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Jennifer Lopez Recalls Experiencing Exhaustion-Induced Panic Attacks in Her 20s: ‘I Was Completely Frozen’

Jennifer Lopez Having Panic Attacks Made Me Feel Like I Was Going Crazy
Jennifer Lopez at the ‘Halftime’ premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on June 8, 2022. AFF-USA/Shutterstock

A wake-up call. Jennifer Lopez revealed that experiencing a series of exhaustion-induced panic attacks early on in her career made her reevaluate her lifestyle and forced her to take better care of herself.

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“There was a time in my life where I used to sleep 3 to 5 hours a night. I’d be on set all day and in the studio all night and doing junkets and filming videos on the weekends. I was in my late 20s and I thought I was invincible,” the Hustlers star, 52, wrote in the Monday, July 11, edition of her “On the J Lo” newsletter. “Until one day, I was sitting in a trailer, and all the work and the stress it brought with it, coupled with not enough sleep to recuperate mentally, caught up with me.”

Despite feeling “totally normal” moments before, Lopez explained that she suddenly felt as if she “couldn’t move,” and the physical symptoms just added to her feeling of paralyzing fear. “I was completely frozen,” the Grammy nominee recalled, adding that she thought “I was losing my mind” until a medical professional offered an explanation. “Now I know it was a classic panic attack brought on by exhaustion, but I had never even heard the term at the time.”

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Lopez continued, “I asked the doctor if I was going crazy. He said, ‘No, you’re not crazy. You need sleep … get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night, don’t drink caffeine, and make sure you get your workouts in if you’re going to do this much work.'”

The Selena actress confessed that she “let my own self-care needs go completely” in favor of work. The experience, while terrifying, was a wake-up call for the musician and actress as she continued to launch her lifestyle empire. “I realized how serious the consequences could be of ignoring what my body and mind needed to be healthy — and that’s where my journey to wellness began,” she wrote.

Now, the Maid in Manhattan star does her best to live a “balanced life” and prioritizes rest and self-care as much as possible. “I think of sleep like a little time machine. You lay down and you go into a space where you preserve yourself and then you come out a new, younger person than you were before,” she wrote. “Sometimes I wake up and say, ‘Wow! I just lost 10 years off my face!’ That’s what a good night’s sleep can do for you, and it accumulates over time.”

Lopez concluded: “For better or for worse, the pandemic slowed us all down, and it definitely slowed me down and made me realize that all we have control of is ourselves.”

In addition to prioritizing herself and her well-being, the New York native has been open about how content she’s become since reuniting with Ben Affleck after her April 2021 split from Alex Rodriguez. The couple, who originally dated from 2002 until 2004, got engaged in April and are currently planning a wedding. “I’m super happy,” Lopez said during a July 2021 interview with Zane Lowe. “I know people are always wondering. ‘How are you? What’s going on? Are you OK?’ This is it. I’ve never been better.”

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She continued: “I’ve really gotten to a place in my life where I’m great on my own. And I think once you get to that place, then amazing things happen to you that you never imagine in your life happening again. And so that is where I’m at. And I love all the love that’s coming my way right now and all of the good wishes. And I just want everybody to know that it’s the best time. It’s the best time of my life.”

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