AceShowbiz - Actress Katherine Heigl wishes she had learned how to better manage her anxiety earlier on in her career, because it would have allowed her to handle difficult situations with "more grace".
The "Knocked Up" star shot to fame in 2005 on hit medical drama "Grey's Anatomy", but her time on the show was marred by controversy months after her 2007 Emmy win for her role as Dr. Izzie Stevens, as she withdrew her name from awards consideration, claiming her storylines did not warrant a nomination.
Her actions led to a clash with creator Shonda Rhimes, and she eventually left the show in 2010, and now Heigl admits part of her behavior was down to the mental health struggles she had quietly faced - and she didn't know how to deal with them.
"I don't think you get through life without any regrets, but you can create some purpose from it," she told People magazine.
"I know there's a better way to deal with those things than I did. I could have handled it with more grace."
She continued, "I don't actually regret leaving Grey's Anatomy - I did the right thing for me and for my family - but I do regret the heightened drama I was feeling at that time. If I'd known anything about meditation then, or had been talking to a therapist or someone to help me through some of the fear that I was steeped in, I think I would have been more calm in how I approached what boundaries I needed to create to thrive."
One of her main problems was anxiety, which made Heigl feel insecure about her work.
"I certainly regret not learning earlier how to manage my anxiety better," she shared. "Living at that heightened level of anxiety... created a defensiveness in me and wariness and assuming that people were against me. I let my mind run rampant without the tools to properly manage that."
Heigl has since turned to a professional counsellor to help her work through her personal issues, and she insists she has taken note of the lessons learned over the years.
"The last five years has been really about learning how to manage that anxiety and to control my own thoughts (sic)," she said. "I learned that not managing stress leads to not dealing with negativity or frustration or disappointment in the proper way."
"Something else that experience taught me is that no matter how big an opportunity or how rewarding something is, there will be moments of struggle," she added of her time on "Grey's Anatomy". "There will be difficulties and disappointment and miscommunications, but you must learn how to manage those with grace instead of fear."