or some other creative outlet. 

Hayley Hasselhoff says talking

Hayley Hasselhoff says talking “fearlessly” about her mental health has helped her cope. (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tadashi Shoji)

“I would do something creative because that was my way, or my tool, back then to really feel comfortable in my skin and to reconnect to myself and to possibly get out of my head and get present,” she says. “I think mindfulness is a huge thing… At that period of time [it helped] Be careful and do something to put your energy into it. And I think my family knew that when I was really young, this is what I wanted, which I am so blessed for.”

Expressing herself through fashion was an important step in improving her confidence and sense of self-worth. Therapy has also been “a wonderful tool” with mental health professionals, as has the “community therapy” she receives from her online community, whether it’s visiting social media accounts that “lift you up” or those Connects with people with whom she knows.

It’s also extremely important to talk it out during a “flare,” she says, in terms of acknowledging those feelings without admitting them.

“The great thing about having open, honest conversations is that you always know you’re okay if you can say ‘I’m not okay,'” Hasselhoff explains. and say that I feel my social anxiety increasing, I start to be able to control it again. validate it – verify it’s here – and then figure out what kind of scope why is it here? What is the reason for this trigger? What is the reason for such flare-ups? So that I can recognize it and go along with it… and hopefully let it happen less and less.

“When you don’t talk about it to someone you trust, or someone you think can give you the guidance you’re looking for, that feeling can arise and Can get up and get up,” she adds. “And you’re just stuck in your head that you’re alone, that no one else is going to understand what you’re going through. And that’s when it becomes a crisis. So if we can stop it by having a weak conversation with each other.” “When it’s just a flare-up, hopefully it will stop us from making it a crisis.”

Hasselhoff — who also practices breathing and sound meditation — hopes her podcast sends the message that “it’s okay not to be okay.” In fact, it’s normal—and something that needs to be talked about openly, not stigmatized.

“One of the most important things I always say: You can struggle and still be successful,” she says. “You can be someone who deals with anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression and still lives a beautiful, successful life.”

—Video Produced by Stacy Jackman

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