Nine talks that can help us with emotional, physical, and social well-being. Also, they can provide a perspective on life.
For the past few weeks, our planet is facing the COVID-19 pandemic challenge. Like most of us, I have had periods of worry about communities, families, our children, the world we will leave for them, etc. However, to maintain my sanity, I try to limit the news consumption because negative news can cause fear and anxiety.
Therefore, after putting our son to bed, when I want to unwind, I go for a light-hearted movie or a TED talk. Many TED talks – their format, the inspiration, speakers, ideas – are exceptional! Although I have always liked TED talks, in these times, they come as a boon – stop, listen, introspect, and grow!
Since they’ve been so helpful, I have shortlisted and shared my favorite ones below.
What is TED?
TED is an organization with the slogan “Ideas worth spreading.” It started with a goal of Technology, Engineering, and Design but now has a diverse range of topics from wellness to politics. The speakers are accomplished experts and deliver short(~twenty minutes) talks in their respective fields, which TED makes available online. As their slogan aptly says, they indeed are the ideas that deserve to be shared and hopefully imbibed.
All the talks below have wellness as a theme or goal. I hope you find them inspiring and useful. I have included a short note with each talk on why they can help us be well. If you have a favorite TED/inspirational talk, please share in the comments below.
1. Want to be happy? Be grateful
Being grateful takes away fear – a simple yet wise thought! This is a pertinent talk in these times, when people can be apprehensive about the future. The talk highlights that we can certainly not be grateful for unfortunate events. However, we can be thankful for the moment in hand, the opportunity to introspect, and perhaps give back to society.
2. How to make diseases disappear
I read Dr. Chatterjee’s book “How to make disease disappear”; it was an informative read on managing one’s health. Then, I searched for his talk and glad to have found one. Listen about disease prevention from the horse’s mouth – a medical practitioner himself! He emphasizes that chronic disease is just a symptom of a long-term lifestyle/habit.
He starts his talk with his own experience when his son fell sick. This talk is heart-touching, and I highly recommend that you watch it. These are undesirable times, but we all can take this opportunity to make health our priority.
3. Sleep is your superpower
Although the importance of sleep is not news to us, this talk can cast a huge impact! It resonated with me because lack of sleep had taken a toll on my health last year. The speaker, Matt Walker, is a sleep scientist and will keep you hooked for the entire presentation.
Moreover, he shares the statistics on the effects of one hour of sleep lost due to daylight saving on heart attacks. These statistics can be alarming enough for us to prioritize sleep at any cost. He emphatically says that sleep is a non-negotiable biological necessity. Please listen till the end (after the claps); a few real gems here!
For more on prioritizing, please read my post on the book “Essentialism for a stress free life” here.
4. What is imposter syndrome and how can you combat it?
Imposter Syndrome is immensely pertinent today when we all have huge expectations from ourselves. Especially if you are a parent, these feelings might blow up, because we have a limited time for work. I was first introduced to this term ten years ago, by my Professor at University.
Since then, I have dived deep into the topic and can assert that it can affect our well-being. In a nutshell, imposter syndrome is a feeling of not owning up to what we achieve. That, in turn, can lead us to underestimate ourselves. As a result, we might not go for what we might rightly deserve. The above talk is a quick primer on Imposter Syndrome.
5. Why we have too few women leaders
As an extension to the above talk on Imposter Syndrome, this talk by Sheryl Sandberg has a few worthy pieces of advice for women. One of the best ones is to “sit on the table!” You might already be aware of Sheryl’s work on “Leaning In” – her effort to bring more women to realize their potential.
She doesn’t touch on “whys” of what holds us back in detail, but the talk is still compelling, especially for Moms. Please listen to it, introspect if you can, and overcome those fears, hopefully! Good luck!
6. Bite-Sized Mindfulness: An Easy Way for Kids to be Happy and Healthy
Mindfulness is a great tool to handle anxiety and being focused. If interested, you may read the article which I had shared on the challenges I faced for mindfulness and how I overcome them.
There are a few TED talks on meditation like “All it takes is 10 mindful minutes” and “Mindfulness and Parenting.” However, my favorite one is not as popular as above. It is the TEDx talk: “Bite-Sized Mindfulness.” It is a powerful talk not just because it highlights mindfulness for kids, but the speaker can cast an impact on adults too!
“It takes a few deep breaths to feel so much calmer … Mindfulness is not on a list of extra-curricular activities but is essential…” – listen to the speaker for a dose of calm!
7. Start with why – how great leaders inspire action
From the face of it, it is a talk about businesses and leadership. The speaker dives into why Wright Brothers and Apple were successful – because they believed in their work, their “why” was clear! To me, the talk conveys a profound thought: As an individual, if we have a clear “why” for a goal, it is way easier to put our energy into it.
In many of my posts, like “10 healthy foods to eat every day” or “Meditation Challenges and ways to overcome them,” I recommend thinking about our why first. This “why” can become a massive force behind pursuing our goals – from health to careers! “Why” is also a potent tool for explaining stuff to our kids.
With our son, “You shouldn’t throw your toy because breaking it is your own loss” works almost always!
8. How to Humor your stress!
This talk is such an in-your-face take on stress. The speaker doesn’t mince words and mentions that we have all become “human doings” from “human beings.” Isn’t that true? In the quest to do something, we have forgotten the “being” in human beings. Having said that, don’t you agree that in this lockdown, we have moved an inch towards being and can relate to what she says.
‘We are all so ,busy and we keep saying that’ – true that! At least I am guilty as charged! 🙂 Another good quote: “Become the fun you are seeking!”
She might sound blunt but hear her out, if nothing, for smiling at your stress!
9. How to multiply your time!
A nice talk on time management where the speaker talks about the concept of “time multiplier” or spending time on today that will give us more time tomorrow.
He takes the familiar concepts of “to-do lists” and “priority” one step further – significance in the long run. For example, exercising today may not be important or urgent but significant.
He also speaks about a ‘focus funnel’ that is very interesting – eliminate, , automate and delegate items. Lastly, I loved the term “procrastination on purpose-” defer things which are not necessary! Listen to the talk if you find yourself juggling between tasks and short of time!
A Few Parting Thoughts
My hope behind this post is that we all steer our attention towards these exceptional ideas which these thinkers have shared with us.