Sanaa Lathan is opening up about a personal decision she made that she says changed her life. The Nappily Ever After actress quit drinking three years ago and says it’s been beneficial for her in several ways. The decision came amid a personal tragedy she experienced. Lathan also says she did so for health reasons.

“I stopped drinking about three years ago,” she told PEOPLE Magazine in a recent interview. “Alcohol was not going well with me physically. Just, it was not working anymore. It affects everything, and that’s part of the reason why I stopped, because even if you’re going out a couple of times a week and you’re drinking, it was starting to affect me throughout the week. It wouldn’t be necessarily a hangover, but it definitely dimmed my energy. I didn’t feel as good. It was affecting anxiety. You don’t realize how over time it gets your brain out of balance as well.”

Initially, she was nervous about the change and didn’t want to be viewed as a wet blanket socially. But she says it’s been an adverse effect. 

“I had to really reprogram that aspect, because it’s just all over in our culture,” she continued. “So, I haven’t missed it. My life has definitely become more of a morning life, but I can still go out and have fun.”

Lathan says the sudden death of her best friend sent her on a spiral. She credits her mother with introducing her to meditation to help her get through and find healthier ways to cope.

“I grew up with a mother who taught me about meditation so, I did it on and off,” she explained. “The reason why I came to this practice was several years ago, I went through a lot of trauma. I had a best friend who died suddenly. She was not sick. It was completely unexpected. I didn’t process it. I was in a shock type of situation.”

Overall, she’s taking a more holistic approach to her life and health, noting, that its helped with her anxiety.

“[My doctor told me] ‘There’s medications, but you can try holistic things first.’ And I always tend to do the holistic thing first, before I go a traditional route. So I started [meditating], and as soon as I started, they went away. There’s so many benefits. And so, I’m a huge believer, a huge advocate,” she added.

Lathan isn’t the only celebrity to give up alcohol. Naomi Campbell gave up alcohol years ago due to dealing with anger issues. Rapper Common has also given it up and chosen a life of sobriety. Others like Kandi Burruss and Jennifer Hudson have always refrained from indulging. 

Lathan is currently promoting her new Netflix thriller Hit & Run.