5 TED Talks That Will Help You Manage Anxiety and Build Resilience – inc.com post

Get inspired to learn some new ways to practice mindfulness and help manage your emotions.

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By: Betsy Mikel


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With lives, businesses, and the entire global economy being upended because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy for anxiety and worry to set in. These are stressful times for everyone.

If you’re looking for coping strategies, here are a few TED Talks from speakers who include a Harvard professor and psychologist, a Buddhist monk, and a resilience researcher.

1. “The 3 Secrets of Resilient People” by Lucy Hone

16 minutes

[Please search “www.ted.com/talks” for “<Lucy Hone: The three secrets of resilient people>”. Not sure why the movie frame didn’t load for her talk]

Resilience researcher Lucy Hone helps people apply scientific research practically in their everyday lives. An unexpected tragic life event forced her to try these science-backed resilience strategies on herself. Hone’s TED Talkoutlines three of her go-to strategies she recommends to improve your resilience during difficult periods.

One strategy includes asking yourself the question, “Is what I’m doing harming or helping me?” Hone says reflecting on this question helps you put yourself in the driver’s seat and regain a sense of control. 

“Contrary to what many of us think, resilience isn’t a fixed or elusive trait that some people have and some people don’t,” Hone explains. “In reality, it requires the willingness to try basic strategies like these.”

2. “All It Takes Is 10 Mindful Minutes” by Andy Puddicombe

9 minutes

This introduction to the benefits of mindfulness is great for beginners and frequent meditators alike. If you’re familiar with the meditation app Headspace, you’ll recognize Andy Puddicombe’s voice right away. In his TED Talk about mindfulness, he dispels a few myths about meditation. You need not sit cross-legged, burn incense, and sip herbal tea. Puddicombe explains the benefit of taking a few minutes of the day to practice being present.

“We can’t change every little thing that happens to us in life, but we can change the way that we experience it,” he says.

3. “The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage” by Susan David

17 minutes

During chaotic and uncertain times, you’re likely to experience a wide range of emotions. Fear, anger, guilt, and anxiety, to name a few.

Harvard professor and psychologist Susan David studies emotional agility. In her Ted Talk on emotional courage, she shares practical strategies for managing your emotions so that you don’t become paralyzed by them. 

It’s common to try to push away or ignore unwanted emotions. David says this simply won’t work. Acknowledge what you’re feeling, and don’t beat yourself up for feeling any particular way. No particular emotion is “good” or “bad.”

Instead of judging yourself for having any particular emotions, try to look at them as data to inform how you act. 

4. “The Art of Stillness” by Pico Iyer

15 minutes

With borders closed and flights being canceled, many of us have no choice right now but to stay put. It’s a good time to watch author Pico Iyer’s TED Talk on stillness. The lifelong traveler advocates for the benefits of going nowhere, turning within, and processing what’s around you. “In an age of distraction, nothing is so luxurious as paying attention. And in an age of constant movement, nothing is so urgent as sitting still,” he says. 

5. “The Habits of Happiness” by Matthieu Ricard

21 minutes


This TED Talk from the Buddhist monk who is sometimes called “the happiest man in the world” is more relevant than ever. Matthieu Ricard challenges us to reframe our understanding of happiness. It’s not about being chipper all the time. Instead, Ricard believes well-being begins with developing a strong sense of serenity and fulfillment, even during trying times.

It’s “a state that actually pervades and underlies all emotional states, and all the joys and sorrows that can come one’s way,” he says. He explains how to adapt your thinking — effectively training your mind — so that you, too, can achieve happiness. ​


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