Enter Shikari’s Rou Reynolds on mindfulness and battling anxiety

The frontman talks to us about battling stigma for mental health week

Enter Shikari frontman Rou Reynolds has spoken out about using mindfulness to manage his anxiety.

The frontman has been very vocal about 2015 became his “year of hell” when “everyday anxiety” led to crippling panic attacks and insomnia. Realising that vulnerability was a natural part of being human became a driving inspiration behind their acclaimed 2015 album ‘The Spark‘, and now Reynolds is keen to further normalise the conversation around mental health.

“I feel like we’re finally getting somewhere and that it’s getting into mainstream culture,” Reynolds told NME. “The worst affected about the negative connotations that come with this are males, and it’s in now in their consciousness.

“Thinking people like those interested in psychology and sociology are probably going to have navigated these generalisations about men and how we shouldn’t show particular emotions and we shouldn’t show vulnerability and that kind of shit – those people will now see how ridiculous the societal expectations of men were.”

“Now it’s getting into the mainstream, we can properly effect people who have been struggling really badly with these types of generalisations.

Enter Shikari

Asked about how he manages his own anxiety and panic attacks, Reynolds replied: “For me, I talk a lot about having ‘a toolbox’ – having things to combat it and turn to when there are days when things are more of a struggle than normal. One of the biggest things is that people are often so caught up in an emotion or the inner experience of anxiety, that it’s hard to step out of it and think about what they’re feeling or why they’re feeling this.

“It’s almost like an automatic thing. It’s like breathing. You don’t know you’re doing it. People just get lost in thought. Things like mindfulness, yoga and just making music can take you out of that automatic thought process of rumination.”

He added: “It’s about getting people to step out of the onslaught of negative thought and getting the tools to be able to free yourself from it.”

By Andrew Trendell and Nick Reilly