“The Walking Dead” star Lauren Cohan opens up about why she took a break from social media, how she deals with anxiety, and more in a new interview with Women’s Health.

The actress, who plays Maggie Greene in the hit show, which recently launched its 11th and final season, says of her Instagram hiatus: “I needed a mental health break. When I think of health, I think of my mind first. It was about getting away from that culture of comparison,” admitting she would constantly compare herself to other people.

She explains how she became locked in a mindset that felt like “dark clouds in your head where you just literally cannot, at that moment, think of anything encouraging or positive or worthwhile about yourself or anything around you.”

Cohan says of returning to Instagram in July: “I’ve been excited to go back. My viewpoint has changed. It’s refreshing to be inspired, and it has the power to be uplifting.”

Lauren Cohan. Credit: Ben Watts for Women’s Health
Lauren Cohan. Credit: Ben Watts for Women’s Health

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She shares of how she redirects her energy when she’s feeling anxious: “I see where I can be useful somewhere else. When I’m not focused on my output, and I’m looking at the energy I can give on-set or in a social situation instead, I immediately feel so much relief.

“I’m able to be present and see things the way they really are. It’s a relief to remember that you’re a speck, and that there is a big picture, and to get over yourself.”

Lauren Cohan. Credit: Ben Watts for Women’s Health
Lauren Cohan. Credit: Ben Watts for Women’s Health

Cohan goes on to talk about fitness, telling the mag: “I’m so much more available to everyone when I’m fit… in between stunts or when I have emotional scenes, to keep connected to myself, I run up and down staircases, I run around the building, I do pushups in the corner, I do high knees, I do lunges… it feels great. Every time I feel really strong, I say, ‘Just be here, just stay in the zone.’”

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She continues of feeling optimistic and open-minded about her present and future: “I felt a genuine, legitimate, let-go moment the other day where I thought, ‘Maybe you don’t do anything.’ My brain wanting a plan was me not having enough faith in the unknown. But if your principles are rock solid, then the place you’re supposed to go is unmissable.”