"Hollywood Unplugged," a new series on HuffPost Entertainment, shows our culture's most influential figures in a new light. Instead of focusing on their accomplishments, it examines how they continue to thrive despite the inevitable stress.
Huffpo asked me for some advice based on how I de-stress from hectic days filming in Hollywood on season three of my sitcom, The Exes. Well, I could say "do yoga" or "try biofeedback" or "aromatherapy" or a bunch of other stuff. Or I could just tell the truth: all you have to do is... stop. Stop running around, stop trying to return every email in your inbox immediately, stop cramming too much stuff into too few hours in the day. Sit down, shut up, and most importantly, be glad.
So first, when I say sit down, I literally mean it. Pull up a chair or a spot on the couch -- me, I like to sit on my folding chair in my dressing room. Just sit there. Yep, just sit for a minute. And if it's after work and you wanna pour a bit of single malt or a nice coffee or a tall glass of water, that's cool too. Do your thing (me, I like the single malt). The important part is that now you have stopped everything else. Harder than it might seem, actually.
Next, shut up. Just shut the hell up! No phone, no typey-typey sounds of texting, no music, no sound machine. Just you and your breath (and okay maybe the sound of the single ice cube melting in your scotch). Close your eyes and just sit there and shut up. I'm not saying you have to meditate or have a mantra or whatnot, I'm just saying that when I do it, the simple act of quieting myself is incredibly restorative. Stopping motion and stopping noise tends to also stop... stress.
Now what's with the "be glad" part? Well, once I've begun to enjoy these very still, very quiet few minutes, I like to think about what I'm glad about, what I'm grateful for. Go ahead, try it. Be glad you can sit down for a minute. Or be grateful you have a fulfilling, busy life that makes it hard to sit down for a minute. I'm grateful for my health, glad I'm making people laugh, glad my wife still likes me after a lotta years, grateful my daughter is growing, glad I don't take myself too seriously, glad L.A. has Astro Burger, grateful to be coming home to Harlem soon. It's a gratitude list. It works.
So let's recap: sit down, shut up, be glad. Scotch optional. Glad we had this little talk.