A lot has changed in the past year. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the world have suffered sudden losses and seen an increase in anxiety, depression and trauma. With this sharp rise in mental illness, it's more important than ever to find healthy ways to deal with it. For philanthropist, supermodel, and MBG collective member Gisele Bündchen, meditation is one way of doing this.
"Meditation has played an incredibly important role in my life and since I was in my early twenties and was very scared," she tells mbg. "I owe meditation for helping turn one of the greatest challenges I have ever faced into one of the greatest gifts." And now she shares this gift with others.
For the past four years, Bündchen has used the Insight Timer meditation app to inspire and guide her practices. "Sometimes when you are new to practice it is easier to start with guided meditation," she explains. "To help people get started, I created my first free guided meditation using the Insight Timer app, Hope in Times of Uncertainty."
Your first 14-minute meditation, available in both English and Portuguese, aims to bring joy and courage back to life in the midst of anxious times. The short guide involves breathing work, gratitude, and an overwhelming sense of peace (trust me, I've tried).
For the next 11 months, Bündchen will upload a new guided meditation to the platform every month. While any of these meditations can provide temporary relief from stressful or anxious feelings, Bündchen's ultimate goal is to provide users with the same mindfulness tools she has learned from practice.
"Meditation is the gift I give myself every day, and I will always be grateful for its strong, positive influence," she says. "Every time I have an important decision to make, I know that I have to go inside to find the right answer."
In addition to the meditation uploads, Bündchen is honoring Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month (October) with two live sessions via the app. The first will be held on October 10th in English and the second on October 19th in Portuguese.
During these sessions, the model, mother, and new meditation teacher discuss their own journey to mental health and answer pre-submitted questions from users. The uniquely intimate live streams encourage connection during isolation times as well as accountability to practice. Staying motivated during overwhelming times can be difficult, but mental health prioritization is essential.
“As I learned to calm my mind, to reflect, and to find clarity, I began to find all the answers I needed,” says Bündchen. "Since then I have been a passionate student of all the ways meditation, yoga, conscious breathing, and food healing can support my overall health."
In other words, meditation has the power to improve various aspects of wellbeing, which is always important, but perhaps more important now than ever.