guardians of the galaxy Star David Bautista likes to wear colorful sunglasses on the red carpet. However, as he said Men’s health, his choice of glasses is not just a fashion concern: the actor, who suffers from anxiety, called his glasses a “pacifier, a therapeutic thing”.
“When I was a kid you could barely get two words out of me,” Bautista told the outlet. “I was so introverted and I was tied to my mom’s leg.”
So how common is Bautista’s choice to wear colorful sunglasses for soothe his anxiety?
Psychologist Claire Plumbly says, “People with anxiety disorders have generally developed coping skills. More often than not, they will try to avoid the situation, but if that is not possible, they will have other methods of getting through the trigger situation in the safest way possible. This is called “safety behaviors”.
She notes that such safety behaviors can include avoiding eye contact, repeating what you are going to say, smoking, wearing a hoodie with the hood up, or, as in Bautista’s case, wearing sunglasses.
Gregory Scott Brown, MD, explains that the specific sunglasses that Bautista wears, with a colored lens, could be particularly useful for the actor.
“I’m not aware of any research that definitely suggests that sunglasses can help with anxiety, but it’s an area that researchers are actively studying,” he notes. “Some of this research is on ‘chromotherapy glasses’. For example, there has been research into rose-tinted glasses and their effects on how we respond to emotional events.
Brown is also a fan of “grounding objects,” which can reduce anxiety during very stressful events. In addition to the potential calming factor of lenses, Bautista says having an object to focus on – in this case, glasses – can help relieve anxiety.
“When we are in a state of anxiety or panic, we can feel like we are losing control of our body and mind,” he explains. “A grounding object can be anything, a stone you hold in your pocket, a bracelet, a ring. Something you can hold on to and bring yourself back to earth in a way.
Overall, Brown says Bautista’s glasses could “turn down the volume of external ‘visual noise’ and maybe that puts him in a more peaceful internal state.”
“When I’m anxious, I love nothing more than having a good yoga session in a dimly lit room, so I understand,” he adds. “If the sunglasses help Bautista on the red carpet, I say keep wearing them.”