Thrive Global Founder and CEO Arianna Huffington concluded the 2018 Fortune Brainstorm HEALTH conference by speaking with Kevin Durant — nine-time NBA All-Star, 2017 Finals MVP and Golden State Warriors small forward — about how he rekindled his love for basketball and redefined his relationship with social media.
“Joy is something we tend to get away from as professionals,” Durant explained. But in 2015, when he was forced to take a year off from basketball due to a broken foot, he said he used that time to rediscover his love for the game.
“As a kid you grow up loving the game, no responsibility in life whatsoever, and as you get older it turns into a job,” he said. “I learned I’m better, more focused and my mind’s in a better place if I treat it with the kid-like joy I had at 9 years old.”
In the spirit of prioritizing his mental health, Durant said he also went on a social media hiatus last year after realizing he was “getting addicted” to Instagram and Twitter.
“I was letting whatever I’d seen affect me on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “I was getting upset about a comment or what someone said, and it was really affecting my day. I wasn’t the same person.”
After taking a few weeks off from checking posts and comments, Durant said he just “felt so free.” Stepping away from Instagram and Twitter for awhile helped him see the difference between the “real world” and the world of social media. “Now the stuff that made me upset — I can kind of laugh at it now,” he said.
Even though Durant is back on social media now, he focuses more on being present and keeping his phone away when he’s doing something he really enjoys. “Before, I wanted everyone to see what I was doing, I was Snapchatting and doing all of this stuff, but now I try to stay in the moment as much as I can,” he said.