This story was contributed by our wellness columnist, Michelle Calarco.
When I first heard about the concept of “manifesting,” and the idea that you can attract whatever you want, I’ll admit it sounded a bit…well….far-fetched. But getting to know New York Times best-selling author and Oprah-named “new thought leader’ Gabby Bernstein quickly changed my mind.
The motivational speaker has amassed nearly one million Instagram followers alone for her power to help people change their lives (and thoughts) for the better. Since the pandemic, online mental health searches have increased significantly, with Forbes reporting that the latest Pinterest search trend insights reveal spikes around the terms “manifestations” and “self-love.”
As life continues to challenge us in this most unusual time, we talked to Gabby to find out how to bring on more of that positive energy we could all use right about now.
The Well: What exactly is manifesting and how can we all start doing this more often?
Gabby: Manifesting is the art of turning thoughts into things. As my late mentor, Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” This is the key to manifesting. When you lean into higher vibration thoughts and positive perspective, you become a magnet for what you desire. You change your energy and therefore you change your life.
The Well: How can we reframe our negative thoughts?
Gabby: Earlier this month I was looking at my calendar, going over all my upcoming events and interviews and deadlines. My heart started pounding and my mind was racing. I thought, “How am I going to get all of this done?” I could feel myself getting more and more anxious about everything I had to do. I was starting to spiral. So here’s what I did: Before I fully freaked out, I turned to my book, Super Attractor, for help. I knew I had to practice the Choose Again Method.
This method stops the spiral of negative thoughts. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Notice the thought.
Anytime you’re stuck in negativity or fear, take a step back by consciously noticing that your thoughts and energy are out of alignment with joy. Ask yourself, “How do I feel right now?” You can write down your answer in your journal (here’s one Gabby recommends). In my case, my answer was, “I’m so busy and my calendar is crazy. I’m nervous and anxious.”
Step 2: Forgive the thought.
Forgive yourself for being misaligned and celebrate your desire to shift. Thank your negative feelings and thoughts for showing you what you don’t want and revealing what you do. Say this prayer: Thank you for revealing to me what I don’t want so that I can clarify what I do want. You can also write this prayer in a journal next to your negative thoughts.
Step 3: Choose again.
Answer this question in your journal: “What is the best-feeling thought I can find right now?” Then ask the Universe to guide you toward that thought. In your journal, write down this prayer or say it to yourself: Thank you, Universe, for guiding my thoughts toward good-feeling emotions. In my case, I started to remind myself that this busyness is an opportunity to get the book into the hands of many people who need it. My calendar is a reflection of my commitment to you, my reader. It’s also a reflection of my commitment to share these methods in a big way.
The Well: It’s easy to feel a bit edgier these days. Any simple tips on ways to improve our mood?
Gabby: Here’s a very quick way to release anxiety and change your mood.
The One-Minute Breath
For one minute, follow this breathing technique.
Breathe in for 5 seconds.
Hold your breath for 5 seconds.
Release for 5 seconds.
Hold for 5 seconds.
Practice this breath pattern for one minute a day.
The Well: What does your self-care routine look like?
Gabby: I schedule it! I meditate at 12 PM every day for 40 minutes, no matter what is going on. I always work out around 4 PM. I do my best to stick to these self-care rituals. And I take a lot of baths!
About Michelle Calarco: Michelle is a wellness and communications expert. After honing her storytelling craft in media and television, Michelle went on to elevate the profiles of premier brands across the hospitality, healthy living, and better-for-you food spaces. She has always been passionate about living and eating well and became even more immersed in health when she became a mom. On weekends you can find her squeezing in a barre class (during Paw Patrol) and baking healthyish desserts with her little one. Michelle has a consulting business and resides in Greenwich with her husband and 2-year-old son.
Have an idea for something you want to see in the column? Write to Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her @michelle.calarco