Sanaa Lathan On Working Through Panic Attacks with Transcendental Meditation, the Danger of Comparing Ourselves to Others, and Challenging Ourselves Beyond Our Comfort Zone

Interview: Robert Piper

Robert Piper: What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your life?

Sanaa Lathan: It’s kind of an ongoing thing. I wouldn’t call it an obstacle, but it’s that thing of where you step outside of your comfort zone. I feel like people grow the most when they step outside of the box that they are used to. For me, it’s constantly challenging myself to step outside of my comfort zone. As soon as you do that, then you grow, but then you get comfortable again. It’s that consistent reminding yourself to step outside of that comfort zone.

RP: What’s the best advice you could give someone about life?

SL: In this day and age, especially with all the media and television, social media, and the Internet, we are constantly being compared and comparing ourselves to others’ lives and journeys. Keep your eyes on your own road. You can never be happy when you’re constantly comparing yourself to others. Keep your eyes ahead.

RP: How do you stay balanced?

SL: About a year ago, I started doing Transcendental Meditation. That really was a game changer for me. I was feeling a lot of anxiety; it even got to a point where I was having panic attacks. I had a rough year last year, and the doctor wanted me to get on medication, and I didn’t want that to be my first resort. I had learned to practice TM about four or five years ago, but I hadn’t really followed through with it. So I contacted my teacher, thinking maybe this could help. As soon as I started doing it, it’s like a veil lifted, and that was wonderfully grounding for me. I do it every day.

RP: What projects do you have coming up?

SL: I have The Perfect Guy out right now. It’s a sexy thriller with myself, Morris Chestnut, and Michael Ealy; it’s about a professional woman who really wants to have a family and meets a guy who is seemingly perfect. But then she realizes that all is not what it seems. Her life is turned upside down by having this man in her life. I also just shot a movie in London, called Now You See Me 2; it’s a sequel to Now You See Me and includes Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Jesse Eisenberg. It’s a great cast. I had a blast working on that. That will be out next year.

Sanaa Lathan is an actor who stars in the new movie The Perfect Guy. She also appeared in Out of Time, Contagion, and Powder Blue.

Photo: Derek Blanks

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