Gabrielle Bernstein is a meditation teacher, life coach and spiritual leader. She's one of Oprah Winfrey's "Next Generation Thought Leaders" and the author of "Miracles Now" and "Spirit Junkie." As part of TODAY's new series "One Small Thing," Bernstein shares her tip for #MindfulMonday with A. Pawlowski.
My “One Small thing” is: Say nice things to yourself because you’re the only one listening.
Throughout the day, we don’t necessarily even realize how negative the thoughts are in our minds. Whatever we’re thinking about ourselves or projecting onto ourselves will dictate how the rest of our day unfolds. We need to take ownership of what it is that we’re saying to begin to change.
The first step is to become conscious of how we are speaking to ourselves because it becomes such an involuntary response.
Set yourself up with an affirmation in the morning that says, “Today I choose to be ______” — and fill in the blank with whatever it is you need for that day, whether it’s to be happier, healthier, kinder, or more loving towards yourself.
When you begin your day with that intention, you set yourself up to win. That morning preparation begins the path of seeing the day differently and seeing through the lens of what it is that you want, rather than just falling into the trap of negative self-talk.
Say it first thing in the morning. Set that statement as an alarm to go off throughout the day.
Write that mantra down on a thick rubber band and when you notice yourself going into a negative thought, you snap out of it by snapping the rubber band. Read and remember what that affirmation is.
I recommend that people have a daily meditation practice, but it doesn’t have to be for a long period of time. Maybe it’s one minute or five minutes a day. It can be a mantra-based meditation, or you can just take that affirmation — “I choose to be happy today” — and just repeat that for five minutes sitting in stillness. That could be the beginning of a meditation practice.
Meditation reorganizes our nervous system, it lowers our cortisol levels, it reorganizes our overall energy – it’s obviously helping us from a physical health and wellbeing perspective.
Most importantly from a mental health perspective, it’s helping us stay grounded, centered and more connected. It’s almost like a mental shower — like we’re having a cleansing of the mind before we begin the day or throughout the day as we need it.
Having that conscious contact with that mental clearing is what will keep you on track for a more positive mindset and a lot more flow in your life.