Julianne Hough On the Piece of Advice She’d Give Her Younger Self

The actress, dancer, and singer opens up about starting her day with mindfulness, channeling her energy toward positivity, and using her journey to better the world around her.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?

Julianne Hough: Actually, I stay in bed. And have a ritual right when I open my eyes – I think of three things that I’m grateful for as I do a priming breathwork exercise. The second thing is meditation. At the minimum, I try for twenty minutes. I start my day by creating the emotions that I want to feel and I connect to that feeling. Once I connect to that feeling, then I start my day. Then I already have certainty that I’m going to have a great day.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
JH: The secret to living is giving. The more you give the more you receive. But be careful that you make sure the receiving part is just as important as the giving. As women, our natural instinct is to nurture and take care of others, but it’s important to be conscious of the give and take, otherwise, you’re taking the gift away from someone giving to you as well.

TG: What gives you energy?
JH: To expand on the above question, if I can’t find the energy within myself first, I offer something to someone. Sharing or giving actually energizes me to focus on myself and what I need.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
JH: 7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. Super simple, easy to read, but profound in how easy it was to understand pure potentiality.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
JH: I have now switched to using an alarm clock that has a sound machine built in. I haven’t quite gotten to the point of leaving my phone outside of my room, but I made a commitment to myself today that I’m going to leave it in the kitchen beginning on this full moon. That way I’m able to be fully present during my meditation and morning ritual. Teaching my bran in the most creative and critical state to digest info that’s not going to serve me, putting myself in a low state of energy/distraction.

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
JH: Call someone. Call a friend or family member. Connect. Relationships at the end of the day are the most important to nurture. First with yourself, then with others. There was a time where connecting with myself was most important, but now I’m more focused on my relationships with others. That’s the phase of life I’m in right now. I really felt I did a lot of work with myself to get to a place of certainty with who I am so now I can focus on others.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
JH: t’s a constant reminder to me to stay balanced because I’ve been conditioned my whole life to go go go. It actually gives me energy, but its not sustainable. I end up pushing so hard that I crash. I have to constantly be aware of, how is this going to affect me if I say yes to this opportunity? Being more conscious of the overall wellness and how this will affect me in the long term, instead of just making a decision in the moment.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
JH: I fail everyday. But those failures are opportunities to teach me what my conditioned patterns are, so my motto is fail fast. I’d rather fail 100x during the day and recognize how to shift, than to feel like I’m trying so hard to be perfect that I’m stifling my ability to grow.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
JH: It kind of sounds like opposite of strength and peace, but my favorite is “If I’m scared to do it, it means I have to”. Meaning, taking myself out of my comfort zone so that I can truly find magic in the unknown.

TG: How do you prioritize when you have an overwhelming amount to do?
JH: Get an assistant haha. But in all seriousness, put in order the things that excite you and lift you up. Those should be the top priority so you can stay energized. Usually those things will have a ripple effect to get the other things done. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is learning how to delegate. Allowing me to do the things that I thrive doing, and allowing my beautiful team to do the things they are good at.

TG: What advice would you give your younger self about reducing stress?
JH: Learn now, because later on your adrenals will already be shot. So I would teach my younger self how to breathe, and how to recognize what my body is telling me so I can move that energy and stress in to a positive life force energy as opposed to something that is controlling me and the fight or flight mode which just adds more to your stress levels. Breathing is so important.

TG: Do you have any role models for living a thriving life?
JH: There’s so many amazing people in my life that I look up to for certain qualities that usually have to do with true and whole rounded happiness. But I also try to be conscious of the fact that everyone has their own things that they’re dealing with in private that maybe from the outside in, looks put together but is very much hard work. Instead of looking outside of myself to others without knowing the truth of what makes them happy, I need to find that within myself. I’m my own mentor in the sense of continually asking myself, “Does this bring happiness or stress?” the ultimate goal is to live a happy life right?

TG: When you notice you’re getting too stressed, what do you do to course correct?
JH: The unhealthy version of myself completely checks out and becomes paralyzed and I don’t know what do to move on and I get stuck. The healthy version of myself knows to get out into nature, move my body, get into a body of water, meditate, breathe, connect to a feeling or write down a feeling or emotion, peace or serenity, and then find ways or actionable items that will allow you to feel that emotion.

TG: How do you reframe negative thinking?
JH: The first step is just to recognize that it’s negative and define the positive. You just have to be willing and have the desire to not stay in that negative place. One of the things to recognize too is, asking myself, do I somehow enjoy this emotional home of negative thinking/anxiety vs. Is this what I really want? I call this my emotional home. Where do I actually live, even if I don’t want to live there. So recognizing, even if I don’t want to feel this thing, is this actually an emotion that gives me a familiar feeling. Once I recognize that, gives me the feeling of “Woah where is this coming from”. Let me find the opposite feeling of what I’m feeling now, or emotion and then act from that place.

TG: What brings you optimism?
JH: Honestly, seeing really beautiful real life stories of people helping each other. It shows that everyone is a reflection of what’s possible inside of us, and that there’s beautiful ppl in the world. It gives me hope that I too can give people compassion, love and empathy. Especially when you see kids because they’re the future of where our planet is headed

TG: What was the biggest turning point in your life?
JH: Probably when I realized that I wanted to contribute to the world to create something that was bigger than myself. That’s when I shared my transformational journey and help people find their way through their own transformational journey. That’s when kinrgy was born.

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