The Relax is Yahoo Life’s wellness series where experts, influencers and celebrities share their approach to wellness and mental healthfrom self-care rituals to setting healthy boundaries to the mantras that keep them afloat.
Gabby Bernstein is all about spirituality. The New York Times bestselling author of self-improvement books — including Super attraction and Spirit Junkie — has devoted her career to helping people feel their best and live their purpose, and she practices what she preaches.
“As a spiritual student, the idea of choosing not to look outside of yourself for your happiness and really making sure you take that kind of serenity and peace within yourself [is] the driving force behind my personal journey,” she tells Yahoo Life.
Bernstein has been nothing but candid about her personal journey, including her postpartum depression and path to sobriety, encouraging others to deeply explore their lives and values in search of their own truths. In her Dear Media podcast Dear GabbyLaunched during the pandemic, Bernstein is reimagining its brand of self-care.
Motivational speaker and author Gabby Bernstein on ‘spiritual first responder’
Self-helper Gabby Bernstein talks about her spiritual practice
Spirituality coach and author Gabby Bernstein on meditation, motherhood and mantras
“It started as a spiritual first responder on the Internet,” Bernstein says of the show’s genesis. “We were all super struggling and I went on Instagram Live and started doing what I call now Dear Gabby. It became a community of people who would be there at the exact same time every week.”
Bernstein’s goal with the podcast is one that fans of her will recognize: “The main intent was to help people feel less alone and to give people spiritual guidance and personal growth practices that they could apply right away. The big goal for me is to make people feel really good and to be a place with a positive, happy direction, where you can also tell the truth.”
Yahoo Life spoke to Bernstein about the podcast, her upcoming book, and the daily practices that make her feel her best.
What is your approach to making sure you feel good? How do you protect your mental health?
With the onset of COVID, I started doing a 40 minute meditation practice in the afternoon. It’s on my calendar, I’m not skipping it. I listen to binaural beats and bilateral music, a very powerful form of meditation music that helps your brain process things without thinking about it. Depending on what’s going on with me at the time, I could write about it for 15 minutes and then meditate for the rest of those 40 minutes.
That has been one of the cornerstones of my spiritual practice for the past year and has helped me stay grounded, stay healthy and stay healthy. What it ultimately does is completely regulate my nervous system and keep my adrenal glands at a high level and help me stay consistent in whatever I have to show up for. I would have to say that this practice has been one of the best things I have implemented in the past year.
That sounds like the perfect afternoon reset.
Then I start to fill up. I’m a big morning worker, but at 12 I start filling up and have to literally recharge the battery and start over.
Do you have some form of self-care that you do first thing in the morning, or is it getting up and leaving?
I usually get up a little earlier than my son, and sometimes I listen to that binaural music or I just go to bed and rest. But I have a toddler, so I have no morning routine other than waking my child up or being woken up by my child.
What makes you happy in your life these days?
My son Oliver who is 2 and a half. My job is just a great joy because I am privileged to have a team of people that I really admire. They all strive for the same thing: to help a lot of people and have a lot of fun doing it — that’s our company motto. I’m working on a new project and finishing a new book due out in 2022. I’m in the last few strokes of the writing process and it’s been really fun for me.
What can you tell us about the book?
Well, the book is called Happy Days, but the subtitle – I wrote it yesterday – is currently “The path from trauma to deep peace and freedom.” So it’s my story of trauma recovery, my sobriety, my journey to get on the path of healing from PTSD, and all the practical and spiritual methods I’ve used to come to that deep freedom and peace. It’s big and it comes at the right time… My pub date is 2/22/22. I have to admit I chose it.
What in your life is giving you stress these days, and how do you deal with it?
I am stressed by the state of the world. I worry about the world. That’s real, that’s the truth. I think we’ve been living in this pandemic situation for so long that there’s an undercurrent of uncertainty that you can’t shake off. I have a great spiritual foundation and I have a lot of security in my life so I can feel that security, but I have a lot of concerns for people who don’t. I just worry about people.
I also work through my own inner judgment of those who don’t show up for others in the ways we need to.
Do you have a mantra?
I have a mantra that I’ve been using for many years, and it’s my reality now and I’ll keep saying it and keep it in shape and it’s, “Everything is happening around me and I’m really being taken care of.”
Are there people or places or things you do that really inspire you?
I get a lot of inspiration from the people I see bouncing back. My readers, my Dear Gabby listeners, seeing these people and their resilience inspires me to keep doing what I do. I often seek inspiration especially through my meditation and when I write and speak; that’s when I kind of feel the biggest hit of inspiration. I wrote a book that came out in March 2020 called an Audible original you are the guru. It was really just this book about how to idolize no one, that you are the guru you have to look inside yourself to find the answers.
Are there any wellness or spiritual trends that you think are totally overrated?
I’ve always said it’s better to let spirituality be trendy than drugs or partying. I think if one finds their spirituality through gua sha or some form of yoga or whatever, it doesn’t matter. It’s about making them feel better. One trend that I do find horrifying is that there are some voices in the spiritual space that are really against the pandemic and are spreading messages about anti-vaccination and anti-masking, and that’s something I’d like to say publicly that I think it’s not right.
What are you looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to the launch of my new book. I’m excited to bring it out and see how it can support people.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Would you like to receive lifestyle and wellness news in your inbox? Register here for the Yahoo Life newsletter.