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How To Handle Stress And Live Authentically According to Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman at David Lynch Foundation Change Begins Within Gala

Between watching the FIFA World Cup and attending the 2014 Wimbledon Men’s Final, actor, producer, and family man Hugh Jackman made time to join the David Lynch Foundation‘s Bob Roth for an interview on Bob’s SiriusXM radio show Success Without Stress. If you didn’t already know it, Hugh is as likable in person as he is on the big screen, and he had some thought-provoking things to say.

“I meditated before I hosted the Oscars, I meditate before I go on stage, I meditate in the morning and lunchtime when I’m on a film set.” On the topic of his profession, Hugh admits that like most of us, he found stress and nerves difficult to cope with. He would internalize his nerves and fear, and it distracted him to the extent that his wife would comment “Ah good, I got my husband back,” after he completed something he was nervous about. Hugh goes on to say, “For me, the best way to handle that was meditation. So I meditated before I hosted the Oscars, I meditate before I go on stage, I meditate in the morning and lunchtime when I’m on a film set. And it’s like it resets.”

“I’m not saying I’m never frightened anymore or that I don’t have stress, but…I like the analogy of a glass of water…when you first pour it it’s cloudy. When you’re stressed, that’s what your mind is like, it’s kinda cloudy. And after I meditate all that sinks to the bottom and the water is clear and the energy is finer, and the decisions you make are more authentic, and I think you’re more economical with your energy, with your time, in every way. You’re more able to listen to other people. And as an actor, that’s all you got. Your only tools you really have is being present, being clear, and listening. So it helped me in every way, I mean, immeasurably.”

“…you see peoples’ lives saved, literally, and changed forever, through this simple technique.” The secret that Hugh has tuned into is that stress is not the things happening outside of himself – hosting the Oscars is not stress in and of itself – but stress is actually the things happening on the inside. And though it doesn’t always seem so, we can make conscious changes that affect the way we unconsciously react to our environment. The Transcendental Meditation technique is one of those changes. (If you don’t want to take it from Hugh, who first learned the TM technique when he was 24 to improve as an actor but later realized it had much more to offer, there is always science.)