Wellness Blog Series: 10 Ted Talks to Help You Be Well

Being a medical student can be hard sometimes. When you’re digging your car out from under the snow to go to 6 AM rounds and haven’t done your laundry or eaten a well-balanced meal in weeks, it can be hard to take a step back and see the whole picture. It’s super important to spend time doing the things we enjoy, and to practice mindfulness and gratitude in our everyday lives. Here are a few TED talks that I’ve loved, bookmarked, and watch periodically that help keep me well, balanced and grounded:

1.     Guy Winch: Why we all need to practice emotional first aid

“By taking action when you’re lonely, by changing your responses to failure, by protecting your self-esteem, by battling negative thinking, you won’t just heal your psychological wounds, you will build emotional resilience, you will thrive. A hundred years ago, people began practicing personal hygiene, and life expectancy rates rose by over 50 percent in just a matter of decades. I believe your quality of life could rise just as dramatically if we all began practicing emotional hygiene.”

 https://www.ted.com/talks/guy_winch_the_case_for_emotional_hygiene

 2.     David Steindl-Rast: Want to be happy? Be grateful

 “To learn, to suffer, to stand up, all these opportunities are given to us, but they are opportunities, and those who avail themselves of those opportunities are the ones that we admire. They make something out of life. And those who fail get another opportunity. We always get another opportunity. That’s the wonderful richness of life.”

 https://www.ted.com/talks/david_steindl_rast_want_to_be_happy_be_grateful

 3.     Carl Honore: In praise of slowness

 “We’re so marinated in the culture of speed that we almost fail to notice the toll it takes on every aspect of our lives – on our health, our diet, our work, our relationships, the environment and our community. And sometimes it takes a wake-up call, doesn’t it, to alert us to the fact that we’re hurrying through our lives, instead of actually living them; that we’re living the fast life, instead of the good life.”

 https://www.ted.com/talks/carl_honore_praises_slowness

 4.     Matthieu Ricard: The habits of happiness

 “Mind transformation – that is the very meaning of meditation. It means familiarization with a new way of being, new way of perceiving things, which is more in adequation with reality, with interdependence, with the stream and continuous transformation, which our being and our consciousness is.”

 http://www.ted.com/talks/matthieu_ricard_on_the_habits_of_happiness

 5.     Pico Iyer: The art of stillness

 “And by going nowhere, I mean nothing more intimidating than taking a few minutes out of every day or a few days out of every season, or even, as some people do, a few years out of a life in order to sit still long enough to find out what moves you most, to recall where your truest happiness lies and to remember that sometimes making a living and making a life point in opposite directions.”

 http://www.ted.com/talks/pico_iyer_the_art_of_stillness

 6.     Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong

 “The miracle of your mind isn’t that you can see the world as it is. It’s that you can see the world as it isn’t. We can remember the past, and we can think about the future, and we can imagine what it’s like to be some other person in some other place. And we all do this a little differently, which is why we can all look up at the night sky and see this and also this and also this. And yeah, it is also why we get things wrong.”

 http://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong

 7.     Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

 “How you think and how you act can transform your experience of stress. When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. And when you choose to connect with others under stress, you can create resilience.”

 https://www.ted.com/talks/kelly_mcgonigal_how_to_make_stress_your_friend

 8.     Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability (one of my favourite TED talks of all time!)

 “They fully embraced vulnerability. They believed that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful. They didn’t talk about vulnerability being comfortable, nor did they really talk about it being excruciating. […] They just talked about it being necessary. They talked about the willingness to say, “I love you” first… the willingness to do something where there are no guarantees… the willingness to breathe through waiting for the doctor to call after your mammogram. They’re willing to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out. They thought this was fundamental.”

 http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

 9.     Larry Smith: Why you will fail to have a great career

 “You’re afraid to pursue your passion. You’re afraid to look ridiculous. You’re afraid to try. You’re afraid you may fail. Great friend, great spouse, great parent, great career. Is that not a package? Is that not who you are? How can you be one without the other. But you’re afraid.”

 https://www.ted.com/talks/larry_smith_why_you_will_fail_to_have_a_great_career

 10.  Abraham Verghese: A doctor’s touch

 “I will always, always, always be there. I will see you through this. I will never abandon you. I will be with you through the end.”

 http://www.ted.com/talks/abraham_verghese_a_doctor_s_touch

 Tasha Stoltz – McMaster Class of 2017