I’m a huge fan of TED Talks. There’s always a TED talk waiting for you to watch and transform your life. In case you don’t know what TED talks are, these are inspirational talks and lectures that revolve around these three topics – Technology, Entertainment and Design. Although, trust me, the talks go beyond just those three concepts.
Today, any motivational or educational speech is synonymous with the word TED talk. In fact, I myself want to give a TED talk at some point in my life! It’s on my bucket list. Enough about TED talks, let’s get into the topic at hand: ANXIETY.
Anxiety is a normal and natural response to life-threatening situations that you get into. For example, like in the first TED talk in this list, if you come face to face with a bear, you are going to get this intense rush of anxiety and panic to do something QUICK so you can save your life. Now that is some good anxiety! It’s normal. In fact, I’d say anxiety about a new school or a new job is not abnormal. I mean, you should be able to tame some of that anxiety using good positive self-talk. (If you don’t have coping mechanisms, your anxiety can turn into something ugly.)
Now, the real anxiety disorder comes in where things that shouldn’t hold you back, are causing you to act in a way that is detrimental to your health and emotional well being. Talking to another human shouldn’t make you want to dig a hole and bury yourself in it. (I’m one to talk – I can barely speak up when I need to!)
Anyway, let’s talk a look at some of the best TED talks on Anxiety.
5 Must Watch TED talks about anxiety
Let’s get into my 5 best TED talks on anxiety
1. How to Cope with Anxiety – Olivia Remes
Here is where you should begin. This social anxiety TED talk takes you through the basics of anxiety. The speaker teaches you that you need to be careful before disregarding the fact that you might have anxiety yourself. 1 in 14 people in the world have anxiety disorder right now.
In this talk, the speaker gives you 3 coping techniques for anxiety:
- Feel like you are in control of your life
- Forgive yourself
- Have a purpose and meaning to your life
2. This could be why you’re depressed or anxious – Johann Hari
This ocd TED talk speakers tells of an interesting story, I’ll summarize it:
There was a farmer who was farming on his land and suddenly a land mine exploded and his leg was injured and he needed a prosthetic leg. When he got back to work, he soon became depressed because everything was so much harder for him to do. His depression medication was to get him a dairy cow so he could still be a farmer, but things wouldn’t be that difficult for him.
So basically, in this TED talk, the speakers explains that there are nine scientific reasons why we get depression, and a lot of them tie to some sort of psychological need, for example, to feel like you belong, that your life has meaning and purpose, you have a future that makes sense, and that you feel seen and hear, among others.
3. How to raise kids who can overcome anxiety – Anne Marie Albano
While you may not be a kid or have one, this TED talk is helpful none the less. Personally, I don’t shy away from parental guides and stuff like that, because I’m doing some parenting for my inner child. I’m basically reparenting myself.
Anyway, you might not like to hear it, but this TED talk talks more about exposure therapy – saying things like: do the hard thing so that bit by bit, you get used to doing it. Kids who get everything handed to them don’t learn coping skills. (In my opinion I think parents should be really nice to their kids – giving them everything they need until they’re like 7 years old. After that, they’ve established good patterns in their kids. But don’t take my words seriously because I don’t even want to have any kids!)
Here is an excerpt from the talk:
Because skills develop with exposure over time, repeated exposure to everyday situations that kids encounter: self-soothing skills or the ability to calm oneself down when upset; problem-solving skills, including the ability to resolve conflicts with others; delay of gratification, or the ability to keep your efforts going despite the fact that you have to wait over time to see what happens.
4. How to Replace Anxiety with Purpose – Jake Heilbrunn
The TED talk speaker tells us what most of us face as young adults – a crippling anxiety. After meeting with his college guidance counselor, he realized that his fears were just fears- not reality. lucky for him, he knew what he wanted to really do in his life – travel the world and meet new people. That’s how he found himself teaching English in a rural town in Guatemala. He gave up his phone and social media to immerse himself in doing things that fulfilled him.
5. Chronic Stress, Anxiety? – You Are Your Best Doctor! – Dr. Bal Pawa
I saved the best for last. This TED talk for anxiety is my favorite one. I know enough about mental health to know that while medication is AWESOME for treating mental disorders, CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is also really ideal for learning to cope. When it comes to CBT, you can learn these techniques on your own, without having to go to a therapist (some of us either can’t afford, or can’t get our parents to understand that we need therapy). You can work on yourself and fix up some of your bad mindsets.
This speaker came up with a technique called BMW meditation that actually helped her to cure herself after a really bad car accident. The BMW technique focuses on activating the vagus nerve, which is responsible for “rest and digest”. BMW stands for Breathe, focus on your Mind, and choose a Word to repeat in your mind. This mindful meditation utilizes the mind-body connection to rest your autonomic nervous system that causes you to feel stress and anxiety.
My Other Posts on Anxiety
- How to Fight Anxiety at Night
- 5 Mental Habits that Make Your Anxiety Worse
- Daily Routine to Reduce Anxiety
- 5 Fruits to Soothe Anxiety
- How to Get Rid of Anxiety in the Long Run