“Chasing meaning is better for your health than trying to avoid discomfort."
Kelly McGonigal, PhD
We equate the new year with potential energy. It's an opportunity to re-evaluate one's trajectory. A permission grant to chart a new course of self-discovery.
In truth, every moment presents a window for reinvention. But January always provides heightened urgency to inventory how we spend our precious time, focus our intention and deploy our energy.
Extrapolating on themes explored with Chadd Wright, today we balance out the warrior alpha-male vibe with some feminine wisdom, courtesy of Kelly McGonigal, PhD.
A health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University who specializes in understanding the mind-body connection, Kelly is a pioneer in the field of 'science-help,' translating insights from psychology and neuroscience into practical strategies that support personal well-being and community connection.
There’s a decent chance you caught her amazing 2013 TED Talk, How To Make Stress Your Friend. A viral hit with over 21 million views, Kelly makes the case that social connection is both a natural instinct and a source of resilience in times of stress.
Or perhaps you’ve read one of her many amazing books, The Upside of Stress, The Willpower Instinct, or The Science of Compassion -- all of which are based on classes Kelly has previously taught at Stanford
Through the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism, Kelly helped create Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training, a program now taught around the world that helps individuals strengthen their empathy, compassion, and self-compassion. And since 2000, she has taught dance, yoga, and group exercise in the San Francisco Bay Area.
In addition, Kelly has served as the psychology consultant for The New York Times Education Initiative and has appeared broadly in many mainstream media outlets, including The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show, and CNN.
Fresh off the press and the framework for today’s conversation is her latest work, The Joy of Movement. A love letter to physicality (motivated in part by the dance, yoga, and group exercise classes she has been teaching for two decades), it's an evidence-based primer on how movement can serve as an antidote to depression, anxiety, and loneliness -- the modern epidemics of our time.
Although we touch a bit on willpower and stress (the subjects explored in her previous books), this conversation focuses on what exactly happens when we move our bodies.
But movement isn't just about fitness. It's not about the treadmill or StairMaster. And it has nothing to do with weight loss or six-pack abs.
Instead, movement is about something far more important. It's fundamental to being human. And a powerful path to that which we seek most -- happiness, hope, connection, and courage.
Drawing on neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, and evolutionary biology, today we discuss why movement need not be a chore, but rather a source of joy. A source of self-expression. A vehicle for cooperation and social connection. A tool for mastery. And for some, even an instrument for self-transcendence.
Whether you're an experienced ultra marathon runner, a CrossFit enthusiast or a couch potato with a new year's resolution to finally get your heart rate up, Kelly is here to help deepen our collective understanding of how movement can create more meaning, pleasure, positivity and intimacy in our daily lives.
Kelly is fantastic. And this conversation is a perfect way to embrace the new year enthusiastic about the body's potential to quite literally change everything about how we experience ourselves and our communities. I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange as much as I enjoyed having it.
Peace + Plants,
Listen, Watch & Subscribe
Thanks to this week’s sponsors
Grove Collaborative: The online marketplace that makes it easy to go green by delivering all-natural & non-toxic home, beauty, and personal care products right to your doorstep. For a limited time, visit grove.co/richroll and get a FREE Grove Sustainable Swap Set with your purchase, along with FREE shipping and and FREE 60-day VIP Trial.
Birch Living: The best, most affordable, organic and sustainable mattresses on the market. All Birch mattresses come with a 25 year warranty, and you can even try it for 100 nights risk free. Plus, 1% of each purchase is donated to the National Forest Foundation and Birch purchases carbon offsets for each mattress sold. Right now, Birch is offering my listeners $200 off ALL mattress orders. Visit BirchLiving.com/RichRoll and get your game-changing mattress (the one I sleep on in my tent!) today.
Audible: With more than 180,000 audiobooks and spoken-word audio products, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Sign up for a 30-day Audible trial today and you'll get your first audiobook plus two Audible Originals for free. To sign up and get started, visit audible.com/richroll or text RICHROLL to 500-500.
Note: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support the sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url's and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click "Sponsors".
Check out Kelly's latest book, The Joy of Movement
- Connect with Kelly: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
- TED Talks: How To Make Stress Your Friend
- NY Times: How to Crush Your Habits in the New Year With the Help of Science
- Today: Why Stress Can Be Good For You
- Mindful: Articles by Kelly McGonigal
- Outside: How Your Local YMCA Could Save The World
- Lifehacker: I'm Kelly McGonigal, and This Is How I Work
- NPR: Kelly McGonigal: Can We Reframe The Way We Think About Stress?
- Udemy: The Neuroscience of Self-Compassion by Kelly McGonigal
- Experience Life: Making Friends With Stress
- The Daily Californian: What TED Talks Have Taught Me
- Entrepreneur: Why You Should Embrace Some of That Stress
- Business Insider: This Incredible TED Talk Shows How Changing Your Perception Of Stress Could Save Your Life
- Quartz: A Stanford psychologist has a simple mental exercise for tackling student stress
Other Books by Kelly
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy
- RRP #490: Chadd Wright: Don't Give Pain A Voice
- RRP #486: Rangan Chatterjee, MD On Quelling Stress, Cultivating Intimacy & Reinventing Health Care
- RRP #230: Robin Arzon Wants You To Shut Up and Run
- RRP #356: Susan David, PhD On The Power of Emotional Agility
- RRP #317: Gretchen Rubin On Building Better Habits
*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT THE PODCAST?
Tell Your Friends & Share Online!
Donate: Check out our Patreon account
Support The Sponsors: One of the best ways to support the podcast is to support our sponsors. For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity url's and discount codes, visit my Resources page and click "Sponsors".
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.