Day 3: Dr. Kelly McGonigal – The Feel Better Effect 2018-05-19T00:01:30+00:00

Day 3: Body

The Feel Better Effect

Dr. Kelly McGonigal

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What You’ll Learn

  • Learn the science behind mood and movement (Hint: It’s not what you think!)
  • Understand the importance of mindset in movement, and how to shape the right intention
  • Discover the power of group movement and how we can apply it to impact the world

About Dr. Kelly McGonigal

Dr. Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University. She is the author of several books, including the international bestseller The Willpower Instinct and her latest book The Upside of Stress. Through the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism, she co-authored the Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training. Her 2013 TED talk, “How to Make Stress Your Friend,” is one of the most viewed TED talks of all time. She also teaches group fitness, including dance, yoga, and mixed martial arts.

To learn more about Kelly, visit her website.

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What do you think?

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  1. Larry Fallon May 17, 2018 at 12:42 am - Reply

    This has been just perfect timing. All of your information is just what I needed to hear as I get my body moving again after my right knee replacement. I have accomplished the three months of PT now I am on my own heading off to the gym and the world to get moving again and keep moving.

  2. Amrita May 17, 2018 at 12:56 am - Reply

    Great talk, very informative & exciting research. Loved the enthusiasm of the speaker.

  3. Theresa May 17, 2018 at 12:59 am - Reply

    This talk is so inspiring. It changes my mindset today to be joyful about my body and happy that I can move.

  4. Kate May 17, 2018 at 1:17 am - Reply

    Wow! So much valuable information. Thank you Kelly for sharing this profound yet simple means for living our best life. I am a daily swimmer in an outdoor, salt water pool and I’ve always been trying to figure out why it makes me feel so happy and grateful and at one with the miracles of nature. You have offered great insight and I will feel extra lucky and blessed when I enjoy the water tomorrow.

  5. Bob Mente May 17, 2018 at 1:18 am - Reply

    I so enjoyed Kelly’s presentation. I learned particularly about the benefits of group involvement ,social bonding and its application in the world. So much good stuff to know and practice. Many thanks!

  6. Jana May 17, 2018 at 1:40 am - Reply

    Wow! That was so interesting. As a person that has worked in the fitness and well-being industry for 28 years, I have to say I learned a lot! This talk is so motivating to move,to make it social and to use what you have while dropping the judgement. I love the emphasis on less importance of physical change and more on the psychological benefits. I will be joining my tribe in less than an hour to splash around the pool and build some endorphins. Thank you for your research, knowledge and inspiration.

  7. Mary May 17, 2018 at 1:53 am - Reply

    I used to be a gym rat, loved all the classes I took. I went deaf and lost all my balance, learned to walk again, got a cochlear implant. I can’t take any of my old classes again because the music is just noise and I loose my balance, if I turn off the implant I can’t follow a long. I also get anemic quite often so I have no energy and can’t move. I’ve gain 35 pounds. I’m so unhappy and I miss exercise so much I would love answers on what I’m supposed to do.

  8. Nathalie St-Jean May 17, 2018 at 2:01 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for your sharing and enthusiasm. Your talk resonate deeply with my experience. Love the Mind set that we bring to movements…so true. I’m fortunate to have three excellent teachers trained with “Conscience Plus” (Mindfulness), same school, each so unique, I do four morning classes a week plus two at night . I connect deeply inside and feeling each parts so alive through the breathing, guided meditation, I love myself for taking care of my body at 74, always coming home overflowing with joy. It truly empowers me. Yes… I’m grateful to have this day just to be and do what brings me happiness. I don’t know about tomorrow. So I live fully today.🙏

  9. Geri deGruy May 17, 2018 at 2:50 am - Reply

    Really excellent talk. No pressure “to EXERCISE”, but benefits of movement, especially regarding the social glue it facilitates. Thank you!

  10. Anne May 17, 2018 at 3:21 am - Reply

    What incredible information. My view has been altered forever around the topic of movement, the well being it creates in general, physically, emotionally and the community connection as well. Many points of view I had never considered before. Thank you.

  11. Janet May 17, 2018 at 5:08 am - Reply

    The concept of community in movement is new to me, but it totally makes sense. The other thing that jumped out at me was the importance or value of moving outside. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm!

  12. Paul May 17, 2018 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Learned: I live fully today means > I just change my default by having joy in moving right now and will get the feel better effect.

  13. Lilli Regina Baumgart May 17, 2018 at 9:36 am - Reply

    This talk is so informative and inspiring. It would help so many people to raise their mood and enthusiasm without substances. I have experienced the benefit of movement in groups myself and it is great to know how this works in the body. It basically shows that our brain and body are designed for happiness and good relationships. Could this knowledge be part of the school curriculum?

  14. Ellen Lederman May 17, 2018 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Loved this talk! Excellent as usual; I’ve heard Kelly’s TED talk and loved it. I wish more people could understand this.At the gym people look for the toughest classes where they think they will get the bets results (increase cardio capacity or strength or get toned) without a thought as to how much they are enjoying them (usually not much). At 64, I now avoid the boot camp style approach, not because I can’t keep up but because I want to be experiencing some joy as I move. For example, I will take water aerobics classes where it’s fun to move through the water, but not water circuit where you stand at one station and do fifty bicep curls or flutter kicks. I avoid the gymnastics on a yoga mat style of hot power yoga and take classes where I experience the joy of movement. Although a lifelong introvert I do get how group fitness is rewarding in multiple ways.

    I hate spinning/cycling classes (music too loud, bike seat uncomfortable, find it boring) but other people seem to love it. But now they have amped it up even more, doing weights and calesthenics as possible. So again, approach it as a chore and got-to-do-more instead of the joy of moving. And as much as I love vinyasa yoga or yin and restorative, I am not interested in the gimmicks that are being added: goat yoga! paddleboard yoga! yoga and beer! I get enough (so much!) from the movement—-don’t need to sexy it up and distract from it.

    I even get a lot of doing Youtubes at home—yoga, pilates, walking/jogging, kick boxing, dance, qi gong and tai chi, ballet barre. As a T shirt says, I do yoga (and everything else) to burn off the crazy. To feel more like me. To feel that combo of relaxation and invigoration. It’s so not about preventing batwings (although that IS a nice reward, but way down on the list). I feel sorry for a woman who takes yoga with me who interviews potential personal trainers by asking them what their girlfriends’ bodies look like—she feels that this will give her a hint of how they may work her and “sculpt” her body (hello, you are a human being, not a piece of marble or clump of clay—with different genetics than the trainers’ girlfriends).

    All throughout childhood and adolescence I was a PE reject. Gym class was something to be dreaded. I was too weak/slow/uncoordinated to do much. Last one chosen for teams. Didn’t enjoy anything. I even chose colleges that didn’t have PE requirements! Did the obligatory 3 to 4 mile walks as a young and middle aged adult, just to maintain my health. But now in my older years I am moving not just for health but for the joy of it. The after effects of mood stabilization and mental clarity and equanimity are wonderful, but it’s also just so much fun to finally discover and appreciate that I have a body that works well enough to move, even if I still couldn’t hit a tennis ball or stand on my head.

  15. Edgar May 17, 2018 at 10:56 am - Reply

    Thank you. I gotta mooove. Sounds simple enough. Watching Dr. McGonigal move her eyes, her head, her hands with such vitality and joy underscores the lesson.

  16. Sigrid Lamken May 17, 2018 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Moving is not really my favorite topic, and I was not so interested in listening to this talk at first, but it was so inspiring, so informative, it really made me look at some things in a completely new and different way. Thank you!

  17. Evelyn May 17, 2018 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    Amazing information. I am a yoga teacher and i find the things Kelly talked about as far as the group dynamics very truein the way the class bonds and cares for each other.
    I will buy her book!!! Thank you so much!!

  18. robert haile May 17, 2018 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    I have had multiple(8) spine surgeries due to severe spinal stenosis with nerve damage, both rotator cuffs repaired and 4 brain surgeries including a ruptured aneurysm and more recently a brain infection. 3 of my right rotator cuff tendons are tor completely. When I follow an instructor, I always get hurt. I have found some yoga instructors are ego driven not paying attention to class or individual needs. I learned to play tennis with my left arm (I played with my right arm for 58 years)and mostly play with my wife. I can surf, and hike with my wife and dog. As you said, after an argument I have gone for a hike in nature, and return ready to say I’m sorry, and wanting to resolve issues in a kind way. Meditation in nature has the same effect for me. Thank you for this extremely helpful presentation. My wife exercises in a boxing class with a former female boxing champion and my daughter, who was a ballerina, returned to dancing, now ballroom after having 3 children. They are bot so much happier and motivated. We will try to exercise before starting an activity that is usually stressful. Thank you again.

  19. Carolyn H May 17, 2018 at 7:21 pm - Reply

    I really appreciate knowing the scientific “why” something works as well as how it works. I’ve found that all my efforts to find happiness, exercise more, overcome my ADD-aversion to keeping my home clean and picked up, etc. generally end in failure — leading to self-judgement. When learn about how the brain works, how neurochemicals work, and how these affect my “willpower” (hate that word as for me it is a set-up to failure), I am able to work WITH my brain to help me do the things that will bring me greater well being. Thank you KellyMcGonigal for such an inspiring and educational talk. It gives me a new way to think about movement and why it is so important for my total well being (and not just to look better in the photos at my daughter’s wedding next fall!). I’m going to buy your book about willpower.

  20. Judy Traugott May 17, 2018 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    I have been enjoying all the speakers so far. Very helpful and informative. I am very happy that I signed up. Thank you

  21. Jan May 17, 2018 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the inspiring talk.
    Building “we-agency” is probably why commanders march soldiers around together! Haha.

  22. Susan Connelly May 17, 2018 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    I was so excited and uplifted after hearing this segment. I left a gym two years ago to practice different forms of YOGA. I love my studio and I feel such a part of that community because we are not trying to get results. We are just taking care of the body we have just as it is! My instructors emphasize this in each and every class and I am so thankful. Going for walks in nature and with others is a highlight of my days. Thank you so much for this talk!

  23. Mari May 17, 2018 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    I love my dance group! Some of them are my closest friends but I trust them all and in a period of physical incapacity, I still feel the support eventhough I’m not able to dance now. There is a strong sense of belonging (very useful for the feeling loved challenge 2 days ago!) You explain the science in such a clear way it actually doesn’t make sense not to move. Thanks for the great talk looking forward to your book as it actually will make things easier maybe for some therapists to implement movement classes in their hospitals or other practices. Thanks for making those talks accessible 🙂

  24. Unnati Billimoria May 18, 2018 at 1:46 am - Reply

    Loved your ideas and wanted to share something about group fitness session. I am not sure if you are aware about this indian festival of Navratri meaning 9 nights of dancing for the goddess of power Shakti. This is an ancient tradition but its beautiful syncronised dancing and clapping. It’s an elevating experience, as everyone in the society/village come together to dance for 9 nights. Your conversation reminded me about that and brought a skip in my step and smile on my face

    • Lorraine Olsen May 18, 2018 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      Ah, 9 days of dancing in community? That sounds lovely!

  25. Wanda May 18, 2018 at 1:52 am - Reply

    WOW! What a GREAT talk! She put words to what I have felt about movement (exercising at the gym, doing yoga, walking, drumming) -its VALUE to mind, body and spirit! THANKS!

  26. Kathleen Rubin May 18, 2018 at 1:59 am - Reply

    I loved your talk! What I take away specially is this aspect about looking at the community first, then at the type of movement. Spectacular!

  27. Cecelia Lang May 18, 2018 at 2:22 am - Reply

    Great presentation. Thanks.

  28. Rivka May 18, 2018 at 10:11 am - Reply

    Wow! A great talk which resonant with my daily activity: swimming, walking, hiking, Chee Kung – Kungfu etc.
    Thank you, Kelly, to add so much knowledge to the “why” I feel so great with those activities.

  29. Dr Latha Hapugoda May 18, 2018 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Very informative & proactive presentation to motivate people who are least motivated to move. She has made maximum use of research evidence with multiple examples from her experience (amazing impact of movement of the intervention group to prevent drug induced panic attack highlights the p0wer of movement. She present in a very energetic way and the tone of her voice reflect her interest to inspire others. I wl certainly read her new book.
    Similarly, It is not fair if I do not appreciate the subject knowledge and the communication skills to have a proactive dialogue in a humble and very pleasing way. She is a STAR!

  30. Kitty May 18, 2018 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    This was an absolutely fantastic talk!! Thank you!

  31. Lorraine Olsen May 18, 2018 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    This was wonderful! I just returned from an annual 4 day hike along the beautiful Rogue River with seven other women. Dr. McGonigal’s talk explained why being with my tribe, in nature, while moving my body is such a compelling, rewarding and joyful experience. So next May, when I’m trudging up steep hillsides training for this trek and asking myself “why am I doing this?!?” I will know the answer!

  32. Ria Tanz Kubota May 18, 2018 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    Beautifu. inspiring, motivating, energizing talk–thank you! As a retired RN and MFT who is almost entirely confined to home, alone, part of what makes me happy is gratitude, and part is moving how I can, when I can, especially Chi Gong and dancing. And the ski machine makes me happy too. This kind of neurological information makes me as happy as discovering anthropology and sociology books did as a non-driving then, as now, mother of a toddler, generally isolated from others. Thank you for the information, the enthusiasm, the love, and the joy. May we all be kinder to ourselves and to each other.

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