Ryan Phillippe has struggled with mental health issues throughout the course of his life, but he recently opened up toPEOPLE about how he’s learned to manage and live with his depression in a way that no longer impedes his daily life.

“I’m a lot more at peace than I was when I was younger,” he told the publication. “I struggled much more with depression when I was in my 20s and 30s. I think the amount of reading that I’ve done, the work on myself and the ways that I’ve found to cope are healthier than when I was younger.

“I don’t know what that specifically amounts to other than being more careful and considerate about why you make the choices you do or where the feelings you have come from,” he continued. “And then ultimately just breathe.”

Phillippe has been frank about his struggle with depression in the past. In a 2015 interview with Elle magazine he said, “Depression has been an obstacle for me ever since I was a child. As you get older I think it decreases some, but I’m just innately kind of a sad person. I’m empathetic, and I take on the feelings of others and transpose myself into the position of others.”

Phillippe also noted at the time that he noticed similar qualities in Ava, his daughter with ex-wife Reese Witherspoon.

"I see it in my daughter. She has it, and I wish to hell she didn’t,” he said. "It’s just, some people do have this pervading sort of sadness, or they’re so analytical that they can kind of take the fun out of things because they think too much.”

But, he says now, he's at least learned to cope with it.

“I am happy,” he told PEOPLE. “It hasn’t always been like that, so I’m hoping to keep it going. And I think from there too, giving back and sharing whatever I can [is important].”

“When you go through dark periods in life or if you’re a person who has struggled with depression as I have throughout my life," Phillippe continued, "to know that that can decrease and that it doesn’t have to be your defining characteristic, that you can find ways to manage and cope and feel better — that’s what I’m referring to.”

The Cruel Intentions actor also claims he’s “not nearly as dark a person as I used to be or as at the mercy of my emotions.”

He also noted: “There is a sensitivity that will never change and an empathy that will never change but how you deal with those feelings and where you let them take you, that’s an individualistic journey for anyone who struggles.”

Celebrities Who Have Opened Up About Their Mental Health Struggles