Carson Daly has spent most of his career on live TV — from hosting Total Request Live in ’00s to holding down the Orange Room today. What is Carson like when the cameras are off? Some days, he’s literally bouncing around the room.
“I’ve been nervous my whole life,” Carson recently revealed on TODAY. His first panic attack happened when he was hosting MTV’s TRL. At the time, he didn’t know what was going on.
Carson Daly opens up about his anxiety disorder: ‘It’s how I’m hardwired’
“I had a hard time breathing. I was terrified for no apparent reason,” he explained. At one point, Carson went to the hospital because he thought he was going to have a heart attack. He finally sought help after a friend recognized his symptoms and suggested he talk to a professional about what was going on.
As Daly explained, there is no quick fix or pill to take to help with anxiety disorders. What worked for him was talking to a cognitive therapist and figuring out the right tools to help him cope on a day-to-day basis. One method he’s found useful: muscle retention and relaxation. Here’s how it works:
- Put your arms out in front of you.
- Tighten your hands into fists, and clench your arm muscles from your forearm up to your biceps.
- Squeeze as hard as you can, like you’re lifting a weight, for five to 10 seconds.
- Then release the tension.
What is it like to have anxiety or depression?
Anxiety isn’t something that goes away. Though today, Carson has methods to work through these emotions, it’s still something that impacts his life.
“To this day, even when I’m on television, if you ever watch ‘The Voice’ live on NBC… I’m never still. It’s the same thing on the ‘TODAY Show’ in the morning, some days I’m just a little anxious … I’m fidgeting,” he said.
How do you know if it’s just plain stress, or if you’re dealing with something more serious, like an anxiety disorder? “If it’s really debilitating to you, to the point where you can’t sleep at night, you’re having a hard time functioning at work … that’s the time to go seek help,” said Tom Kersting, a licensed psychotherapist. But know that seeking treatment can and will help.
Carson has found the upside to his anxiety — he believes it makes him more sensitive: “I may be a little anxious, but I know I’m going to be OK.”
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