7 Insightful TED Talks on Emotional Health

Emotional Health

We know taking care of our emotional health is important, but how can we learn more about it? 

Here are 7 TED Talks to deepen your understanding of emotional health and their main takeaways.

1. How to Practice Emotional First Aid

Guy Winch explores the contrast of how we act quickly to take care of our physical needs but lack proper emotional hygiene. 

  1. Loneliness creates painful psychological wounds that prevent us from reaching out to our community because we safeguard ourselves from further rejection. 
  2. In fact, chronic loneliness increases the likelihood of early death by 14%!
  3. So how do we combat this? By building emotional resilience. Rumination is a costly habit, but interjecting even a two-minute distraction can prevent ruminating and the emotional suffering it perpetuates. 

2. The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage

Susan David shows the importance of accepting our emotions. 

  1. Feelings have falsely been given moral value. About ⅓  of people judge themselves for having “bad” emotions, or push them aside altogether. 
  2. Radical acceptance of all of our emotions, the good, the bad, and the messy, illuminates the path to thriving and having true, authentic happiness. 

You are not your emotions. You experience emotions. Practice saying “I notice I’m feeling angry” instead of “I am angry,” when acknowledging how you feel.

3. The Power of Vulnerability

A list of the best emotional health TED Talks is incomplete without mentioning Bréne Brown. 

  1. You cannot selectively numb “bad” emotions, because when you numb the “bad” emotions, you numb all of them. You need to feel your emotions. 
  2. Allowing yourself to feel your emotions requires you to be vulnerable with yourself and others. 
  3. Understand that you are enough. You deserve to feel worthy of connection. People are kinder and gentler to themselves and others once they grasp this.

4. 6 Steps to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Romona Hacker unpacks emotional intelligence and the path to cultivating it. 

  1. Emotional intelligence consists of three skills: emotional awareness, harnessing and applying emotions, and managing emotions. 
  2. There’s power in naming our emotions. Pinpointing your emotions and accepting your feelings as they come serves as a crucial step towards analyzing how we feel. Then, we must accept and appreciate our emotions to reflect on them and their origins. 
  3. True emotional intelligence arises when you can handle your emotions and the emotions of others.

5. The Power of Emotional Intelligence

Travis Bradbury provides actionable ways to raise our emotional intelligence. 

  1. Stress management: Humans function best with mild, controlled stress. Too much stress overwhelms us and prevents true emotional understanding. 
  2. Better sleep hygiene: Poor sleep quality diminishes our self-control, preventing emotional regulation. 
  3. Decrease caffeine intake: Caffeine in the afternoon does not have enough time to leave our system, preventing restful sleep.

6. How to Raise Emotionally Intelligent Children

Lael Stone discusses the importance of teaching children the power of their emotions. 

  1. The lack of emotional literacy in schools leads children to exclusively learn how to deal with their emotions from their parents who, unfortunately, might be just as emotionally illiterate. 
  2. Kids’ strategy when approaching their emotions stems from how their parents reacted to them. They may repress their emotions if they received negative or dismissive feedback from parents— or respond with aggression if they felt powerless or scared. Ideally, children learn to express their emotions if their feelings were welcomed and accepted. 
  3. When children feel safe, their brain is better equipped to grow and learn.

7. Feelings: Handle Them Before They Handle You

Mandy Saligari, an addiction therapist, highlights the need for emotional understanding. 

  1. Self-esteem is not only how you feel about yourself, but how you treat yourself as a result. 
  2. Knowing the feelings you’re experiencing enables you to take ownership of them and present yourself to the world with self-respect. 
  3. Parents’ behavior in response to how they feel directly impacts how their children behave and learn to process their own emotions and desires.

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