updated 11/12/2013 AT 2:20 PM ET
•originally published 11/12/2013 AT 2:30 PM ET
“If I’m having a challenging moment, I jump for joy. Literally,” she tells SELF for its December cover story. “After a minute, I feel better, and after a few minutes, I’m really happy. Everything else just drops off. It gets me out of my head and into my body, and it makes me feel present.”
Kerr, 30, who publicly separated from her husband of three years last month, accentuated the positive during her new interview – and encouraged others to do the same.
“Happiness is a choice we make,” she says. “You can wake up and say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe it’s so cold,’ or you can say, ‘Oh, wow, this is a great opportunity for me to try out my new sweater.’ No one can be consistently positive, but why not make the choice that makes you feel better rather than the one that drags you down?”
The former Victoria’s Secret model says she has another method for combatting negative thoughts: reciting an inspirational mantra.
“One mantra I like: ‘I am a being of light and love, and I radiate that to everyone I meet.’ It helps me keep things joyful,” she says.
“Everyone has challenges,” she also says. “But if you know your strengths and expand on them, you’re going to radiate.”