Actress Goldie Hawn says world leaders are discovering how “mindfulness” helps with stress — but that she despairs at seeing young stars like Justin Bieber struggling to deal with fame.
Hawn spoke to CNN at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where she had led a session on the power of neuroscience and mindfulness to “change the world.”
Hawn, star of films including “Private Benjamin,” “The First Wives Club” and “The Cactus Flower” — for which she won an Academy Award — is also the founder of The Hawn Foundation.
Hawn said when she started her foundation 12 years ago, mindfulness had been a “what is that” concept, but she was optimistic that was changing.
“It’s extraordinary that this Davos this year seems to be centered a lot around the brain, a lot around stress reduction, mindfulness, all of these areas,” she said.
“They’re all coming out of the closet now, it’s like they’ve all been meditating — so many of them — for 20 years and so forth. So it’s beginning to happen — mindful leadership.”
Hawn explained how she believed a healthy mind could lead to healthy decision making.
“When the brain is silent, the executive function, which is this part of the brain that makes decisions can work much better. So when you get quiet you make better decisions, you’re also more rested — you’re not as reactive,” she said.
“So it’s actually great for the economy, great for our leadership and our thought leaders.”
When asked about Justin Bieber, the Canadian pop star facing allegations of driving under the influence and drag racing, Hawn said his situation was “heartbreaking.”
The Oscar-winning actress, who was accompanied by a Tibetan monk at Davos to speak to business leaders about meditation, recalled the challenges of her own early success.
“It was very stressful. I was away from home. It happened overnight for me and I really became anxious around it,” she said.
“I sought help because I wanted to find out why I wasn’t as happy as I should have been, or excited, but I didn’t understand why people were asking me for my autograph.”
But Hawn said she hadn’t been attracted to drugs and her situation in the sixties had been different from that faced by the current generation of young celebrities.
“It actually breaks my heart because I know what’s going on,” she said. “Now they’re self-medicating and this is the most dangerous thing for them.
“Talent, sweetness, ability to manage — what good they could be doing, how happy they could be feeling. And as a mother — and a grandmother now — all
I want to do is hold them.”