10 TED Talks To Help You Practice Mindfulness And Manage Stress

By Olivia Arezzolo
16th Nov 2021

When you're having one of those days where you're feeling frazzled, stressed out or overwhelmed, even the simplest of tasks can seem daunting. While this often feels incredibly iscolating, know that you're not alone; Beyond Blue confirms that 1 in 4 Australians will experience anxiety (that's over 4 millions individuls) in their lifetime and 17% of the population is currently suffering from depression, with these numbers rising every year. 

While there is a wealth of information out there to help you practice the art of mindfulness and that provides you with stress management skills, sometimes you just need 10 minute time out to switch off, recharge and take in some inspiring, and often actionable, advice.

Here are 10 Ted Talks to help you practice mindfulness and manage stress*.

All It Takes Is 10 Mindful Minutes

Delivered by a former monk, mindfulness expert Andy Puddicomb asks you:‘When did you last take any time to do nothing? Just 10 minutes?’ Acknowledging how bombarded we as a society by the constant pressure of ‘busy = successful’, Puddicomb cleverly enhances our awareness of the beauty of being in the moment—even if it is just for 10 minutes.

Learning The Art Of Stillness

Complete with reasoning and strategies,travel writer Pico Iyer ironically enough encourages you to go nowhere at all - except inside your own mind. A counterbalance for anxiety and stress, Iyer laments that ‘nothing is as exhilarating as going slow’, drawing upon his own experiences to help you understand the importance of paying lip service to the present, rather than your social media feed.

How To Make Stress Your Friend

Health Psychologist Kelly McConigal positions stress as friend or foe, then for you to choose accordingly. Highlighting our capacity to utilise stress in a helpful manner through a range of psychological techniques, listen to how you can recognise and manage signs of feeling overwhelmed.

How To Stay Calm When You Know You’ll Be Stressed

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin enables you to avoid stress occurring in the first place by using foresight and calculated planning. By reflecting upon previous experiences and identifying triggers, Levitin encourages you to use your ‘perspective hindsight’ to your advantage. 

Could Sun Be Good For Your Heart

Although you wouldn’t expect a dermatologist to feature on this list, Dr. Richard Weller proposes a compelling argument on the link between a lack of sufficient sunlight and heart issues. Crazy until you hear it. Listen and learn.

A Simple Way To Break A Bad Habit

With 12 million views and counting, psychiatrist, addiction expert and author of The Craving Mind Judson Brewer, illuminates mindfulness as the antithesis of addictive behaviors such as compulsive thinking. Further, he presents tactics to help us disentangle from these habits and replaces them with healthier ones. 

Want To Be Happy? Be Grateful

Interfaith scholar and monk, Brother David Steindl-Rast emphasises the key drivers of happiness. It turns out that you won’t find it on your Instagram feed, but rather, laced within the simple experiences of daily life. Our only job? To learn how to appreciate them. 

The Habits Of Happiness 

Often referred to as ‘the happiest man in the world’, biochemist-turned-Buddhist monk Matthew Ricard shares insights he received whilst sitting in silence for days at a time in the Himalayas. Specifying the ability of the mind to be retrained, he pinpoints habits such as gratitude and mindfulness as our allies when seeking greater contentment. 

In Praise Of Slowness

Feeling like things are moving too fast? You’re not alone - and the answer is to embrace slowness rather than resist it, according to journalist Carl Honore. Analyzing the modern world’s constant business, this talk helps you accept your ‘inner tortoise’ and enjoy the tranquility of doing so.

Forget Multi-Tasking, Try Mono Tasking 

Right now, how many tasks/thoughts/to-do lists are you juggling right now? Most of us are juggling a dozen or so ‘important’ tasks and as a result, we feel constantly distracted, which reduces our ability to embrace single experiences fully. Tune in and adjust accordingly; you’ll notice each moment become brighter, bigger and bolder than ever before.

*If at any time you're feeling anxious or depressed and just want someone to talk to, reach out to the incredible teams at Lifeline or Beyond Blue

Image credit: TED Talks

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