Have you ever been in a bit of a funk? Sat down at the end of the day and felt disappointed, overwhelmed, anxious, or even despairing? I know I have. I think in today’s world it can be incredibly hard to stay positive, calm and focused. Problems with our children, partners, friends, family, school, work or just turning on the news and reading about the world falling apart – it all adds stress, it’s all difficult. When I feel myself getting down I try to practice my self-care techniques that I actually learned through Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, with breathing exercises, relaxation and meditation. I thought it all sounded a bit crazy new age and rolled my eyes at first, but I’ll admit when I was wrong and these techniques genuinely help to let it all go.
The other thing that I think helps is watching positive media that helps switch our brains into thinking about things in different ways. Of course relaxation can take the form of just turning on Netflix and binging your favourite TV series with a glass (or a bottle) of wine and a bucket of popcorn, but sometimes challenging the way we think is a more permanent solution and hearing something positive, inspiring, empowering and practical can help.
I’ve previously compiled some great TED talks about pregnancy and babies for my family readers, but now I want to share my favourite positive and inspiring TED Talks that can be helpful for anyone who has ever felt down. The bonus with TED talks is you can listen to them purely as audio if you want, meaning you can listen to them whilst lying in bed without adding screen time, whilst commuting to work or whilst cooking in the kitchen. Fit them in somewhere, you won’t regret it.
5 Positive and Inspiring TED Talks You Need To Watch
Getting stuck in the negatives (and how to get unstuck) with Alison Ledgerwood
Alison Ledgerwood joined the Department of Psychology at UC Davis in 2008 after completing her PhD in social psychology at New York University. She is interested in understanding how people think, and how they can think better. Her research, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, investigates how certain ways of thinking about an issue tend to stick in people’s heads. Her classes on social psychology focus on understanding the way people think and behave in social situations, and how to harness that knowledge to potentially improve the social world in which we all live.
How to make stress your friend with Kelly McGonigal
Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.
How to gain control of your free time with Laura Vanderkam
There are 168 hours in each week. How do we find time for what matters most? Time management expert Laura Vanderkam studies how busy people spend their lives, and she’s discovered that many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while underestimating the time we have to ourselves. She offers a few practical strategies to help find more time for what matters to us, so we can “build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.”
The power of believing that you can improve with Carol Dweck
Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.
How to be happy every day with Jacqueline Way
The World Happiness Report states “Over 1 billion adults suffer from anxiety and depression.” How do we get to happy? Jacqueline Way shares a secret to happiness so simple a 3 – year old can do it. Jacqueline is a mother of three boys and social good activist dedicated to changing the world 1 give, 1 day at a time. You will learn through her powerful story how your body is hard-wired for giving. Researchers from all over the world have been studying the science and physiological of giving for decades. They’ve discovered giving makes you happy, makes you high, is our bodies natural “Fountain of Youth” and reduces stress. Her inspirational journey with her son and thousands of children will inspire you start a daily giving habit that will make you happy and change the world.