Melissa Wood-Tepperberg Shares Her Secret to Cultivating Inner Peace

The SI Swimsuit rookie opened up to her followers in a recent IG post about calming her nervous system.
Melissa Wood-Tepperberg

Melissa Wood-Tepperberg.

We can always rely on 2023 SI Swimsuit rookie Melissa Wood-Tepperberg for some thoughtful wisdom when it comes to mental wellness. The fitness guru opened up about calming her mind on Instagram on March 16 that particularly resonated.

Wood-Tepperberg posted a trio of photos of herself bundled up in a black Ronny Kobo puffer jacket and coordinating beanie. The mom of two sported a grin from ear to ear.

In her caption, she wrote how she’s a “natural born hustler” who often experiences the “fight or flight” stress response. She shared that the best way she calms her nervous system is by listening to her body from the inside out.

“… I’m now understanding that my greatest teacher—is to listen,” she wrote. “To not only listen to what’s coming up, but what’s really going on inside. It all comes from within and the more I clear out all the things that can so easily cloud my mind, the more I’ve been able to shift into a parasympathetic state, which I call my peaceful place. The place I want to live for a very long time.”

The 40-year-old model credited Alice Panikian for both the photograph and for sparking her thoughts through conversation.

“The more you connect to the work and carve out that place of stillness... there’s no other choice but to fully lean in with so much trust to the path that’s being paved perfectly for you. ✨✨✨,” she finished.

Several of Wood-Teppberberg’s one million followers chimed into the comments section with their own thoughts.

“This message though 🙌🙌🙌 calming my nervous system has helped me soooo much,” one person agreed. “It’s a practice for sure!”

“You should do a pod on all the ways to calm the nervous system from constant flight or fight responses,” another fan suggested, referring to Wood-Tepperberg’s podcast, Move With Heart.

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.