Angie Hilton is loving life, whether it’s playing with her kids, having cups of tea with friends or taking walks with her family along a beautiful river.
But she is no stranger to sadness. A severe bout of anxiety and depression in her late 20s has left her with a better appreciation of it than most. It also led her to create and host Channel Nine’s new lifestyle series, Destination Happiness.
Dedicated to exploring the many paths to happiness and good mental health, the series is the product of years of Angie’s perseverance and hard work.
“I’ve been chipping away at it, trying to get it on the air for two or three years,” she says. “I would just keep getting two steps forward and a couple back. There was lots of rejection, but I always believed in the project and felt really strong about getting positive messages out to the viewers.”
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Angie says she is a happy-go-lucky type, so her own struggles with anxiety came as a shock.
“It sort of took me by surprise,” Angie says. “It started with panic attacks, and they seemed to escalate really quickly, and I was kind of embarrassed to talk about what was happening.”
“I kept thinking, ‘hang on, I’m a strong person, I can get through this’. But the more I tried to control it, the bigger it got, and then it turned into depression.”
Angie’s struggles left her barely able to function, and the decision to finally get help became the beginning of a new journey. It’s what has inspired her to help others who might suffer in silence.
“There’s probably not a person in the world who’s not going through something, whether we admit it or not,” she says.
“There’s so much inspiration from other people that can be shared, and I love that we get the opportunity to share it with anyone who’s open to listening. I hope it gives people a spark of motivation to try something new.”
In Destination Happiness, Shura Taft and a team of experts join Angie to guide viewers on a search for happiness with inspirational stories, mindfulness activities and exploring travel destinations.
Angie’s tips for keeping anxiety at bay
1. Listen to the way you speak to yourself.
“Try to be your own best friend or cheerleader, rather than your own worst enemy.”
2. Try meditation.
Meditation is important to Angie, who likes “to turn things over to a higher source – the universe, God, whatever you want to call it”.
3. Taking time out for yourself is vital.
“I prioritise self-nurturing by having a bubble bath every night. That’s my time to treat myself and, usually, have chocolate and wine – or a cup of tea.”
*Article originally published in the Weekly Review.