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Jennifer Garner opened up about her battles with anxiety during a recent Instagram Live with Peloton instructor Chelsea Jackson Roberts.
In a vulnerable moment, Garner shared just how anxiety affects her.
“I’ll feel it in my body and then I stop and think, ‘I can tell I feel anxious. Why? What is making me...’ So I’ll feel the physical symptoms of it first before I know why,” she explained.
A new year can bring fresh ambitions, but, as many of us know, it can also be overwhelming. The pressure to level-up, recreate yourself, and meet new goals reaches an all-time high, and even Jennifer Garner isn't immune to the anxiety these pressures we put on ourselves can create.
That’s why she, in collaboration with Peloton instructor Chelsea Jackson Roberts, recently facilitated a meditation via Instagram Live to help herself and others understand their own complicated feelings.
The brief session was led by renowned yoga and meditation expert Roberts, who candidly spoke on anxiety and her own experience with it. “It’s a big topic to cover,” she said. “Whenever I get anxious, everything starts to happen. My body—my heartbeat starts to beat faster, I get sweaty, I get overwhelmed, I’m scattered, [and] can’t really get grounded. And so what I find is, the more present I am, to be honest to what I'm feeling, the more I’m able to sit and open my heart to clarity, open my heart to freedom.”
Garner agreed and admitted how anxiety manifests in her own life. “Sometimes it happens to me, the reverse,” she told Roberts. “I’ll feel it in my body and then I stop and think, ‘I can tell I feel anxious. Why? What is making me...’ So I’ll feel the physical symptoms of it first, before I know why.”
Roberts assured Garner that her experience is “so human,” especially given the circumstances of the last two years. She called the pandemic a collectively traumatic experience for us all—and she’s not lost on how significant that is.
“Trauma is truly anything that happens when our body, our mind, our heart is overwhelmed and does not have the capacity to deal with whatever we’re experiencing,” Roberts explained.
With that being said, Roberts led Garner—and the thousands of people watching—through a guided meditation that focused on acknowledging tension. “We’re gonna practice embracing tension, embracing the discomfort—not to hold onto it, but to love every part of ourselves, even the parts that may be uncomfortable,” she said.
After 20 minutes of discussion and deep breathing, Garner’s followers thanked her for sharing such an insightful moment.
“❤️❤️ these so much! Chelsea, you are the real deal.🙏🏽 It’s hard to believe you have anxiety because you always bring me back to center so quickly. ✨,” one person commented. “Idk how these Instagram Live meditations came about but they’ve been such a service during the pandemic 😷. ”
“It’s always a pleasure to join the mediation with Chelsea and you,” another wrote.
If you’re wondering what meditation is, it’s all about creating mindfulness. It’s “the practice of intentionally awakening to our thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations in the mental space of observance and acceptance,” Andrea Parsons, M.S.W., L.C.S.W. previously told Prevention. And it’s been proven—especially in times like these—to make a world of difference in one’s physical and mental health: from reducing inflammation to improving concentration.
Garner herself was deeply grateful to Roberts for leading the day’s practice. It obviously brought her some relief, as she emerged from the moment sounding refreshed and focused. “I’m so happy this is recorded so I can do it again,” she said.
This isn’t the first meditation Garner and Roberts have done together—they’ve hosted multiple in the past, and Roberts leads weekly sessions of her own on the Peloton app.
If you’re curious about exploring your own practice but aren’t sure where to start, keep an eye on Garner’s Instagram and, in between her sessions, check out our go-to meditation apps for getting centered at home.
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