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  • Writer's pictureAli Roff

How moving your body builds emotional resilience against fear

I move my body every day. Not for aesthetic reasons but to release endorphins that make me feel good and build my resilience to stress in my body , but more importantly, my mind. My morning workout, even just 15 mins, is essential to how I carry myself into the rest of my day, and my capacity to handle challenges I face. These challenges take less of a toll on my well-being, because I have moved my body. I use exercise to combat any worries in my life, and I my coaching is designed to improving mind-body resilience for our members too.

"Our muscles influence our psychological and brain health" says Kelly McGonigal, author of The Joy of Movement; "Science shows that when you move your body, your muscles release chemicals known as myokines into your bloodstream that improve your mood, reduce anxiety and depression, and make your brain more resilient to stress. I call them 'hope molecules.'

I have to be calm in the face of what are perceived as stressful situations, whether it’s acting, modelling or business. Many of us have to handle stressful situations everyday, particularly at work. Research has found that our heart rate increases by a whopping 79% on hearing the phrase 'Would you be able to do a presentation for us?". So, building resilience in the face of fear is something that can reduce stress and emotional reactions which cause our suffering.

I have worked hard at eliminating fear from my life by building my resilience over the years. As a child I was a terrified little boy. We hold fear and it sits in our body, festering and growing. We all deserve to go into each day without fear. Fearlessness is powerful and it’s freedom.

Exercise has played a one of the biggest parts in building my resilience. Strengthening our body, in turn strengthens our mind. So, while I work hard on my mental health to ensure I’m free of fear or guilt every day, I work on my physical health every day, which has a direct impact on the way I carry myself, and the way I FEEL.

Coming back to the science, McGonigal says "The chemicals coming out of your muscles when you exercise instruct your brain to change in certain beneficial ways, like adding new neurons in the hippocampus or increasing the structural integrity of the connections between the parts of your brain that help reduce fear and anxiety. And here’s the thing about it: The exercise doesn’t have to be hard. Moving your body in any way, with any degree of intensity, can do it. That said, many of the resulting benefits are amplified by intensity. You will get a bigger release of these chemicals if you get your heart rate up higher."

At #TheWellfulnessProject our offering is MIND based. We aim for the FEELING. Using both physical training combined with mindfulness, meditation and motivational intention work to support and build confidence, self-belief, kindness and resilience. Forever. Not just for 6 weeks over a summer.

It feels good to feel good. Download our FREE One-Day Wellness Plan - an easy wellness plan including a 25 minute no-equipment workout, journal workbook, motivational morning + evening meditations, and meal and supplement guide. Download it for free here.

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