Dwayne Johnson, 50, says working out helps manage depression: 'It doesn't solve the problem, but it does help'

Dwayne Johnson, 50, says working out helps manage depression: ‘It doesn’t solve the problem, but it does help’

Dwayne Johnson realizes he's in the best emotional shape of his life at 50.  (Flannery Underwood for Men's Health)

Dwayne Johnson, 50, realizes he’s in the best emotional shape of his life. (Photo: Flannery Underwood for Men’s Health)

Dwayne Johnson says growing old is about finding balance.

By talking to men’s health for his December cover story, the black adam star, 50, has opened up about how working out has been his saving grace – both physically and spiritually – during some of the toughest years of his life. It even helped him learn the power of vulnerability.

“During those times when I fell into depression and was challenged by depression, the gym became my best friend – and I know that’s how it is for a lot of people,” he said. -he explains. “You can go to the gym to sweat out toxins and get a little more clarity when you go out. It doesn’t solve the problem, but it helps.”

For the megastar, finding balance is a practice he’s honed with age, something he hopes other men can learn as well.

“As guys, we tend not to ask for help,” he said. I became an advocate for asking for help.

The actor added that he’s found balance in “making sure I stay in touch with the simple, fundamental things that are important to me.” After all, “life can get crazy and fun for all of us, but especially when you get a little bit of fame, things tend to go awry.”

The Black Adam star says spirituality and fitness go hand in hand.  (Flannery Underwood for Men's Health)

The black adam star says spirituality and fitness go hand in hand. (Photo: Flannery Underwood for Men’s Health)

Indeed, while having nearly 347 million Instagram followers is a “blessing,” Johnson recognizes that with great power comes great responsibility. Finding ways to connect fitness and mental health for his male fans is something he takes very seriously.

“I’ve been training long enough to know that there are great takeaways I could share that could help my audience on their fitness and wellness journey,” he told about regularly posting his workouts on social media. “One of the responsibilities, though, is to make sure the stuff I post is smart, in terms of training – not stupid bullshit that will hurt you.

Johnson’s gym routine is no joke. During filming black adamAiring Dec. 22 on HBO Max, he aimed to get himself into the “best shape” he’s ever been in — which wasn’t easy at this stage of life.

“As guys you hit your thirties, you like to think you got your shit together. You usually have no f****** idea. for you to do, that kind of thing,” he said. “At 40, I said, ‘OK, I’m going to spend the next decade training as smart as I can, balancing training, family and work, being an open sponge, learning all the days but also not worrying about ego training, not worrying about the weight I put on the bar, pushing myself with so much hope, by the time I reach the fifth level, my joints feel great and I’m still able to not only maintain but add real muscle and some really dense muscle.'”

Although his routine may seem extreme, he insists there is a spiritual method to his madness.

“There is a Polynesian word called mana,” Johnson, who says he’s half black and half Samoan, notes. What it really means is like an energy, a force, a power that we all have, and that still exists in our world. When I talk about mana, it’s a feeling I have, it’s right here deep in the DNA, and you can have it when you walk into the gym. You can feel the mana. It can be quite palpable.”

“I have always been connected to my cultures, my family and my ancestors, but as you go along the path of life, you begin to connect more to your spirituality in this way where you begin to realize that mana actually means, you know?” he continued. “To me, mana becomes my daily anchor, and it’s a reminder of my cultures. It’s a reminder of who I am; and it’s a reminder to work hard, to be humble, to show gratitude; and it’s a reminder to always connect with people, as if we can be connected through mana. It’s very powerful.”

No doubt Johnson shares this knowledge with his family too: daughters Tia, 4, Jasmin, 6, whom he shares with his wife Lauren Hashian, as well as his other daughter Simone, 21, whom he shares with his ex-wife and business partner Dany Garcia.

When he’s not at the gym or filming the next big blockbuster, Johnson loves posting sweet moments with his family on social media.

In August, for example, the action star posted an adorable tribute video to Tiana.

“Lil’ Tia ‘Cindy Lulu’ here has no idea. Absolutely no idea what her love and kindness means to her daddy,” he wrote of his daughter, whose hair sat on the top of her head imitating Cindy Lou Who, the character of Dr. Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

“One day, years from now, hanging out in dad’s office and sitting on my lap will be the LAST PLACE she wants to be,” said the Jumanji star added. “So I’ll be greedy and take it while I can get it. Thanks for being so nice to your daddy T-Rex. One day you’ll understand.”

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