Let Gabby Bernstein Help You Stay Positive
- Written By:Alexandra Malmed
We are living in a moment of crisis. COVID-19 has placed us in a void; a moment at which the future is unknown and we are filled with fear about our own well-being, the health of those who we love, our work situations, what the new, post-Corona “normal” will entail, and so forth. We are spending a lot of time with just one or a few people, or alone — so we are experiencing new levels of intimacy and learning to navigate and take care of our precious selves amidst a long, strange moment in time. We are doing this as a collective, and yet each of us is very alone right now. Things are, in certain ways, paused, and yet life continues on.
This moment can serve as one during which we look inside, learn to take care of ourselves even more, learn to love ourselves even more, meditate, do for others, be grateful, and find the sense of calm and assuredness that lives and vibrates inside of each of us, regardless of what’s going on in the outside world.
We’re spending an immense amount of time on Instagram, screens, reading, etc—and we can use these methods of gathering information to better ourselves and our existences by paying attention to the words and methods of people who devote their lives to helping us to improve ourselves and our existences. One of these people worth tuning into right now? Gabby Bernstein.
The New York Times bestselling author, international speaker, and life coach emphasizes the cruciality of self-love and forgiveness, and has a holistic approach to spirituality. These days, she’s been reaching out to her followers by posting a mantra and a recipe on her Instagram daily. The mantras to help us to remain calm, centered, grateful, and at ease and the recipes to inspire us to cook and consume healthful meals, lots of vegetables, and clean nutrients during the time of terror.
We caught up with Bernstein to speak with her about positivity, meditation, and staying calm in the time of coronavirus.
What are your tips for staying positive right now, in the days of corona?
The #1 tool I can offer right now is my “Choose Again Method.” I teach it in my book Super Attractor, and it’s been essential for me lately.
This method has three steps:
- Notice the fearful thought
- Forgive the thought
- Proactively choose a better-feeling thought
Let’s break it down. The first step is to witness your fearful thoughts getting out of control. Just be gentle with yourself about having the thought: “Okay, there it is. Of course I’m having it.”
Notice where you feel the anxiety, uncertainty, fear, etc. in your body. Then take a deep breath. Breathe into that space in your body. Honor the feeling and honor the thought.
The second step is to forgive yourself for getting caught in the thought—and forgive the thought altogether. You may be thinking, “Why do I need to forgive myself for having a thought about something that’s real?”
We want to forgive ourselves for getting hooked into the obsessive ideas and panic. Yes, there is a pandemic going on and it is our reality. But you can choose how you choose to perceive your situation. You can choose the how of your experience.
So just forgive yourself for going there. You can simply say, “I forgive this thought.”
The third step is to choose again. This is a powerful technique of lifting yourself out of that hole of that fear-based thought. Maybe your fear-based thought is something like:
- “I’m going to get COVID and I’m terrified.”
- “I’m scared about the economy.”
- “I can’t sleep because of these stories.”
After noticing the thought and forgiving it, reach for the next best-feeling thought. The best-feeling thought, in this case, can be something very simple, like:
- “I’m healthy right now.”
- “I’m taking proper precautions.”
- “I have what I need in this moment.”
One by one, reach for the thoughts that make you feel better. Keep reaching for those thoughts and guide yourself out of that frozen state of fear.
This is essential. Fear comes, but we can release it. What is one thing (or a few things) that we can do every day to stay motivated?
Meditate! Take some time—even if it’s just [for] a few minutes—to turn inward and quiet your mind. Meditating is what allows us to receive intuitive guidance so we feel inspired as we go through our day. It’s what gives us a sense of flow and that feeling of support, even in difficult times.
If you’re new to meditation or have a hard time doing it, download my free Positive Energy Meditation. You can listen to it while sitting quietly or while going about your day, taking a walk, etc. You can bring meditation into almost every part of your day.
We love your “spiritual schedule” post on Instagram — can you elaborate this, and why it’s important right now?
The most powerful way for you to get through this period with ease is to schedule your spiritual practice and [to] make it a high priority. If you do this, you’ll feel less overwhelmed because you’ll have sustainable, positive momentum. And you’ll feel a sense of empowerment because you’ll be taking charge of your day.
Just pick two or three times each day and put them in your calendar. Maybe in the morning you listen to that Positive Energy Meditation and in the afternoon you do another meditation you like, or you listen to an uplifting audiobook or journal or do some relaxing yoga.
Scheduling your practices helps you keep things simple. You don’t have to spend a ton of time trying to figure out what to do and when. And by mindfully slowing down a few times each day, you’ll refresh your body and brain for the rest of the day’s tasks.
I love meditating and find that it, along with deep breathing, walking, etc, is saving my being. How is it, exactly, that meditation helps us during times of heightened anxiety, like this one?
Meditation slows our heart rate and stops the running loop of negative thoughts in our mind. When we meditate, our breath slows and evens. In this peaceful state, we can better connect with our inner guidance system to receive inspired solutions and ideas. Instead of melting down, we intuitively know how to handle difficult situations. And if our fear does get revved up (which will happen—we’re human), we know we can come back to that place of grounded-ness again with meditation.
What are your tips for getting started with a meditation practice right now?
I’m actually starting my first 21-day Meditation Challenge on May 17th. It’s perfect for beginners because I’m guiding you every step of the way and offering up a simple daily structure. And you get to try lots of different kinds of meditation to find out what you love!
I also have a big blog post called the Beginner’s Guide to Meditation, which I recommend because it covers a lot of topics and answers many common questions.
Here’s one simple practice you can start using right away. It’s called the One-Minute Breath because it literally takes just one minute a day.One minute a day spent in stillness can change your life. Commit to one minute a day and use this practice to silence your mind and calm your energy.
For one minute, follow this breathing technique: Breathe in for 5 seconds. Hold your breath for 5 seconds. Release for 5 seconds.
You can also play music that inspires you and follow this breath pattern for the length of the song!
This is great. I also recently started using a deep breathing app, which I use for five minutes one or two times per day. It’s an immensely helpful resource. What is a normal day like for you? Regarding meals, movement, meditation, work, etc.
Right now I’m living a new normal, as pretty much all of us are. My husband and I run our business from home, so we’re very fortunate that that hasn’t changed and that we’re already comfortable working from home and being together all the time!
We don’t have any childcare right now, so my husband and I have had to change our schedules so we can switch off on hanging out with our son, Oliver. We’ve got a good rhythm going! Sometimes my calls get interrupted if he wakes up from a nap early, as I’m sure many parents can relate to right now.
I meditate first thing in the morning and then twice more each day. Sticking to my spiritual schedule has been a lifesaver during the pandemic! It helps me stay on top of work, show up fully as a teacher, and support my family.
What are your top three tips for general wellness?
- Meditate regularly
- Take sleep seriously and get enough of it
Tend to your gut
Excellent tips. Meditation and sleep are essential and the gut really is the second brain. What brings you joy?
Lots of things! One of my favorite activities is cooking. I’m a self-taught chef and I typically don’t use recipes. I love to play mantra music and let my intuition guide me in the kitchen. I share videos almost daily on Instagram — I call it the Gabby Cooking Show.
How can we stay sane and calm when the future and the outside feel so out of control, unknown, and terrifying?